Hall of Fame

2022 – Lydell Henderson Presidential Park Elementary School (Middletown, New York)

According to staff at Presidential Park Elementary School, Lydell is not only a hard worker who has made coming back to school in person possible by reconfiguring cleaning protocols and procedures, but he is an extraordinary human. One day while he was cleaning the cafeteria, a student began choking, and Lydell immediately jumped into action. He performed the Heimlich Maneuver on the student and saved their life, which the school is forever grateful for. While he has been at his current school for nine years, he is well-known for his unmatched professionalism the last 34 years in the school district.

Other Finalists from 2022

  • Rigoberto (Rigo) Bedolla – Las Animas Elementary School (Gilroy, Calif.)
  • Becky Burkhart – Chadwick School (Chadwick, Mo.)
  • Gerald Carter – Pike Road Elementary School (Pike Road, Ala.)
  • Frank DiPaolo – Washington Irving Elementary School (Oak Park, Ill.)
  • Ilka Jenkins – Bricker Elementary School (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
  • Raymond Johnson – Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Va.)
  • James Lewis – Beltsville Academy (Beltsville, Md.)
  • David (Dave) Martin – Whitebead Public School (Pauls Valley, Okla.)
  • Louis (Lou) McCullen – Pohatcong Township School (Phillipsburg, N.J.)

2021 – Mike Heiry - North Allegheny Intermediate High School (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mr. Heiry is one of the friendliest and most dedicated people at North Allegheny Intermediate High School (NAI). Loved for his positive energy and kindness, Mr. Heiry consistently goes out of his way to make sure that students and staff are in a safe and clean environment. There’s no waiting with Mr. Heiry; when a request is put in, he addresses it immediately with pride and a big smile. Even when dealing with uncertainties and cleaning protocol changes amid the pandemic, he always makes time to ask the students and staff how they’re doing each day. No task is too big for Mr. Heiry and that’s what makes him such an essential part of NAI.

Other Finalists from 2021

  • Christopher Bowman (Mentor, OH)
  • Bobbi Sue Burbey (Wrightstown, WI)
  • Robert Buster (Northglenn, CO)
  • Francesco (Franco) Catalano (Itasca, IL)
  • Donna Colello (Portland, ME)
  • Charles Harris (Chamblee, GA)
  • Edward Straub (Greer, SC)
  • Terry Tackett – (Benton, KY)
  • John Wheeler – (Orlando, FL)

2020 – Howell Beasley - Albertville Kindergarten & Pre-K (Albertville, Alabama)

Mr. Howell’s job title may be Custodian, but to the 600 students at Albertville Kindergarten & Pre-K, he’s a superhero. Mr. Howell greets each class with a sincere and warm “Good Morning” and goes above and beyond to make students feel supported. When some children are having a tough day, Mr. Howell makes them “his buddy” and enlists their help with picking up trash around the school to distract them from their troubles. If someone is in need in our school or community, Mr. Howell saves the day by helping to ensure they feel special and have everything they need. He even takes time out of his day to escort a student with blindness up and down the busy hallways to assure she makes it to class safely. His unwavering dedication and pride in his work constantly touches the lives of every person at Albertville Kindergarten & Pre-K.

Other Finalists from 2020

  • Wallace Manns
  • Tarelle Campbell
  • Niyaz Gasanov
  • Gregory Fisher
  • Elia Ramirez
  • Dossie Langford
  • Cindy Hain
  • Bron Clayton
  • Benjamin Zimmerman

2019 Winner – Aristeo Flores - Scotts Valley Middle School (Scotts Valley, CA)

Aristo Flores always has a warm, kind smile on his face. Over the last 17 years, his gentle demeanor, sense of humor and hard work has left a positive impact on Scotts Valley Middle School. For the last two and a half years, Aristeo has been instrumental in keeping the school moving forward during a major construction project. He has helped all teachers and staff move from classroom to classroom, to storage to gymnasium, to theater to storage, and back again! He is always willing to lend a hand even when the task takes extra time and isn’t part of his normal routine. Students and staff are grateful for his steadfast presence and interest in the well-being of all.

2018 Winner – Bob Cook “Mr. Bob” - Sands Montessori (Cincinnati, OH)

Before kicking off a new school year at Sands Montessori, teachers and faculty gather for an annual cookout where they can expect their beloved janitor, Mr. Bob, to grill up his famous burgers, hot dogs and side dishes. When school is in session, Mr. Bob is always around to give fist bumps to students, fill flat tires for parents, keep the school’s vegetable garden flourishing and participate in any and every school event. In fact, when Sands Montessori kicked off their Play 50 program, Mr. Bob happily stepped out on stage in a tutu and wig, earning a thunderous roar of applause and giggles from over 700 students. While he does have a silly side, Mr. Bob is also known for his kind, gentle and caring spirit as he handles tough situations with ease. When funds run low, Mr. Bob steps in and buys the supplies needed to keep Sands Montessori a clean, tidy and safe learning environment for all.

2017 Winner – Ted Qualli Jr. “Mr. Qualli” - Newtown Elementary school (Newtown, PA)

Described as the glue that keeps the school together, Ted Qualli has a special place in the hearts of Newtown Elementary’s students and staff. From getting balls off the roof to helping a teacher jump their car, he plays many roles and cares a great deal for the students who walk through the door each day. As a veteran, he can be seen showing his old uniform to students on Veteran’s Day and teaching them about his service to our country. He is also an avid gardener and each year brings in plants lovingly grown in his home garden for every student and teaches them how to care for them. But perhaps the most impressive thing about Ted? He calls every one of Newtown’s 850 students by name.

2016 Winner – Jerome Lewis - Crestline Elementary School (Mountain Brook, AL)

There is not a child, teacher or parent who doesn’t love “Mr. Jerome.” Described as the heart of Crestline Elementary School, Mr. Jerome makes every child, administrator, teacher, parent and visitor feel welcome. With a smile always on his face, Jerome has seen, smelled and cleaned it all – from bathrooms to locker rooms to the cafeteria. Two years ago, Jerome battled esophageal cancer; however, he never allowed it to slow him down at work and most certainly never allowed it to dampen his spirits. The children saw an adult who they love and care for go through an extremely difficult experience while never losing his smile, never becoming bitter and working hard to persevere. Always there to open the door or give a child a high five or hug, Jerome is one of a kind. He is a beam of sunshine for the children at school every day, and his optimism, encouragement and positivity are infectious. As one student puts it, “Jerome is a breath of fresh air even when the day stinks.”

2015 Winner – Sherry Albright - Trine University (Angola, IN)

Lovingly referred to as their “College Mom” by many students at Trine University, Sherry Albright touches many lives on campus. Regularly offering students hugs, coupons for food and advice on life, Sherry also volunteers for a youth after school program. During her 15 years at Trine, Sherry has made time to greet everyone she meets and help them all while helping make Trine University sparkle and shine. Often seen helping out a student sew a button onto a jacket or opening a door for those who have an armful of books, Sherry always does her job with a smile on her face, exudes positivity and looks for the best in every situation and person.

2014 – Patrick Peterson - North Valley High School (Reno, NV)