Scotts Valley Custodian

Scotts Valley Middle School's Aristeo Flores is a finalist in in the 2019 Custodian of the Year contest. (Cintas Corp. -- contributed)

The brand new gym at Scotts Valley Middle School shook with 530 cheering students, stomping feet and the sounds of Latin music on May 15 as a surprised Aristeo Flores was crowned “2019 Custodian of the Year” by Cintas Corporation.

Known for his warm, kind smile, Flores is an integral part of the Scotts Valley Middle School community. His gentle demeanor, sense of humor and hard work has left a positive impact on students past and present for the last 17 years. So, when the opportunity came for Scotts Valley to show their appreciation for all Flores does, they swept the national contest, and Flores won with more than 30 percent of the vote.

In an emotional speech from his son Miguel, Flores was described as someone who’s been an underdog his whole life. “My dad is an immigrant from Mexico who came here for the American Dream. Now I know why at 73-years old he never talks about retiring. I get it – this is why he doesn’t retire. You guys are the reason he doesn’t retire,” said Miguel.

“The Custodian of the Year contest celebrates the many ways custodians make a difference in our schools,” said Jillian Bauer, Cintas Marketing Manager. “It’s clear from Aristeo’s win and the support that he’s received from day-one of this contest, that he is not only loved by his school, but by the community as well.”

In addition to Flores winning a cool $5,000, Scotts Valley Middle School also received $5,000 in products and services from Cintas.

Christina Wise is a writer, reporter, and community advocate who resides in Felton. She writes for the Press Banner on housing, education, arts and culture. Contact her at

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