Cintas Crowns 2016 Janitor of the Year

Posted May 6, 2016 at 11:48 am

Following a record 488,000 votes from across the nation, Cintas Corp. recently named Jerome Lewis of Crestline Elementary in Birmingham, AL, the 2016 Janitor of the Year. Lewis captured nearly 30% of the votes and will receive a $5,000 cash prize. His school also will receive $5,000 in products and services from Cintas and Rubbermaid Commercial Products.

Described by one student as “a breath of fresh air even when the day stinks,” Lewis has been cleaning Crestline for the past eight years. In February 2013, Lewis was diagnosed with terminal appendiceal cancer, but he has never allowed it to slow him down at work or dampen his spirits.

“Jerome is so deserving of this award, and we’re ecstatic that our community rallied around him to recognize his work ethic and the positive impact that he has on our students and faculty, as well as the appearance of our school,” said Laurie King, principal, Crestline Elementary.

While Jerome will receive the grand prize, the nine contest runners up will each be awarded a $500 cash prize from Cintas as well as cleaning tools and products from Rubbermaid Commercial Products to beautify their schools.

“Many school janitors work long hours and often go beyond their cleaning responsibilities, taking care of maintenance and security tasks and acting as friends and mentors to students and staff,” said John Engel, senior marketing manager, Cintas. “It’s inspiring to see the votes pour in for these dedicated individuals who are often the first to arrive at school and the last to leave.”

The top 10 finalists were chosen based on the number and quality of nominations by a panel of judges from Cintas Corp., Rubbermaid Commercial Products and U.S. communities.

For more information about the Janitor of the Year contest, visit