FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A custodian was nominated to win a national award for his work at a Forsyth County elementary school; all he needs now is votes.
Richard Toomey works as a custodian at Kelly Mill Elementary. After managing a pizzeria in New York, he moved to Georgia in 2007. After his move, he began working at the school.
"It's a little chaotic, but I always loved that," Toomey said.
Known affectionately by students and staff as “Mr. Rich,” he and his team work to keep every corner of the school clean. However, Toomey doesn’t just keep the school clean.
He completes any feat, big or small. Fifth grader Copelyn Fedorchuk remembers when the school’s popper broke, and Toomey stepped in to help.
"He fixed our popcorn maker, he saved the day," Fedorchuk said.
In addition to being handy, Toomey and his team make sure students feel welcomed when they walk in for class.
"He gives everyone high fives, he waves, he's just so fun. All the teachers are like, 'be quiet in the halls, but we're all like, Hi Mr. Rich!,'" the fifth grader said.
To show their appreciation for Toomey, he was nominated for Cintas Custodian of the Year. He is now one of 10 finalists nationwide for the prestigious award.
While Toomey’s got hundreds of Forsyth families rooting for him, there’s one kid cheering the loudest: his son, a second grader at the school.
"You really look at the kids and you want to protect them all as if they're your own family," he said.
If you would like to vote, click the link here.