News, Politics, and Culture from 14895

By Lacey Gardner

ICS announces Mrs. Caitilin Dewey as new Principal


Immaculate Conception School’s new Principal has local roots but a broad resume

By Andrew Harris, full disclosure: I attended ICS and my kids attend ICS, we love it!

School officials announced in an email to the ICS community that they have hired a new principal:

“We are pleased and excited to announce the appointment of Mrs. Caitilin Dewey as the new Immaculate Conception School principal. Mrs. Dewey is a life-long resident of Allegany County, and comes to ICS with over 30 years in education including experience in elementary teaching, K-12 curriculum and instruction, elementary building principal, and K-12 building principal. She will officially be starting on Tuesday, April 19th. “

Dewey’s background and experience

If you were in the 4th grade at Wellsville Elementary school between 1990-2000, you probably remember Mrs. Dewey (Ms. Porter until 1992.) She had a big impact on many of her students, some that have gone on to become teachers themselves. Dewey has some familial notoriety as well; her parents are Dave and Janice Porter. Dave was my Principal at Wellsville Middle School and then served as Principal of Wellsville Elementary. The family has been immersed in doing good work in the Wellsville community for decades.

Mrs. Dewey, graduated from SUNY Oswego in 1988, she taught pre-school at my alma mater, Kiddie Campus, and then joined the staff at the Wellsville Elementary School in 1990. Dewey spent a decade teaching in Wellsville which she describes it as formative:

“I had the most amazing mentors: Jackie Comstock was like an angel from heaven; Joyce Krupnik, Ann Brocci, Sharon Ash, Tom Reuning, John White, and Sally Ewell were all so important to me as a new teacher. Sally was so great to me; she came back after her retirement to cover me while I was on maternity leave,”

At the turn of the millennium, Mrs. Dewey’s direction moved toward administration and her major strength to this day: curriculum. Her career turned to the BOCES organization, to support public schools with curriculum development and instructional support. Dewey had the practical experience and was now drawn to the work of making schools better, making teachers better, and giving students a great education. As a self-described curriculum “wonk,” she earned her administration degree in 2008.

In 2011, Dewey joined Arkport Central Schools as the Director of Student Services, putting her experience and education to the test. In 2013 she was hired as Elementary Principal and retired in 2020 with thirty years in public education.

Retirement wasn’t working

Her career has a teacher and administrator had ended but her drive to be around kids, to teach, and to improve schools didn’t retire. When the job for ICS opened up, Dewey saw an opportunity to put her skills to work:

“I wasn’t ready to retire. I just found myself wanting to be around kids, and teachers. The pandemic has been so challenging for schools, students, and teachers. This was a great opportunity for me to get back into that environment and make a difference.”

ICS is ready for the future

The veteran educator is a ready to take the lead at ICS and wants to emphasis to the community, especially to students and parents that, “We aren’t going anywhere. This school is committed to providing a great education and being around for many years to come.”

Dewey is quick to point out that ICS has many natural advantages, for students and teachers. Perhaps the biggest difference for a private school is they are not bound by NYS testing requirements. Standardized testing is an option they use to gauge student learning, but not a tool ICS uses to shape curriculum.

“Teaching to the test creates such a burden on public school teachers and that translates into stress. Students end up suffering and teachers become frustrated when learning takes a backseat to test scores. I’m excited about the flexibility a private school offers a curriculum geek like me to focus on the best teaching tools, not the tests,” explained Dewey.

Important news and events

Enrollment is open now! ICS is accepting new students and Dewey wants to remind any family considering the school that ICS is OPEN TO ALL. You don’t have to be a parishioner or religiously affiliated, and tuition is surprisingly affordable. ICS has multiple scholarships and flexible payment options. Click here to visit the school admissions page for more information

ICS is hiring! Mrs. Dewey is excited to start reviewing applications for some of the openings at the school. Currently ICS is anticipating these job openings for the 2022-2023 school year:

Elementary School Teacher (Full Time) and Music Teacher (Part Time)

Please send a Cover Letter, Resume, 3 Reference Letters, and Application to the school by mail (Julie Willson, 24 Maple Ave, Wellsville, NY 14895) or email (

The new Principal is looking forward to meeting the ICS community and points to several upcoming events:

The ICS 500 Club will have an elimination drawing and beef on weck dinner at the Legion on April 30th from 6:00p.m.-11:00p.m.

Tuesday, May 3rd is ICS Night at L’Italia. from 6:00p.m.-9:00p.m. L’Italia will donate 10% of all proceeds to ICS from that evening and they will also have raffles and Adam Stack playing live music.

Wednesday, May 4th is our Open House from 4:00p.m.-5:30p.m. for all grades. New families that attend will receive a Buy One Muddpie/Get One Muddpie Free Coupon from Beef Haus. Plus, new families will be entered into a drawing for L’Italia Gift Cards.

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