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Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist says final goodbye

Deborah Gist
Posted at 3:16 PM, Sep 15, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist said her final goodbye through a Facebook live on Friday.

Gist began her live by explaining her choice of location for the video. She was in an elementary classroom in Salk Elementary, the same classroom she began her TPS journey as a student.

"It sort of made sense to me, or felt right to conclude my Tulsa Public Schools journey, where my Tulsa Public Schools journey began, in this classroom as a kindergartner," Gist said.

Gist has been with the district for more than 8 years as superintendent but her time with TPS has been much longer.

2 News previously reported that Gist grew up in TPS attending various elementary schools and graduating from Memorial High School.

She started her position at TPS in July 2015. During her tenure with the district, TPS has earned many awards and grants. Most recently students throughout TPS have received awards for their mental health initiatives around Tulsa.

Gist and TPS mutually agreed in August to part ways following continued attacks against the district by State Superindentent Ryan Walters.

She made the announcement August 22 two days prior to the State Board of Education's vote on TPS's accreditation status.
"I am departing because I believe that doing so offers the best chance for control of our schools to remain where they belong: in Tulsa with our elected Board of Education and aligned with the values of our community," she wrote in her departure letter. READ the full letter here.

TPS earned its accreditation in the August 24 SBOE meeting upgrading from "accreditation with warning" to "accreditation with deficiencies."

"Thank you, Tulsa. I love you," said Gist concluding her time at TPS.

Watch Gist's full goodbye here:

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