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Kids line up for their beloved janitor to sign the yearbooks: 'He's a role model'

He is known for his great problem solving skills and being gentle and friendly with all the students.

Kids line up for their beloved janitor to sign the yearbooks: 'He's a role model'
Image Source: Facebook/Bourbonnais Elementary School District

A little kindness and generosity can make someone's day and put a smile on their face. These students decided to honor their school janitor in the most wholesome and kind way possible. On June 2, 104 second-graders surrounded Steve Widner at Alan Shepard Elementary School in Bourbonnais, Illinois, seeking to get their yearbooks autographed.

The 46-year-old custodian was just walking across the playground and did not have any idea about what was to happen. He then saw a swarm of students waiting for him. He told TODAY, "It was pretty overwhelming for me with them all screaming for my attention and waving their yearbooks in the air." However, they quickly formed a line and waited for their turn to get their yearbooks signed by Widner. "I sat down, it ended up being really fun," he said. 


Students who didn't have their yearbooks signed outdoors weren't left out as Weidner walked into classes to sign them and even had students bring their yearbooks to lunch. He's signed kids' yearbooks for 15 years at Shepard, but he's never had the turnout he did that year. Shirley Padera, the school's principal, told the outlet, "He’s a role model for the students and someone they know they can go to whenever they need him — whether a ball flies over a fence or they get sick. No problem is too big for Mr. Steve."

Weidner gets to know the students well at lunch. He'll sit down with them and chat about their days, and kids frequently want him to tell jokes. He said, "I love being around kids. The students are very comfortable around me and know if they need anything all they have to do is raise their hands." Weidner has signed around 300 yearbooks and has stated that he would continue the tradition in the future. 

Image Source: Reddit
Image Source: Reddit


He added, "The students are what makes every day a joy to go to work. I do it for the kids."

A snapshot of the second graders standing in line was posted on the Bourbonnais School District's Facebook page. On Reddit, the picture has gathered over 50k upvotes and thousands of comments. 

A Reddit user commented, "I think it's awesome an employee with no obligation to be a part of these children's lives has made such an impact they're willing to wait in line just for his signature. I would like to know how many teachers had students line up for their signatures. What a guy." Several people revealed how their school janitors were the most incredible and helpful people they have ever met. 

Image Source: Reddit
Image Source: Reddit


A user shared, "My elementary school janitor was awesome. He would let us help by taping the extra prices of scrubby stuff from the floor cleaner machine to our shoes and we could scrub out black sneaker streaks." Another added, "I've really liked the janitors at my schools. In Secondary school, they were really cool guys and at my university, he was the best. The Janitor at my uni was like the coolest most chill guy ever."

A Reddit user shared how their school honored the janitor, "At my elementary school our janitor retired and the entire school has a ceremony for him where we all lined up outside and sang him a farewell song. The song was actually written specifically for him. It was a really special moment."

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