“My journey began back in 1985 as an On-Call Bus Driver; it’s been a long ride, but it’s been a good one,” says IPS Operations Manager Denise Whitfield. Today, Whitfield is celebrating her retirement after 30 years of dedicated service to the IPS Transportation Department.


“One of my oldest memories is when I was the voice of the first IPS Transportation radio commercial on Hot 96.3, I was surprised when they asked me, but I was proud to represent IPS,” says Whitfield.


Whitfield has strong family history in IPS; her father was the head custodian at the old school 17 for 41 years and her mother was a part of the IPS family for 39 years. Whitfield started her journey in IPS as an On-Call Bus Driver and meticulously worked her way up into management, helping everyone she could along the way. Whitfield closes her eyes and smiles as she recalls a memory of two students on her bus.


“During the time I was a bus driver I remember I had a 84-passenger bus and two of the kids on my bus were less fortunate. They got on the bus one day and told my bus attendant and I that they didn’t have any food or clothes, so my bus attendant and I went out and bought them clothes and food. It makes my heart feel good because those kids are successful adults now, ones an attorney, the other is a doctor and it just warms my soul to see how they have turned out to be great products of IPS,” expresses Whitfield.


There’s no question that Whitfield changed and inspired many lives during her years in IPS transportation. Her colleagues describe her as extremely caring and dedicated; she puts her heart and soul into her work.


“I have to say she’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen, I mean she just gets the work done,” says IPS Director of Transportation Monica Coburn. “Denise just has the biggest heart, she will be greatly missed in our department.” 


Alfred Henry Administrative Assistant to the Operations Manager smiles and laughs as he recollects his favorite moment he’s shared with Whitfield.


“I set up a surprise pitch-in for her one year, she was mad because she doesn’t like people to make a big deal about her, but I gave her a plaque commending her for her dedication to the department, I wanted to honor her in big way,” says Henry. “She has been there and has guided me through a lot of hard times in my life, I love her, and she is a remarkable woman.”


Whitfield says her decision to retire wasn’t tough because she just knew it was her time to leave.


“This is my season, you just know when it’s time to go and move on. I have two grandchildren that I want to spend more time with, it’s just time for me to go,” says Whitfield.


“The best is yet to come for her, after you retire you can do what you want to do, and I know she’s going to go on to do great things,” says IPS Router Jamie Jones.


“I’m going to really miss hearing her over the dispatch radio talking to the bus drivers, she always kept everyone in order, in the most caring but direct way possible,” says IPS Router Tamara Milbrook. 


“ I’ve been working with Ms. Whitfield for eight years, I’m sad to see her leave, but I am so proud of all that she has accomplished over the years, she’s one of the most supportive and kind people I know,” says IPS Field Trip Coordinator Carol Bennett. 


IPS thanks Denise Whitfield for all of the time and dedication she has given to IPS over the years. We couldn’t have asked for a better employee, we hope the best for her in all of her future endeavors. 


“Thanks for the memories, I truly love you all,” says Whitfield.