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GIPS announces Wells as activities director, LaBrie as fine arts director

Grand Island Public Schools is excited to announce long-time Senior High assistant principal Cindy Wells has been named the school’s activities director. Also, Seedling Mile principal Charity LaBrie is adding fine arts director to her title.

“It is a great feeling to be able to fill these roles with known district leaders,” said Dr. Tawana Grover, GIPS superintendent. “Mrs. Wells has dedicated her career to the students of Grand Island. Her love of students along with her passion and knowledge for activities makes her a great fit for this position. Mrs. LaBrie does a wonderful job with Blue Ribbon caliber Seedling Mile. Her background will help elevate the district’s dedication to the arts.”

Wells is taking over for Joe Kutlas, who is retiring.

“Replacing a Joe Kutlas is not something anyone looks forward to,” Grover said. “We have been fortunate to prosper under his leadership.”

Wells agreed.

“Joe Kutlas has been a great person to work with,” she said. “Fortunately, I do not have to recreate the athletic program at GISH. Joe leaves behind a legacy of organization, selflessness and a purple and gold attitude that will be remembered for a very long time.”

Wells has been with GIPS since 1981, the last 17 years as assistant principal.

“What excites me about the AD position, is that I am able to continue to work with students, staff, GISH Administrative team, Joe's staff in the athletic office and Charity LaBrie as the new addition to the Fine Arts Department,” she said. “I will be working closer with student-athletes, coaches and the athletic boosters. I am looking forwards to the new challenge and excited for the future of Islander athletics and activities.”

LaBrie will remain principal at Seedling Mile while adding the additional responsibilities of the new fine arts director position. The Seedling Mile principal has long been a half-time administration position. She had previously spent her other half role as integration specialist at Seedling Mile. She will still spend most of her time at Seedling Mile.

“I'm excited to take an active role in the Grand Island Public Schools fine arts community,” she said. “The interaction between the school system, the city of Grand Island and surrounding area is so special. I am thrilled to partner with the outstanding teachers and students in our district.”

LaBrie has been principal at Seedling Mile since 2011. Previously she was a music teacher at Wasmer Elementary and Grand Island Senior High. She said she understands the importance GIPS and the community have put on fine arts and the teaching of skills to students.

“GISH is a leader in the area of fine arts,” LaBrie said. “A large percentage of students dedicate countless hours and give freely of their talents to communicate to our community and beyond through the arts. Students not only have the opportunity to share their abilities but also learn valuable lessons about themselves and the world around them. It is important to continue to provide such rich opportunities for the young people of Grand Island, and I am so humbled to be part of such a strong tradition.”