PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County school janitor was recognized as the best in the nation. She won the first-ever “Rockstar” Award from The Academy of Cleaning Excellence.

Nicole Martone is everyone’s cheerleader at Cross Bayou Elementary. On Friday, the school gathered to cheer on the woman they know and love as “Miss Nikki.”

Plant operators, janitors, cleaning crew – whatever you call them, they’re usually working hard behind the scenes to help keep school facilities running and clean so students have a healthy environment to learn.

Miss Nikki was nominated for this award by her boss for the hard work she puts in and the special bond she has with students.

The word ‘Custodian’ stands for Communication, Utilizing Resources, Service to Others, Takes Ownership, Optimistic, Determined, Integrity, Analyze and Nurture.

Here’s the application Miss Nikki’s boss submitted on her behalf about why she is the best in the nation:

C – Communication: Nikki listens to what is needed and will ask questions if she is not sure. She has worked with me long enough that she just “knows” what is expected. She relays directions to the crew as needed. Teachers also know that they can come to her with any “needs.”

U – Utilize Resources: Nikki attended 160 hours of unpaid classes (on Saturdays.) She received the Certified Custodian title and continued to receive the Master Custodian title (from the Florida School Plant Management Assoc, Inc.) She also makes sure that she is with me when I am working on something that she never has tried.

S – Service to Others: Nikki volunteers for field trips, carnival, open house. She will help teachers with any needs they may have, be it getting things out of car, moving around a classroom or a quick clean up.

T- Takes Ownership: Nikki shows pride in her work. Every task she is given is done with quality. She is the first person to let me know if something has happened, or there has been a change in the plan. She always accepts the liability for the crew.

O- Optimistic: Nikki is one of the most optimistic people I know. “There is always something good in every day!” Never seems flustered by anything thrown at her. She always has a smile! She has a “can do” attitude.

D – Determined: If we have something scheduled for the evening, she will pull the crew and get it done. Even with a million other things happening at the same time! She will go that extra mile to finish it, set it up, tear it down, all with a positive attitude.

I – Integrity: She won’t go against her values just to please someone. She leads by example to the children “that you can do anything you set your mind to.” She will stand up and do her job with confidence and not take shortcuts. She always does more than what is expected to help keep the school running smoothly. Her strength of integrity and character are things that impress me, and I respect her very much.

A – Analyze: She looks at ways to do things from many angles and procedures when we have set ups for concerts, graduations, etc. She makes sure that extra chairs are waiting in the wings (just in case.)

N – Nurture: She is a natural! She is everyone’s cheerleader! Boosts morale, always has time for a child or a teacher! The crew knows they can come to her if unsure of what to do in work or life.