Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jennifer Simms
Editorial@lhvc.com 

Niwot Elementary’s Favorite Storyteller

 

January 8, 2018

Photo Credit Jennifer Simms

Niwot Elementary third graders pose with their favorite storyteller, Scott Tibbitts (center). Students are (from left) Tyler Madrid, Braeden Macchi, Zachary Frea, Charlotte Stauch, Camilla Wierbigelow, Alma Boyd and Jack Flowerday.

In the Niwot community, Scott Tibbitts is known as an entrepreneur. Tibbits is the founder of the company, Katasi, and his distraction-free driving product, the Groove, recently hit the market. But at Niwot Elementary School, Tibbits is known for a different role: the school’s favorite storyteller.

“I like that he always does this spooky voice when it’s spooky,” said third grader Luke VanMiddlesworth. “I also like how he makes them up by himself.”

On the last school day in December, Tibbitts visited Niwot’s third graders to tell one of his original tales. Three classes of students sat on the floor and listened, enchanted, to Tibbitts weave a narrative about a girl with a pair of magic glasses. “I don’t know how it happens but every one of these stories has a third grader in it,” Tibbits joked.

Tibbitts has been telling stories at Niwot Elementary for the last 18 years. Originally, he invented the tales as bedtime stories for his children, and when he tried them out on his son’s first-grade class, they were a hit. Tibbitts followed both his son and daughter through the school, then accepted an invitation from teacher Julie Breyer to continue telling stories for the third graders each year.

Each story starts from a central concept, often drawn from his own children. The inspiration for December’s story, Tibbitts explained, came from his daughter’s childhood wish for a pair of magic imagination glasses. Many elements of the stories are pulled from his past experiences. Tibbitts said he will create a new story occasionally, but mostly he just tells his favorites year after year.

“Scott has become a true connection between the Niwot community and Niwot Elementary as well as a tradition,” said Breyer. “Our students come to third grade knowing that they will get the privilege of listening to Mr. Tibbitts. It is an experience for them that they will remember for years to come. We are honored for our students to know the true meaning of giving back to your community.”

As often happens when one volunteers, Tibbitts says he gets a lot from the partnership as well. “I don’t think there’s anything I do that’s so intense,” Tibbitts said of the storytelling experience, explaining that he enjoys the opportunity to focus so fully, away from the distractions of daily life.

Tibbitts also feels his work as a storyteller complements his professional life, since entrepreneurs are continually called on to tell the story of their business. “They inform each other so wonderfully,” Tibbitts said.

 

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