Each July and August, Galt area residents celebrate Pride in Community, one of six character traits chosen by our community 12 years ago through the efforts of the Galt Community of Character Coalition (GCCC). The other character traits we celebrate include responsibility, respect, honesty, integrity, and caring and compassion.

In these unique times of impact by the COVID-19 virus, with so many Galt activities being put on hold, it would be easy to lose sight of all we have in Galt to take pride in. This article incorporates some thoughts by people in the community who wanted to share their reasons for having pride in the community of Galt.

Sally Galiste

Sally Galiste, a volunteer on the Galt Earth Day Committee, moved to Galt eight years ago from Stockton, where she had lived most of her adult life. She said there are a number of reasons her family likes it here, and they plan on staying in Galt.

“We like the small town atmosphere, which has a number of unique stores (not just big box and franchises), such as Vintage Antiques & Uniques, Spaans Cookies Company factory, Café Latte, to name a few.”

She also likes having the Galt Flea Market two days a week.

In addition, Galiste takes pride in the McFarland Living History Ranch with all the events scheduled there throughout the year, as well as the many nice neighborhood parks, and plenty of shady, landscaped walkways for bicycling, walking and jogging.

She notes, that “Our Gora Aquatics Center is large and impressive for a small town.”

Galiste appreciates that various special events happen in Galt each year (except 2020), starting with the Winter Bird Festival in February and many others through the year, and ending with the Lighting of the Night Parade in December.

She notes that the crime rate in Galt is relatively low for this size of town, which makes its citizens feel safe going outside whenever they want.

“We don’t appear to have gang-related or hate-related crimes committed around here,” and her family noticed “right away after moving here that people in the community, by and large, are friendly and helpful. These are the things I am proud of as a Galtonian – and glad to be one now!”

Daniel Denier

Daniel Denier, president of the Board of Trustees of the Galt Joint Union High School District, also responded with his perspective as a lifetime Galtonian. He states that there is a lot that he is proud of regarding the community, including the fact that his family has been a part of the Galt community for 100 years.

“This amazing community of ours has helped shape generations of Deniers,” Denier said.

From his involvement with the Galt high school district for the past 3½ years, Denier said, “I can tell you that the level of pride in the achievements of our students, teachers and staff seems to be exceeded year after year. Oftentimes, you hear about the youth of today, and there is doubt in our young people. But I encourage everyone to attend the end of the school year awards banquets. The achievements of these young people will leave you feeling confident in the future of the world.”

Denier notes that he also has “a huge sense of pride in the way our superintendent, district staff, administrators and teachers who were able to come together as a team and put together a plan for distance learning within a week. Many other districts took over a month to come up with a plan and to put it into motion. Everyone from our food services and IT department members joined together to come up with a plan to not only get our technology out to our students, but to also continue to provide meals to our students. This district, this community of ours rose above and did everything they could during this unprecedented time. I am proud that we were able to provide hundreds of meals each day at not only our high school sites, but also to New Hope School in Thornton.”

Denier also takes pride in the broad scope of success and achievements seen in the Galt high school district.

“We recently were honored as one of only three schools in all of Canada and the USA for our Advanced Placement achievements. This is a huge honor,” Denier said. “We have also recently been honored at Galt High School by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) who have recognized us at a level 1 status. This award is in recognition of the school and its coaches regarding the dedication to education-based programs for its athletes.”

Denier notes that, “These honors and many other awards are proof that our schools and our students are successful in so many different ways. From career tech to Advanced Placement classes, we succeed. And that is a huge reflection of the dedication and love that our teachers and staff continue to pour into our schools and their students.”

Pride in community for Denier extends to being “super proud of the way that our teachers, staff and community came together to celebrate our graduates. From the cap and gown pickup to the reverse parade to the drive-thru around both campuses, our teachers and staff truly outdid themselves. The night of graduation, I saw smiles, cheers, laughter and love. And I truly believe it was something that our seniors, their families and our community needed. None of it would have been possible without the dedication and effort of our amazing teachers and staff. They are who I have pride in. They are who our entire community should have pride in. We are so incredibly fortunate to have them.”

This pride in community also extends to the work being done in the Galt elementary school district.

Former Board member Susan Richardson appreciates the many sacrifices that Galt teachers have made over the years to provide enrichment to their classrooms.

Julie Martinez-Wytch, who has a young child at Lake Canyon Elementary, expressed her admiration for how quickly teachers were able to transition students to computer-assisted learning with individualized assignments and daily accountability. She also liked the weekly Zoom meetings that kept kids connected to their teachers and to their friends.

“They even did an end-of-the-year car parade, so kids could take one more look at their school and wave to their teachers and friends,” Martinez-Wytch said. “I was so amazed by all the little details the teachers were able to keep track of. Everyone at the school was working so hard for our kids.” Martinez-Wytch added, “I think everyone in Galt should have a sense of pride in community, based on our great teachers, administrators and staff at our Galt schools. How we treat, nurture our young children is a real indicator of the strength of our community.”

How to honor someone who demonstrates pride in community

Perhaps you know an individual, group or organization that exemplifies the character trait pride in community. The Galt Community of Character Coalition regularly honors those in our community who are true role models of good character, presenting them with an award and telling their story. You can help by nominating an individual, group or organization and telling us how they exemplify the character trait pride in community. Please follow the steps below and email your nomination to Barbara Payne, president of GCCC, or complete the form and mail to GCCC, PO Box 92, Galt, CA 95632. Deadline to submit your nomination is Aug. 31, 2020.

Write a brief explanation of how this person, group or organization demonstrates Pride in Community. Give examples, if possible. Please include their name, address, phone number and email if you know it.

Also, give us your name, address, phone number and email.

Email this information to the Galt Community of Character Coalition, barbarapayne@softcom.net.