LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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John Hartert

Position: Custodian
School: Plainview-Elgin-Millville 4-6 Elementary
School District: Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools
City, State: Elgin, MN

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John Hartert was nominated by his principal, Clark Olstad.

Mr. Hartert is an amazing custodian at the Plainview-Elgin-Millville 4-6 Elementary School. He gives the maximum amount of effort on a daily basis to keep the entire building looking amazing. Cleaning the building is definitely more than a job for Mr. Hartert; it's something he takes an enormous amount of pride in at all times. It's rare for a custodian to be given such a high level of respect from all the staff and students in their building. This respect has been earned and upheld by Mr. Hartert during his years of work at his school.

“Every school year, multiple staff members contact me and say that Mr. Hartert is the best custodian they have ever had the privilege of working with," Olstad said. "The staff continues to make comments about how their room, desktops, walls, sinks, windows, and more are kept clean at all times throughout the school year."

Mr. Hartert goes above and beyond the normal duties of a custodian. Some examples of the extra special things he does include

  • leaving treats on the desks of all 350 students and staff members;
  • decorating the cafeteria during holidays;
  • bringing in decorations for multiple school musical concerts, and;
  • cooking food during the school year for staff to enjoy.

Olstad recalled a quote from Rebecca Solnit that reminded him of Mr. Hartert, “Every minute of every hour of every day you are making the world, just as you are making yourself, and you might as well do it with generosity and kindness and style.” This quote relates to Mr. Hartert because it represents the type of outstanding individual he is every day at school.

"He is one of the most generous, kind, caring individuals I have ever had the privilege to work with," Olstad said. "He is, and will continue to be, a LifeChanger to many students, staff, and families at Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools!”



Comments (8)


Kris Bedney Posted over a year ago

Mr. Olstad, your comments are spot on! John has a heart of gold and gives 150% in everything he does! P.E.M. is blessed to have hIs beautiful spirit apart of there school system! Way to go my friend!

Sandy Riess Posted over a year ago

Simply an a amazing person!

Sandy Riess Posted over a year ago

John is an amazing person no matter where he is!

Eleanor Groby Posted over a year ago

Proud to call you my cousin I am sure it’s the Costello in you don’t you think

Peggy Hartert oates Posted over a year ago

Good job cuz.

Mary L. Hartert Fritz Posted over a year ago

I am not surprised in the least that my brother, John Hartert, would be lauded in this aspect. John has always paid superior attention to detail, kindness, and generosity....since childhood. Well done, John, I am not surprised in the least by this accolade. John has paid close attention to kindness, generosity, and detail since childhood. He's a self starter and always has been. Well done, John.

Donna Tlougan Posted over a year ago

Awesome John it was a great privilege to have had the time I've had to work with you. You're one person that should be put on a pedestal. Congrats to you.

Frannyschwantz Posted over a year ago

Totally agree! He’s a gem! That smile is everpresent! He definitely has my vote and my grandkids vote!!!!