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Meet the Winner of the Third Annual K-12 Custodians are Key Contest

June 08, 2022 2:14 PM by Tennant Company

Posted in Staffing & Personnel Productivity Cleaning Challenges Industry News & Trends

For each of the past three years, Tennant Company has honored K-12 custodians who go above and beyond for their schools and communities. These are people who aren’t just cleaning floors and emptying waste bins, but also making sure that students and staff have a clean, comfortable environment to facilitate learning.

“We launched the Custodians Are Key initiative three years ago to celebrate the unsung heroes who make our schools better, going above and beyond their daily duties and showing students and staff they care. We had no idea that a global pandemic would make the jobs they do even more critical to the health and safety of the teachers and students they serve,” said Dave Huml, CEO, Tennant Company.

Introducing the 2022 Winner: Gladys Hernandez

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Gladys Hernandez is a custodian at Blue Valley CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) in Overland Park, Kansas. The high school offers project-based learning for students to explore careers in healthcare, engineering, bioscience, business, and human services. Hernandez was nominated by Blue Valley CAPS’ Foundations of Medicine Instructor Laura Benscheidt, and cited her knack for regularly checking in on students and staff in addition to her normal job duties.

“Gladys cares, she wants to provide a building for staff and students to learn in. She greets students and staff at the door with a smile and an encouraging word every day. She is often seen checking in with teachers to meet their daily needs,” said Benscheidt. “Gladys takes pride in knowing that the foundation of her work makes a difference in the ability of the students to learn and the teachers to teach.”

Hernandez was personally awarded a $5,000 prize as a part of a surprise recognition celebration at the school on May 17. Tennant Company also awarded $10,000 to Blue Valley CAPS in honor of Hernandez.

Honoring the Custodians are Key Nominees

In addition to our heartfelt congratulations to Hernandez, we’d also like to honor the other 11 finalists for the 2021 – 2022 Custodians are Key contest:

  • Jason Braley | Adams Elementary | Boise, ID
  • Sonia Fernandez | Ferron Elementary | Las Vegas, NV
  • Clark Granger | Memorial Elementary | McMinnville, OR
  • Angie Lampman | Cheyenne County Re-5 | Cheyenne Wells, CO
  • Armando Marcano | St. Lucie West K-8 School | Port St. Lucie, FL
  • Paul Naranjo | Manassa Elementary School | Manassa, CO
  • Sylvia Samaniego | Laird Elementary School | Tempe, AZ
  • Tony Scharfenkamp | Collins Maxwell Elementary | Collins, IA
  • David Phulps | Calvine High School | Sacramento, CA
  • Laurie Yard | Weeping Water Public School | Weeping Water, NE
  • Jose Bonilla | Village Green Environmental Studies Elementary School | Port St. Lucie, FL
Custodians Are Key Grand Prize

Get Ready for Custodians are Key 2023

Tennant Company looks forward to continuing the tradition of honoring K-12 custodians who go above and beyond to make their schools better places in the coming year. Nominations will open in September and finalists will be announced throughout the year. Learn more about the program and why Tennant Company takes extra steps to honor custodians who care.


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