Last Friday, Dec. 2, Truman Cook, also known as “Mr. Happy,” celebrated his 65th birthday by retiring from his job of driving school buses for Lake County Schools.

“He has only driven the bus 12 years, but has made such an incredible impact on three schools of students and parents over that time,” said MelissaMeadows, instructional dean and school safety chair at Treadway Elementary School. “He is the most amazing man you will ever meet and forms such a bond with the students.  He drives anywhere from 50-70 students each way, multiplied by three different schools.”

She added, “He has been such a positive influence to the students, including my own son. The students and parents cried when they heard about his retirement.”

Treadway Elementary School organized a “honk-out celebration and parade” around the school’s bus loop, with students and staff there with banners, signs and posters. Once his bus was loaded, the other nine buses escorted him through a full circle of the bus loop and onto the road, and honking him out one last time, Meadows said.

Cook is well-known at Treadway, Tavares Middle and Tavares High schools, according to Meadows, who called him “the happiest bus driver ever.”

Enjoy a happy retirement, Mr. Happy!

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