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Inspiring and Preparing Every Student
The Official Website of Tulsa Public Schools


The Superintendent's Message

Dr. Keith Ballard

Posted Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Remember the excitement you had on your first day of school? Feeling butterflies in your stomach. Anticipating the nervous thrill of meeting your new teachers. Worrying about whether or not you would know anyone in class. Wondering if your friends would share the same lunch period. Hoping you would see books from your favorite author on the classroom shelves.

Today is my first day at Tulsa Public Schools, and many similar "grown up" versions of these same feelings have come rushing back! I am giddy with excitement at the thrill of starting this new job. From a very early age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. My grandparents were teachers in Oklahoma, and I loved helping others. In fact, I still have the project that I did at Nimitz Jr. High School in Mr. Henderson's class.  It was called "My Career as a Pre-School Teacher."  I just knew that's what I was put on this earth to do. I believed it would be the best job in the world, and it turns out, it absolutely is.

That's why my first priority today will be to make school visits. While the start of the 2015-16 school year is weeks away, we are smack-dab in the middle of our ambitious summer school program. This year, we have more than 5,000 students attending summer school at 10 sites. Today, I will be visiting the students and teachers of Anderson, Celia Clinton, East Central, McLain and Will Rogers.

I can't wait to meet more of our dedicated teachers and students involved in summer school! I'm sure we are making great progress in helping students meet their growth goals and avoid the "summer slide."

This afternoon, I'll be meeting informally with members of my various community advisory groups. We will close the day with a community reception in celebration of the great things going on at TPS; it will take place at 5 p.m. at the Education Service Center, 3027 S. New Haven Ave., in the Selman Room. Please tell everyone you know, as I am looking forward to meeting and seeing Tulsans!

My enthusiasm and optimism about the future is in high gear. I love first days!


Deborah A. Gist, Superintendent







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