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One very special and hard-working school custodian was chosen recently by the Vermont Agency of Education (VT-AOE) and the Vermont School Custodians & Maintenance Association (VSCMA) as Vermont's 2013 School Custodian of the Year. Lloyd Cuenin, a custodian at Warren Elementary School, was honored at the school's spring celebration.
"I have worked a lot of jobs over the years and this is the first I've had where I want to hop out of bed and come to work," said Cuenin. "It's more than a job. We are a family here in Warren, the joy of being around kids – watching them grow and learn – it's hard to put into words."
Earlier this year, school officials and administrators were invited to nominate professional school custodians for consideration for the fifth annual Vermont School Custodian of the Year award. In order to qualify, individuals had to exemplify the positive qualities of a hard-working, dedicated member of their school team and must have worked a minimum of five years (full-time service) in a Vermont school.
"It is the hard-working employees that maintain our schools, ensure safe and secure learning environments, prepare healthy food, drive buses and do 100 other jobs that ultimately play a major role in supporting the educational efforts of Vermont's schools," said Secretary of Education Armando Vilaseca. "They work tirelessly behind the scenes, but their hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed."
Nominations were received from principals, superintendents, students, coworkers, parents and others from across the state. Each nomination attests to the strong commitment and dedication of these outstanding individuals who go above and beyond every day.
Judging was completed anonymously by members of the VSCMA and employees of the VT-AOE. Each nomination was reviewed and rated based on the nominee's strengths, accomplishments and contributions to his or her school team. It was clear from the nomination letters that Cuenin takes pride in his work and is dedicated to the school's mission.
Warren Elementary School administrators, teachers, students and parents enthusiastically participated in the nomination. As faculty and administrators were quick to recognize, an outstanding custodian does much more than clean their building. Nominations echoed stories about Cuenin's friendly manner and his desire to provide a safe, clean and positive environment for students and the community.
"He makes amazing connections with children, helps them to feel good about who they are and he encourages them to see they have much to offer as a valued member of their school community," said principal Wendy Cobb.
Cuenin, 2013 Vermont School Custodian of the Year, will be recognized at the 56th annual School Custodians and Maintenance Conference on June 20, 2013, at Hartford High School in White River Junction.