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Tennant Company Announces Grand Prize Winner in Fifth Annual Custodians Are Key Program

Standout winner Izet Subasic and his Missouri-based school received awards totaling $15,000

Tennant Company (NYSE: TNC), a world leader in designing, manufacturing, and marketing solutions to reinvent how the world cleans, today announced the grand-prize winner in its 2023-2024 Custodians Are Key program. From a field of more than 1,700 nominations and 12 finalists, Izet S., a custodian at Saint Ambrose on the Hill Catholic School in Missouri, won the top prize. A celebration at the school took place on Friday, May 10, 2024, where Tennant honored the winning custodian and school with a $15,000 prize package.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Tennant Company awards Izet Subasic and St. Ambrose on the Hill Grand Prize Award (Photo: Business Wire)

Tennant Company awards Izet Subasic and St. Ambrose on the Hill Grand Prize Award (Photo: Business Wire)

“Izet’s dedication and service to the school in his care show exactly why Custodians Are Key,” said Dave Huml, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tennant. “His contributions illustrate the essential role custodians play in our communities, and we are proud to celebrate his well-deserved recognition — along with the rest of our finalists this year and all the custodians who work every day to make shared spaces clean, safe, and welcoming. At Tennant, we are proud to support schools like St. Ambrose and individuals like Izet in their dedication to ensure a positive learning environment for students, faculty, and staff.”

Izet was nominated by fourth-grade teacher Emily Elmore. Izet's story exemplifies the very essence of the program — going above and beyond to create a welcoming and supportive environment for students and staff. Ms. Elmore's Custodians Are Key submission paints a heartwarming picture of Izet's dedication that extends far beyond keeping the school clean.

Elmore noted that Izet is originally from Bosnia and worked hard to learn English, often with the help of the school’s students. He was “beaming ear to ear” when he passed the U.S. citizenship test and voted in his first election — proudly wearing his “I Voted” sticker throughout the halls of St. Ambrose.

Every year, Elmore invites Izet to her classroom as a guest speaker to share his story of immigration and hardship to teach students what freedom in the U.S. truly means. He connects with students on a personal level, too, playing soccer with them at recess, engaging in friendly arm-wrestling matches, and receiving countless hugs from younger students. He's even the assistant coach for one of the eighth-grade soccer teams!

“Izet is more than a custodian to us. He is our friend and a significant part of our community. He willingly lends a hand to students, staff, and even community members who need help. He greets the students every morning and even challenges them to games of chess and soccer. He makes sure everyone is comfortable and safe during times of extreme heat or cold. Izet can fix anything! This year, he also served as the assistant coach of the school’s eighth-grade soccer team. Our school would never be the same without him,” said Michele Grellner, St. Ambrose principal. “We’re very grateful for this recognition of someone who has a great impact on our school and for the grand prize from Tennant. This will help us continue our mission to provide the best education for our students.”

Custodians Are Key Award Background

Tennant’s Custodians Are Key recognition program, now in its fifth year, honors and rewards the great work of K-12 custodians in schools around the U.S. and Canada. The 2023-2024 program started with a call for submissions on Sept. 12, 2023. Nominations officially closed on Oct. 31, 2023, and 12 finalists were selected.

The finalists in this year’s competition were: DeVante Q. of Paxinosa Elementary in Pennsylvania, Crystal I. of Birney Tech Academy in California, Chris D. of Stringfellow Elementary School in Georgia, Austin S. of Berryton Elementary School in Kansas, Dan B. of Kellogg High School in Idaho, John C. of Slater Middle School in Rhode Island, Rodger C. of St. Anne’s Catholic Elementary School in Ontario, Angie H. of Vermilion Elementary school in Ohio, Danny A. of Frank Kohn Elementary School in California, Eric D. of Millville Elementary in Utah, and Scott S. of Mauston High School in Wisconsin.

Izet joins four previous winners of the Custodians Are Key program: Fabian E. of Keith & Karen Hayes Elementary School in Nevada, Kris K. of Hayes Elementary in Ohio, Alonzo H. of Brownsville Middle School in Florida, and Gladys H. of Blue Valley CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) in Kansas.

To learn more about Tennant Company’s Custodians Are Key program, please visit

About Tennant

Founded in 1870, Tennant Company (TNC), headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of solutions that help create a cleaner, safer and healthier world. Its products include equipment for maintaining surfaces in industrial, commercial and outdoor environments; detergent-free and other sustainable cleaning technologies; and cleaning tools and supplies. Tennant's global field service network is the most extensive in the industry. Tennant Company had sales of $1.24 billion in 2023 and has approximately 4,500 employees. Tennant has manufacturing operations throughout the world and sells products directly in 15 countries and through distributors in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit and The Tennant Company logo and other trademarks designated with the symbol “®” are trademarks of Tennant Company registered in the United States and/or other countries.


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