<p>Ann Kania (second from left), a driver for We Transport Inc., has retired after more than four decades of service.&nbsp;Shown here from left is Bart Marksohn, president and owner of We Transport; Brian Marksohn, director; and Carmen Tomeo, CEO. Photo courtesy We Transport Inc.</p>
PLAINVIEW, N.Y. — A longtime school bus driver here has retired after more than four decades of service.

Ann Kania, a driver for N.Y.-based contractor We Transport Inc., began her career in 1976 with a bus route that traveled through Massapequa and Dix Hills before arriving at The Knox School in Smithtown, according to a news release from We Transport. At the time, she had just five high school passengers — a far cry from the full busloads of today, the school transportation company reports.

In addition to supervising an ever-increasing number of passengers, We Transport said Kania faced other challenges throughout her tenure, which included harsh winter snowstorms and adapting to a host of changes in bus technology. Through it all, the company said that Kania’s number-one priority was the safety of her students.

"We are proud of the longevity that Ann has achieved with our company and [are] so very thankful for her dedication to our organization,” said Bart Marksohn, president and owner of We Transport. “Ann is a bright star at We Transport, shining a spotlight on the safety of the students she transported for over four decades.”

Carmen Tomeo, the company's CEO, added that he is thrilled Kania had a positive experience with the organization and that it was “truly blessed” to have her be a part of the team and be a role model for current and new employees.

“The company was always fair to me; they always respected my seniority,” Kania said. “I’m very appreciative of what We Transport has done for me. I’m very happy to have worked here.”

When asked about what it takes to become a successful school bus driver, Kania responded with a list of requirements that included being friendly, respecting students, and listening to their stories without giving advice.

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