Custodian of the Year: Mr. Heiry

NAI custodian, Mr. Heiry, was awarded Cintas’ 2021 Custodian of the Year Award.


North Allegheny Intermediate High School, a school of pride and success. Hallways glisten, floors shine, and students learn. NAI’s beloved custodian, Mike Heiry, does not just keep the school in pristine condition—he also changes the lives of everyone who steps into the school. As Cintas’ 2021 Custodian of the Year winner, Mr. Heiry participated in an interview with NaEye.

NAEye: Who nominated you for Custodian of the Year? 

Mr. Heiry: I was nominated by Mrs. Ewing, and I had absolutely no idea. I only found out when I finished in the top ten and the local media wanted to do some interviews.

NAEye: How are you planning on using your personal prize money?

Mr. Heiry: As for the cash prize, I think my family and I may go on vacation to the west coast. 

NAEye: What supplies will you receive from Cintas? Do you get to choose any?

Mr. Heiry: I’m not sure if I will get to choose the supplies or not, but I’m thinking they are going to send some of their newer items for us to try. 

NAEye: Describe a normal workday. 

Mr. Heiry: A normal day starts with coming in and talking with my night turn to see if there are any issues. I then log into the HVAC system to make sure everything is running there. I will then generally walk around the building looking at several things: are all lights on and working, check the 3 elevators, and double check a few classrooms or bathrooms to ensure that my staff are doing things correctly. I check with the kitchen staff for any problems and look at the large cooler and freezer to make sure they are in good order. Head down to the boiler room to make a visual inspection of that area. Once a week I check the emergency generator to make sure it is operating. Check in with the office for any issues, and check my email to see if any of the faculty need anything. I then set up the upper gym and auditorium for lunch. I spend periods five, six, seven, and eight in the cafeteria for lunch, and ninth period I sweep and mop the floor. The last half hour I spend going over items with my second shift, replying to emails, or putting in a work order to have something fixed.

NAEye: What part of your job brings you the most joy?

Mr. Heiry: I find joy in just being able to help with whatever I can! Taking care of the building is a team effort from the custodial staff, teachers, and administrators all working together.

NAEye: What is one thing you would like all students to know?

Mr. Heiry:  Whatever you do in life, take pride in your work, always work hard, and don’t take shortcuts, because in the long run it doesn’t pay!

Without Mr. Heiry, NAI would not be the bright and shining building it is now. NAI students and staff are all thankful for the hard work and effort Mr. Heiry puts into his work every day, and there is, without a doubt, nobody more deserving of this award than him. On behalf of NAI, thank you Mr. Heiry!