TPS Students, Superintendent Enjoy First Day Of School

Thursday, August 20th 2015, 5:52 pm
By: Dave Davis

Thursday was the first day back to school for several districts in Green Country, and that included Tulsa Public Schools.

That also meant it was the first day of school for Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist, and she had more than a dozen stops scheduled for Thursday.

Third grader Ashley Anderson greeted Gist at Lee Elementary Thursday. It was just one of 13 stops the superintendent was scheduled to go to on her first day, and she did a little bit of everything.

8/20/2015 Related Story: It's Back To Class For Tulsa-Area School Districts

"Walking to school with a family, I'm going to be eating lunch with some students, spending the afternoon with some teachers to celebrate," she said.

One of the hats she wore was doughnut-deliverer. At 6 a.m., she invited all Tulsa Public bus drivers to the main bus yard for doughnuts and coffee, greeted nearly every person and had a few words to say.

"Your responsibility and your contribution to our district is so, so, important," Gist said.

And several drivers, like Tom Yerton, said they can feel that something's different this year.

"It seems like it's, real…more ‘all hands on deck this year,’ and they're getting stuff done," said Yerton.

From there, Gist got on a bus and rode to two stops, meeting families along the way.

After that, she moved onto Lee Elementary, near 21st and Cincinnati, to walk to school with kids and their families and greet other students at the door.

Gist was just as excited as the students to start her first day.

"That feeling that I've had and carried with me from the time I was a student, to becoming a teacher, and now as the superintendent in my hometown, it's just an incredible day," she said.

TPS said a couple of their buses were running behind because of road construction, but said, overall, the first day went smoothly.