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July 1, 2013

Tibbetts leaves Newfane


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — But spending more time with the family is paramount, because Tibbetts and her husband Hollis have been living apart for most of the past three years. Hollis has been at the Tibbetts home in Winterhaven, Fla., watching the couple’s two dogs. He retired in 1995 from his position as a mathematics professor at Buffalo State College.

Tibbetts also has a son, Maj. Bradley Tibbetts, who came to town last month fresh from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. 

”It’s time we bring our family together and enjoy the time we have,” Tibbetts said. “We’ll spend six months of the year down there.”

During Tibbetts’ three years on the job in Newfane, the district has dealt with difficult budgets. In 2010, the district lost $3 million in state aid, a huge blow to a district with a budget that hovers around $32 to $34 million a year.

”It started a host of cuts and rollbacks on everything we possibly could without hurting the kids,” Tibbetts said. “I guess what we always thought we do is use a scalpel and not a hatchet and try to carve out pieces here and there without completing obliterating any one program. I think we’ve been as effective in that philosophy as we can be.”

The cuts have varied. For example, the district no longer offers French. There’s one librarian between the middle and high schools. There are no modified sports.

Newfane also underwent a reorganization to help reduce costs. The fourth grade moved to Newfane Elementary School while fifth grade become part of the middle school, which once shared the Transit Road building with the intermediate school. The intermediate school was closed.

But, during that time Newfane has been able to add. Under the district’s Project Ascend initiative, Newfane added the Advancement Via Individual Determination program. AVID is an education program that aims to improve college readiness for students who may be struggling academically.

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