Gist Holds Meet-And-Greet After 'Walk Down Memory Lane'

Thursday, February 5th 2015, 10:44 pm
By: News On 6

The public got its first chance to pose questions to Tulsa's next school superintendent.

Dr. Deborah Gist opened up at a meet-and-greet Thursday night, and many people had very specific questions for her.

Gist was a student at Memorial High School in the 80 and Thursday she walked the halls of her alma mater as the incoming superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools.

"It is amazing how it comes back to you, you know," she said. "A lot of things have changed. Beautiful, new library, the new field house, obviously, is very different."

An afternoon remembering her roots turned into an evening of reviewing what the future holds for the district.

2/4/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Teachers, Students Meet Next Superintendent

Gist took parents' questions at what she said is the first of many meet-and-greets.

"You know, go around to different schools, and have a chance to meet with parents, you know, in places that are closer to their neighborhoods," she said.

Nancy Hillman is one of the parents who asked a pointed question. Her second grade son was in the district's dual language immersion program, but they recently had to change schools and the program isn't offered at the new school.

"His brain has learned to work in a Spanish mode and also in an English mode," Hillman said.

She would like Gist to change fix that problem.

"I was really looking to see what her opinion was on it, and on whether she was going to grow the magnet program, as a whole," Hillman said.

Gist responded by saying she realizes the importance of language immersion programs to prepare students for a global workforce; Hillman was pleased with that answer.

“I think she's a breath of fresh air," she said.

Gist said, "You know, this is just the beginning. This is not it. This is a start."