Marshall County Schools announced Wednesday that Benton Elementary School’s “Mr. Terry,” Terry Tackett, has been selected as a national finalist for the 2021 Custodian of the Year award. The 10 finalists were selected by the Cintas Corporation from over 2,000 nominations.

Tackett joined the district as a custodian after retiring as a pipefitter and loves helping BES staff and students. A release from the school district speaks to him taking pride in his work “and has spent many hours in the early mornings and late evenings perfecting the ins and outs of cleaning, waxing, scrubbing and stripping floors.”

The release added that Tackett has cleaned up the school’s landscaping before school starts and also constructed a sensory room at the school for students with disabilities.

Tackett and all of Benton Elementary’s custodial team are a critical part of the operation of the school, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic with cleaning, sanitizing and adjusting rooms for social distancing.

As part of the contest, the greatest number of public votes determines the winner as 2021 Custodian of the Year. The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize along with $5,000 in products and services for his or her school from Cintas and Rubbermaid Commercial Products.

The winner’s school will also receive a comprehensive training and development package from ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, valued at $20,000. A cash prize of $1,000 each and free tuition to one ISSA Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) training event, valued at $1,500, will be awarded to the remaining nine finalists.

To vote for “Mr. Terry,” visit the Cintas site at and select his name at the bottom of the page. Voting is open through April 16. Visitors to the website may cast one vote per day throughout the entire voting period.