Tibbetts serving her last week as Okaloosa County superintendent

Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 01:48 PM.

She had to recommend closing four schools because of declining enrollment in two parts of the county, but she also got to open two new ones in Crestview to handle growth.

She has seen difficult administrative staff cuts but also managed to largely keep the cuts away from the classroom.

The district has also risen to meet rigorous, and constantly changing, state and national standards during her tenure.

 “I feel good about where I’m leaving the district,” she said. “(But) I haven’t done this in isolation. I have been surrounded by very dynamic, brilliant, hard-working people.”

The journey has not come without regrets, she said. The biggest among them was what she called a communication breakdown between parents, teachers and the district about the end-of-course exams created last school year to help prepare students for a more rigorous national exam slated for 2015.

“Anytime you’re in a job for six years, I think you’ll look back and have some regrets,” she said.

As she starts packing up her office this week, Tibbetts said the best advice she could give Jackson is to use the trove of knowledge that will surround her from the school board and senior staff to teachers and principals.

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