"Mr. Steve! Mr. Steve!"

Steve Weidner, the janitor at Alan Shepard Elementary School in Bourbonnais, Illinois, was walking through the playground to get to another building last week when a group of second-graders who were having recess spotted him and ran over. They asked if Weidner — or "Mr. Steve" as he is known to all of the students at Alan Shepard — would sign their yearbooks. Within a few minutes, all 104 students from the second-grade class had come over with the same request. 

The school district recently posted the above picture of Weidner — taken as he was about halfway through the signatures. The remaining 50 or so kids still wait patiently in line for their turn to get an autograph.

So how did the school's janitor earn such rock-star cred?

"He pays attention to the kids… he knows who they are," Principal Shirley Padera said about Weidner. "The kids know if anything happens, Mr. Steve is going to take care of it."

Weidner, a father of four, has been a custodian at Alan Shepard Elementary School for the past 15 years. 

So what does Weidner think of his 15 minutes of viral fame? On his Facebook page, he posted:

"Very humbled by the response I have had by family, friends and also from people I have never met. [I]t is amazing to me! I love my job and my co workers and all the kids that I have come to know over the last fifteen or so years I have worked there. [B]ut at the end of the day this is about showing the kids that they are special and that they are what matters!!"

Awww. No wonder those kids love him.

Related on MNN:

Students line up to have the janitor sign their yearbooks
More than 100 second-graders stood patiently in line to get an autograph from 'Mr. Steve.'