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Laid-off Hillsborough County teacher hopes to return to district

The district cut positions due to finances
Posted at 10:34 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 23:16:30-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A laid-off Hillsborough County teacher pleaded to school board members to help him find another spot within the district.

Dylan Tibbetts said human resources notified him in April that he would lose his job at the end of the school year.

"I got an email from HR explaining to me that my position was no longer available for next year. Basically, they told me that I had been eliminated from the district. They were going to give my position to somebody who had been with the district longer," said Tibbetts.

Tibbetts worked as a physical education teacher at Shaw Elementary School for two years. He worked as a coach and an assistant principal prior to that out-of-state.

"Right now, unfortunately, I'm having to walk out on 700 kids, a staff that I love working with and a school I love working for," said Tibbetts.

Tibbetts spoke before school board members at a meeting on Tuesday evening.

"My biggest concern is not for me, but for those kids that I teach. Every single day, I work at a transformational school not because I have to, but because I want to," he told board members.

"All I can ask from you from the board is to please find me a spot in the district where I can make a difference in the lives of the people here in Tampa Bay because that's what I am here for," he said.

Due to budget cuts, some employees lost their jobs while others were reassigned.

A district spokesperson said of the 926 position cuts, 95 employees were notified there is no room for them next year at this time. A district spokesperson said the superintendent is working hard to find them jobs. Some positions may open up due to retirements.

Tibbetts said the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association (HCTA) has been helpful in assisting him. Tibbetts said he has already applied to teach summer school, but he hopes to one day return to Shaw Elementary.

"If I could say anything to the kids, I'm going to miss you guys. I don't want to leave you guys and I will miss every single one of you," said Tibbetts. "Keep chasing your goals. I encourage these kids to do their best every day, try their best. I don't care how successful you are, but keep trying and that's all I want to pass onto those kids."