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2020 Custodians Are Key Winner

July 29, 2020 8:00 AM by Tennant Company

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

Kris Kantor of Lakewood Elementary wins Tennant's Custodians Are Key Grand Prize

After receiving over 2,000 nominations for incredible K-12 school custodians across the United States and Canada for our first annual Custodians are Key contest, we’re proud to announce the grand prize winner!

Kris Kantor of Hayes Elementary in Lakewood, Ohio was presented with a $10,000 check for his school at a surprise celebration on Friday, June 26. Kris also received a $5,000 value prize for himself. Kris was selected as one of 12 quarterly finalists, who each won a $500 gift card, in February 2020.  

“We had so many amazing nominees for this contest, which made It challenging to whittle down to 12 finalists, much less identify a single person to win the grand prize. Kris Kantor’s clear devotion to students and staff is what gave him the edge.” said Lisa Hrpcek, Channel Marketing Manager, Tennant Company.  “There’s never been a more important time to herald the important work these heroes like Kris and the other nominees undertake for our schools.”

Kris was nominated in November 2019 by school health aide Maureen Yantek who described him as fastidious about organization and cleanliness, making his school the best building in the district. 


“I’m just beyond excited. It’s unbelievable. I can’t thank Tennant enough.”


But it is Kris’s attention to detail that elevates him, learning everyone’s name, including more than 300 students and staff. He created a program called “Kids with Kantor” where he works with students on special projects once a week during his lunch hour, building everyday objects like bird houses, decorative wooden boxes and toy helicopters while teaching kids about safety, tool use and teamwork.

“We’ve always been proud to count Kris as one of our own. This acknowledgement of his great work is extremely deserved,” said Eric Fortuna, principal at Hayes Elementary. “We are lucky to have Kris on our team and look forward to celebrating him when school is back in session.”

Principal Fortuna said he will consult with Kantor on how best to spend the $10,000 prize money because he always has great ideas.

In a video with ISSA, Kris said, “I’m just beyond excited. It’s unbelievable. I can’t thank Tennant enough.”

Congratulations to Kris and Lakewood Elementary!

Kris Kantor with family and Lakewood Principal Fortuna

Custodians Are Key Program Details

The second annual Custodians Are Key contest will kick off September 15, 2020, When the contest opens, simply submit your nomination at A committee of judges will select finalists and winners based on the quality of the nomination and the impact the custodian makes on his or her school.



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