School bus driver braids girl’s hair every morning since her mom passed away

Braiding hair every day is a hard routine to manage, especially for an 11-year-old girl on her own. Isabella Pieri’s mom used to fix her hair in the morning before school— but that was before she passed away from a rare illness.

After that, all Isabella could do was brush her hair and stick it into a ponytail before she got on the bus. That was until Tracy Dean, Isabella’s sweet bus driver, stepped in. Now, she gets her hair braided nearly every morning on her way to school in Utah’s Alpine School District, and it’s all thanks to Dean and her selfless acts of kindness.

Salt Lake City’s KSL-TV first reported on the uplifting story of the kind gesture Dean does to make Isabella’s days start a little better.


“You treat them like your own kids, you know,” Dean told KSL.

It all started when Isabella saw Dean helping another girl fix her braid. She got up the courage and asked Dean if she could have her hair braided next. The driver has been braiding Isabella’s hair ever since. She told the TV station her own battle with breast cancer inspired her to help the girl whose mother had been taken from her so early.

Isabella’s dad, Philip Pieri, is grateful for the help, too. He apparently leaves for work too early to help the girl get ready and told KSL that he took the drastic measure of giving her a crew cut just to make sure his daughter’s hair didn’t need much care.

school bus photo
Getty Images | Mario Tama

Now with longer hair again, the girl told the TV station Dean’s styling does a lot for her.

“It makes me feel like she’s a mom pretty much to me,” Isabella told KSL. “And it makes me excited for the next day to see what she does.”

Going The Extra Mile

Dean isn’t the only school bus driver who’s gone above and beyond for students. In 2016, Maryland bus driver Reneita Smith saved all 20 children that were on her bus when it caught on fire because she feels as though she’s a parent to any student that boards.

“As I’m driving that bus, they’re my babies,” Smith told Washington’s WTTG-TV. “I’m their mom until I drop them off to their biological moms.”


While not a bus driver, the story of a North Carolina crossing guard who gave out free coats to kids last winter really warmed our hearts!

Parents can rest easier knowing that their kids are surrounded by caring adults like this when they head to school each day. Do you have any stories of school officials going out of their way to help kids out?

RELATED: This dad went to school to learn how to style his daughter’s hair, and now he teaches his skills to other dads!