BROOKINGS, Ore. — The clock rapidly ticks down the remaining hours in a hotly contested election. Who will claim the title...of 2018 Janitor of the Year?
One of the nominees, Frank Hernandez, hails from Kalmiopsis Elementary School in Brookings. Not only does he represent Southern Oregon, he's the only nominee from the state—in fact, he's the only representative of the Pacific Northwest, or the West Coast.
To the students of Kalmiopsis, he's known as 'Mr. Frank.' Students appreciate him for his bright smile and wave every morning, as he escorts his miniature charges to class in his yellow crossing guard vest. Mr. Frank ensures that every child—and every class project—gets to class safely.
The columns supporting Kalmiopsis' covered walkways are all of them painted like brightly-colored crayons—painted, as it happens, by Mr. Frank.
"After ensuring Kalmiopsis is the cleanest school on the West Coast, Mr. Frank spends the school day encouraging students to take part in the school’s recycling program and offers a helping hand to students with special needs," Mr. Frank's bio reads.
When the final bell tells students that it's time to head home, the near-800 Kalmiopsis kids leave with another wave (and sometimes a piece of candy) from Mr. Frank. Then Frank Hernandez leaves school himself, heading off to his second job.
For Frank, Kalmiopsis isn’t just the place he works, “it’s a place where teachers come to transform children’s lives and children come to thrive and learn.”
The winner of the Janitor of the Year contest will take home $5,000 in cash—along with a $5,000 contribution in Cintas and Rubbermaid Commerical Products to the school.
Voting ends at 11:50 p.m. EST on Friday, April 20 (that's 8:50 p.m. Pacific Time).