Philly Custodian Elected ‘Janitor of the Year’

Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:58 am

(l/r) Patrick Cannon, Rubbermaid; Jillian Bauer and Bill Stockage, Cintas; Ted Qualli, Janitor of the Year; and John Hart, Cintas, commemorate with students the honor bestowed on Qualli as America's top custodian. 

After receiving more than 40% of a record-breaking 898,220 votes in Cintas’ Janitor of the Year Contest, Ted Qualli Jr. of Newtown, PA, recently was named the winner in a competition for America’s best custodian, according to a news release.

The honor includes a $5,000 cash prize for Qualli, and another $5,000 in goods from contest sponsors Cintas Corp. and Rubbermaid Commercial Products for his employer: Newtown Elementary School in Newtown, PA.

The election of Qualli as Janitor of the Year probably wasn’t too big a shock to Kevin King, principal of the school where Qualli works. “Ted is the glue that holds the school together and a role model to the entire community,” King said. “Whether we have a student who’s concerned about monsters in the restrooms, kick balls stuck on the roof or a staff member with a flat tire, Ted is always there to help out.”

Qualli routinely goes above and beyond to have a positive impact on the students who attend Newtown Elementary, the release said. That includes teaching students on Veterans Day about his military service, and handing out home-grown vegetable seedlings every spring to each student. The students appreciate that he does more than mop and sweep up around their school. When they see him in the hallway, a spontaneous chant erupts: “Qual-li, Qual-li!”

Cintas’ Assistant Marketing Manager Jillian Bauer said Qualli’s actions have earned the acclaim that goes with winning the Janitor of the Year Contest. “School janitors are the epitome of an everyday hero, going far beyond their requirements to provide students with a clean and safe learning environment,” she said. “This contest is a way of shining a much-needed spotlight on these hard-working heroes and giving them the recognition they deserve.” Click here for details.