(CBSNEWS) – Every morning, the Mead Elementary school cafeteria is usually bustling with kids, hungry for breakfast. On Wednesday, the cafeteria was short staffed, but there were still hundreds of students who needed to be fed.

With several employees out on sick leave, the cafeteria was about to get chaotic. Three lines of kids would have to turn into one, and breakfast would get backed up.

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Principal Annette Lopez knew that out of 750 students at her school, about 400 of them received breakfast from the cafeteria — the most out of all the schools in the district. So, she threw on a hairnet, some gloves and an apron, and started serving the kids herself.

“When you serve that many students, there is no way that one line is just going to do it,” Lopez told local reporters. “I loved it and the kids had fun, one of the kids said, ‘Hey, I know you,’ and I said, ‘Yes, I’m the principal.'”

Despite being the principal, Lopez did not feel she was too high on the totem pole to serve food. In fact, she felt it was her duty to put on a hairnet and help out.

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“The kids loved it. They were like, ‘Ms. Lopez, I didn’t know you were a cafeteria lady, too.’ And so I kept telling them, ‘You know, principals do whatever it takes,'” Lopez said. “It got around to the teachers, and that’s when they started taking pictures.”

A photo of Lopez behind the counter, plating eggs for kids, was posted on the elementary school’s Twitter. Within 24 hours, it had 300 likes. She became a bit of a local celebrity when her teachers and students began spreading the word.

Lopez said it’s really her staff at Mead Elementary School that deserve credit for supporting their students everyday.

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