Dr. Gist meets with students at a TPS elementary school (photo: John Clanton, Tulsa World)
Published 06/24/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 19 sec
TULSA, Okla. — The Black Wall Street Times Editorial Board supports the renewal of Dr. Deborah Gist’s contract during tonight’s vote.
In the past few months, our community has faced enormous challenges and trauma. From being thrust into the throes of a global pandemic and the abrupt disruption of learning that ensued for all of our students, to the civil uprising against systemic racism and oppression, our TPS students and families have endured one of the most trying times in recent memory.
And Dr. Gist has been there through it all.
She has lead from the ground, intentionally supporting district teachers and staff and uplifting their heroic efforts on behalf of students. She has been a source of encouragement to our seniors at their drive-in graduations. She has worked with district administrators to protect their health and wellbeing while working tirelessly alongside them to find innovative solutions to an almost insurmountable challenge.
Tulsans have been the beneficiaries of her kind and bold leadership; and in a time of upheaval, Tulsa families deserve steadfastness.
The Black Wall Street Times Editorial Staff has not always seen eye-to-eye with the current superintendent, and has (on several occasions) been intentional on calling out areas we believed were in need of significant growth. We will continue to do exactly that.
But it was in those moments, contrary to the actions of other leaders across our city, Dr. Gist did not dismiss concerns – she listened, she learned and she sought opportunities to grow.
We understand the calls to wait until after the board election to renew Dr. Gist’s contract, however that decision would inherently politicize the future of our students, families and district as a whole in this historic time.
Our Editorial Board supports the renewal of Dr. Gist’s contract and asks the board to vote yes tonight.