Sawyer Named Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools

Thursday, July 27th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Dr. David Sawyer has been selected to be the next superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools. The announcement was made by the Tulsa School Board Thursday morning in a breaking news story seen only on The News on Six.

Sawyer, currently the superintendent of Brevard County Florida Public Schools, has been in his current job for seven years. He was selected from a group of five candidates for the Tulsa position. On a recent visit to Tulsa for interviews with the school board, Sawyer was enthusiastic about what he saw during a tour of schools. He said improvements resulting from the 1999 school bond issue are proof of Tulsa's support of schools.

The 54 year-old Sawyer served as superintendent of districts in California and South Carolina before going to Florida. He's also former chair of the Industrial Arts Department at University of Alabama.

In a recent interview with KOTV’s Glenda Silvey, Sawyer said he doesn't like the word "remediation." He believes students who aren't achieving should be accelerated, not remediated. He says sometimes the problem at low performing schools is as simple as the wrong mindset, a lack of belief in all students' ability to learn. "We have a challenge to be able to identify effectively those circumstances that are leading to a student's inability to succeed and to target instruction in such a way that they can accelerate their learning and catch up in those areas where they may be deficient,” Sawyer explained.

Sawyer has reportedly accepted a three-year cotnract worth $150,000 per year. He is expected to begin his new job August 14th.

Sawyer was chosen over fellow finalist Joan Kowal, also of Florida. She and Sawyer were the only finalist selected out of a group of five candidates interviewed.