Cross Plains school custodian named finalist for nationwide Custodian of the Year contest

2023 Custodian of the Year contest
2023 Custodian of the Year contest(Cintas/Custodian of the Year Contest)
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 4:30 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Rodney “Mr. Peanuts” Esser, a custodian at Park Elementary School, is a finalist in the national 2023 Cintas Custodian of the Year contest.

This annual contest recognizes custodians for their work in providing students with a clean and safe environment and the winner will receive a prize package valued at over $45,000, sponsored by the Cintas Corporation.

Esser has been a custodian at Park Elementary for 58 years and started a program to help kids in the district who need extra financial support. He also provides summer jobs for students and teaches them how to open savings accounts. Even more, contest officials say he has never missed a first day of school during his time working at Park Elementary.

ISSA Executive Director John Barrett said the contest finalists “do much more than clean schools.”

“School custodians are beacons of light in their communities and students look up to them as positive role models who lead by example,” Barrett said.

Public votes will determine the contest’s winner. This year, the top three finalists will get an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas and each of the nine finalists will receive $1,000 and complimentary tuition to an ISSA Cleaning Management Institute virtual training event.

The contest received an abundance of nominations for custodians across the country, according to Cintas Marketing Manager Christiny Betsch.

“As always, it’s difficult to select the top 10, but this year’s finalists stood out for their commitment, kindness and determination,” Betsch said.

For more information about the contest or to vote for your favorite finalist, visit the Custodian of the Year website. Voting ends April 14.

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