School bus driver braids hair every morning for student who lost her mother

"Her confidence is way up," the girl's father told ABC News.

A kind bus driver in Utah has been styling the hair of an 11-year-old student whose mother died two years ago.

Tracy Dean, 47, who has been driving a bus for Alpine School District for 10 years, recently began braiding the hair of a young student on her morning route, Isabella Pieri.

"I can tell she was struggling with her hair," Dean told ABC News. "We usually do two French braids first and once in a while she just wants one braid. I also taught her how to brush her hair.

"She'd get on the bus and she'd say, 'I brushed my hair. Does it look good?'" Dean said. "I'll say, 'You did awesome.'"

Isabella's mom, Patricia Pieri, died two years ago from a rare brain illness, the girl's father, Philip Pieri, told ABC News.

Philip Pieri, 47, said he works grueling hours at a convenience store near his home in American Fork, Utah. When his wife died, he would "attempt" to fix his daughter's hair, he said.

"She'd get mad at me for pulling her hair," Pieri said. "I didn't know how to do it. One day [Isabella] came home and it looked beautiful. I call her my princess and she looks the part, she plays the part and her confidence is way up, which is what I've been intending."

Dean, who has four children including an 11-year-old of her own, said it's "no big deal" that she braids Isabella's hair each morning.

"It's just the way my mom raised me, to be nice to everyone -- people who need a little love in their life," Dean said. "I like to give all of the kids a chance -- even the naughty kids."

Pieri said he's extremely grateful to Dean for showing kindness to his little girl.

"She's such a nice woman," he said.

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