Larger Than Life Personality Says Goodbye to Students in Richardson

“Thousands of students through the years have come to love “Mr. Willie” as much as he loves all of us.”

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Students, families and teachers from Spring Creek Elementary in the Richardson ISD said goodbye to a school favorite, and it was a send-off fit for a larger-than-life personality.

"Mr. Willie" always right there at the front door with a big smile, and his big voice, to greet students with music and a megaphone in hand. And he's been way more than a daytime custodian at Spring Creek.

Administrators tell us he's been the watchful eye, the go-to-guy, and the "heartbeat" of the school. But his time there has come to an end. Mr. Willie is retiring this month after more than a decade at the school, and they wanted to send him off right.

They kicked off celebrations with a drive-thru parade during school drop-off Thursday morning.

"We're going to miss him so much," Perkins, principal at Spring Creek, said. "Every morning, just if you're having a bad day, you need to go have a conversation with Mr. Willie and that will change really fast. He's always got music going, he's got a smile on his face, he's just amazing." 

"I just love doing it," said Willie Bernard. "Watch the children do that double time and running. After a while I can't run, I let them run for me. So when they run I get tired, and when they run I sweat for them. I say man, ya'll got me sweating. I'm just going to miss the kids and the teachers and everybody, that's all.”  

Mr. Willie came to Dallas from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and since he arrived, he's shared a heartful of love bigger than Texas!    

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