He moved to the U.S. to pursue the American Dream, and today, Scotts Valley Middle School custodian Aristeo Flores was crowned the best-of-the-best in his field as the 2019 Custodian of the Year. Being a school custodian is hard work, but 73-year-old Aristeo refuses to retire because he loves the students in the small town of Scotts Valley.
Known for his warm, kind smile, Aristeo is an integral part of the SVMS 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.
When the opportunity came for his town of 12,000 to show him just how much he means to them, they swept the national contest and won with more than 30 percent of the vote. With over 278,600 votes, Aristeo Flores of Scotts Valley Middle School was crowned the 2019 Custodian of the Year!
Aristeo will receive a $5,000 cash prize and his school will also receive $5,000 in products and services.
During a surprise award presentation ceremony at the school, Aristeo was met with 530 overjoyed students who thought they were attending a pep rally. Complete with T-shirt cannons, giant balloons, a staff dance and an ice cream truck with treats for the whole school, it was clear why the 73-year-old isn’t ready to retire – his love of the students.
In an emotional speech from his son Miguel, Aristeo 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.”