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Bus driver who shares special bond with Lee’s Summit student gets award for kindness

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- We’ve heard of special bonds between teachers and students, but one 11-year-old has a unique bond. His admiration goes beyond the classroom and on to the school bus.

To 150 students who ride Willard Park’s school bus every day, he’s known as "Big Will".

Big Will has been captain of bus 144 for more than 11 years.

“I used to have a route with all three grade schools, elementary, middle and high school. And it was like, I love to see them grow up,” he said.

He’s seen Yasir Winston grow from kindergarten to now fifth grade. Yasir says Big Will is no ordinary bus driver.

“On Friday he tells us to have a good weekend, and whenever we start singing on the bus, he sings with us,” Yasir said. “He talks to us, jokes around with us.”

That’s why Yasir nominated his bus driver for the Lee’s Summit CARES Reflections of Character award. Big Will won for kindness.

“I thought it was a joke,” Big Will said.

It’s an annual award created by the community to showcase the community. It’s the first time a school bus driver won.

“They didn’t have to give it to me, I’m here for the kids,” he said.