Southern Local Schools Dulaneyis finalist in custodian contest

Share this story

Beverly Dulaney

Southern Local Schools staff member Beverly Dulaney could make a clean sweep as a finalist in the Tennant Company’s Fifth Annual Custodians are Key Contest.

Dulaney, who has been employed with the district for the past 28 years, is among 12 others who were nominated from around the country. The finalists each receive a $500 gift card, but one has a chance to earn the grand prize this spring, which includes a reward valued at $5,000 while the custodian’s school will gain $10,000.

She received a formal notification letter from the Michigan-based company as well as a certificate of recognition. In the correspondence, officials indicated that the contest was started in 2019 to herald the unsung heroes who help make our schools cleaner, safer and healthier places. 

“We launched the Custodians Are Key contest to recognize custodians for making their schools better, going above and beyond their daily jobs, and showing students and staff that they care,” the letter stated. “This school year has been challenging for so many reasons, and we know that custodians like you are doing all that they can to help keep students safe and in the classroom.”

 The Wellsville-area resident was surprised by the nomination and said the culprit remains a mystery.

 “I was so excited, and then I wanted to know who did it so I could personally thank them,” Dulaney said, adding she still didn’t know who was responsible.

 She said she felt fortunate to work at Southern and with the students. She’s no stranger to the district since her two children graduated from the school and her granddaughter, Paisley, currently attends the junior high.

   “I love working here. I love the kids and I like the people,” Dulaney continued. “They are amazing.”

  She noted that she has worked hard to maintain the elementary through high school buildings, but COVID proved to be a trying time for everyone.

 “It was a lot different,” she continued. “We had to keep the kids separated and that first year it was a big, big difference. There were extra tables, extra chairs and extra cleaning. It was virtually impossible.”

Still, she and the six-member maintenance staff kept on top of their tasks and she is grateful for it.

 “I’m very proud [of the nomination]. I take a lot of pride in this place anyway. If it’s clean, I think the kids do better. I think it makes a big difference.”

Southern Local Superintendent Tom Cunningham said Dulaney was a shining example of all the award epitomized.

 “Bev does a great job.  She takes pride in her performance, the district and community,” Cunningham said. “She is deserving of this recognition for all that she does.”

 Tennant Company will announce the winner this May. More information will be available online at and on the company’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages.


 Southern Local custodian Beverly Dulaney is one of 12 national finalists in the Tennant Company’s Fifth Annual Custodians are Key Contest. She is pictured with a certificate of recognition she received when she was notified of her nomination.

Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter

Interested in a monthl roundup of stories? Enter your email to be added to our mailing list.

Skip to content