TULSA, Oklahoma - Monday evening, the Tulsa Board of Education voted to approve a three-year contract for Superintendent Deborah Gist. 

Under Gist, Tulsa Public Schools says it has seen important steps forward, including a five-percentage-point increase in the graduation rate between 2015 and 2016 and a 26 percent decrease in out of school suspensions in the 2016-2017 school year.

Based on NWEA MAP scores, the school says it has seen a four-percentage-point increase in students reaching reading proficiency by third grade and a three-percentage-point increase in students proficient in math and reading. 

Gist’s contract is essentially the same as her initial 2015-2018 contract with two updates: 

1) At the request of the superintendent, given our continued funding challenges, her June 2018 retention bonus will decrease by nine percent and her June 2021 retention bonus will decrease by 28 percent.

2) The superintendent's performance incentive, if earned, will take the form of a contribution to her retirement rather than as a cash bonus.

Gist says she is humbled by her contract renewal.

“Grateful and beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to lead the phenomenal team at Tulsa Public Schools for another three years. I was ecstatic to come home to Tulsa in 2015, and the joy that I experience each day as I follow my calling to serve Tulsa children and families has only grown,” she said. 

“This has always been my dream job, and I feel blessed and incredibly fortunate to continue this journey to make Tulsa Public Schools the nation’s destination for excellence in teaching and learning.”