CHICAGO (CBS) — A west suburban high school principal and school superintendent found a unique way to welcome students back to school on Wednesday.

Willowbrook High School principal Dan Krause and DuPage High School District 88 Supt. Scott Helton rode the bus with students on the first day of the new school year.

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That first bus ride of the year is tough enough for most students who wish they could still sleep in, but what if your principal joins you?

“It’s kind of awkward,” one girl said.

“I think it’s pretty amazing,” one classmate said. “I think it shows that he cares.”

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Krause said he’s done it for four years, and often students don’t know what’s happening until he smiles, and tells them he’s just there to help ease their anxiety.

“That first day of school’s a little bit different. You know, the lockers may have changed, classrooms have changed, teachers’ faces have changed a little bit, in terms of who we have on staff. So we want to make sure it’s comfortable for them from day one,” Krause said.

Helton also has been riding the bus with students on the first day of class for several years.

“It’s fun. You know what? You can feel the energy. You’ll see that today; just the enthusiasm. The kids are excited to go back; fresh start,” he said. “There’s just an excitement in the air.”

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By the end of the trip, students were posing for selfies with Krause, and as they walked into school, they got another surprise: a greeting from the school marching band to welcome them back.