Students at an elementary school in Illinois lined up for a long time to get their yearbooks signed by a beloved custodian, and a photo of the heartwarming event has gone viral.
Alan Shepard Elementary School students in Bourbonnais, Illinois, is like many other schools around the country. As the year comes to an end and kids are ready for summer vacation, there’s the tradition of getting their yearbooks signed by their friends.
In the case of this elementary school, the custodian seems to be the most popular person, so much so that kids patiently waited in line for a long time to get his autograph. Anyone looking at the picture and not knowing the heartwarming story behind it would think he is a celebrity.
On June 2, students at the elementary school were allowed time to exchange signatures in their yearbooks, according to WGN TV. However, Mr. Steve, the custodian, was the person who was getting all the attention.
Apparently the second grade students at the elementary school love their janitor and custodian Steve Weidner, or Mr. Steve as the kids call him. Principal Shirley Padera talked about the special bond between the students and Weidner.
“He pays attention to the kids…he knows who they are. The kids know if anything happens, Mr. Steve is going to take care of it.”
“He goes above and beyond. He’s loved by all the students and the teachers. He’s great!”
At least half of the 104 enrolled second grade students waited patiently to get Mr. Steve’s signature on their yearbooks. The rest of the kids had already gotten his signature when the viral photo was taken.
Alan Shepard Elementary School posted the photo on Facebook and enthusiastically called the custodian a “rock star.”
“Shepard Custodian Steve ‘Mr. Steve’ Weidner has reached Rock Star status as he autographs yearbooks for his ‘fans!'”
After Adam Joins shared the photo on Reddit Friday morning, it went viral with 1.5 million views in less than five hours. Now, after 16 hours on the website, it has been viewed more than 3 million times, with hundreds of comments from users.
The feel-good story certainly touched hearts on social media, and everyone is talking about Mr. Steve. One Facebook user recalls when she was asked to signed students’ yearbooks.
“Proof that EVERY person working in the school means something to these kids.”
“I was a lunch room monitor a couple years ago for a K-5 school. 5th graders asked me to sign their yearbooks and for hugs on their last day.”
In an age where we constantly hear about wrongdoing at schools, it is refreshing to read about how much these elementary school kids love their janitor.
[Image via Facebook]