Janyce "JJ" Johnson celebrates 50 years on the job with Kickert School Bus Lines

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Colleagues old and new came out to celebrate Janyce Johnson's 50th anniversary as a driver for Kickert School Bus Lines.

"Kind of embarrassed, you know, I don't feel like I earned it," she said. "I just come to work every day!"

But it's that humble attitude and her strong work ethnic and leadership skills that are so appreciated by her fellow drivers.

"JJ is a wonderful, wonderful person, if you want to have an employee that comes to work, does her job, you don't even know she's around- she's perfect," said DeAnne Montella, Operation Manager Kickert School Bus Lines.

"I've been in the business since 2006 and I've never send anything like this before, but it is a joyous occasion," said Felicia Diggs with Kickert School Bus Lines.

"It feels inspirational to have somebody who works that long and the great reward too of being a dedicated worker is finding out how many people appreciate it, just by the crowd that came out to help her celebrate," said Lynwood Mayor Eugene Williams.

When you do anything for 50 years, it's bound to come full circle - in JJ's case, many of her colleagues used to be students on her bus!

"I've absolutely known her, she was, in my high school my senior year she was my bus driver," said Debbie Ciplar. "It's wonderful, absolutely wonderful, so you know I think the world of her!"

JJ said the biggest change since she started has been the attitude of the older students.

"When you're young, they think you're one of them and they kind of want to listen to you, and then you have that time when you're 30, 40 and they think you're their mother and they don't want to listen," Johnson said. "But now they think you're their grandma and they want to listen again!"

For now, JJ said she looks forward to the day when in-school learning resumes and she can see all her students once again.
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