Dallas School Janitor Needs Votes to Win Nationwide Contest

A Dallas elementary school janitor has been named a finalist in a nationwide "Janitor of the Year" contest.

The contest is put on my Cintas Corporation, a national cleaning company.

If Enrique Mendez, a janitor at J.L. Long Middle School, wins, he'll receive a $5,000 cash prize and the school will receive a $5,000 makeover.

But Enrique needs votes to win.

Starting now through April 15, the public can vote online. The person who receives the most votes will win.

Here's a little information about him: 

Enrique is the backbone of J.L. Long Middle School. His work and dedication affects not only the health and safety of the students and staff, but also the morale and atmosphere of the school.

Working tirelessly to clean and maintain the school for its 1,350 students and staff, Enrique has been working with a limited custodial staff for the past year without complaint – often working 12-hour days and even some weekends in order to keep the school in tip-top shape.

To vote for Enrique Mendez, CLICK HERE.

Mendez was a bit nervous and embarrassed when he spoke to NBC 5 about the honor.

"Everything that concerns my job, I like it," Mendez said through a translator. "I'm glad, I'm happy with the job."

As for the nomination and top ten spot, he's a bit embarrassed.

"Mr. Mendez told me it was my fault that we're in the situation we're in," joked principal Chandra Barnett.

Jokes aside, it's a situation for which Mendez is grateful.

"I am very thankful with kids, their parents, the personnel here in school and, of course, if everyone votes for me, I'll be even happier," he said.

But he'd be happier getting to work than talking about the honor, at least with us.

"Yeah, that's what I'd like to be doing right now," he said.

Students are being given the opportunity to celebrate a support staff member who shines himself as much as he keeps the campus clean and shiny.

"If we need him to come in at 6 a.m., he's here, with no question, always with a smile," Barnett said. "He does everything to make sure our building is safe and clean for the students and the staff."

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