When Galt Joint Union Elementary School District Superintendent Karen Schauer was selected for the leadership role, she said one of the first community leaders she contacted was Orvell Fletcher.
“I have always admired his leadership contributions and wanted to pick his brain about successful leadership as a superintendent.”
Mr. Fletcher, a former longtime Galt school superintendent credited with creating the modern-day structure for the city’s schools, has died. He was 99.
“He is one of the most eloquent, gracious and civic-minded leaders I have ever had the privilege of meeting,” Schauer said, adding that Mr. Fletcher immediately and graciously made time to meet with her many years ago.
“His willingness to tell me about his powerful leadership experiences or allow me to discuss and explore school district ideas with him were invaluable and instrumental for a successful start in my first year as superintendent.”
Mr. Fletcher, who was among the four founders of the Galt Area Historical Society, also served two terms on the Galt City Council, from 1982 to 1986 and 1989 to 1994, including assuming the role of vice mayor in 1993.
He was on the City Council when now-retired City Clerk Liz Aguire began her career in the 1980s. She recalled recently how he could disagree with his peers from the dais but still enjoy going out with them for a drink after the council meeting, which, she said, taught her elected officials could have differing opinions and still get along.
It was a realization that Aguire said helped her with all the other councils she worked with during her tenure.
In the education arena, Mr. Fletcher is credited with modernizing education in Galt, alongside the late Larry Littleton, who died in 2010. As superintendent of the Galt Joint Union High School District, Mr. Fletcher focused on updating curriculum and encouraging participation in extracurricular activities.
He served from 1954 to 1978 as superintendent, including a period as Galt High School’s principal.
Mr. Fletcher also helped recharter the Galt Lions Club during that time, in 1963.
In his 50-plus years of community service, he received a number of public accolades, including recognition from the Galt Boys and Girls Club for his sustained service for children and youths of Galt, and the Character of Coalition Award for integrity, both in 2009.
“He has made a lasting difference for the community of Galt and a meaningful impact in my leadership path for children,” said Schauer, who nominated Mr. Fletcher for the latter honor.
In 2011, he was recognized at the 100th anniversary of Galt High when a new sign was unveiled.
Following his service on the City Council, Mr. Fletcher was a frequent speaker at public meetings, including those regarding the new Walmart store before its construction was approved. He favored the development, claiming at one council meeting its construction would satisfy people’s needs.
Mr. Fletcher and his late wife, Helen, were members of Galt United Methodist Church. She died in 2004.
Funeral arrangements are pending.