Linda Glick: Citizen of the Year

Photo by Rosemary Hemenway

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In 1976 Linda Glick, newly married to Elliot Landes, came to Winters hoping to rent a farmhouse recently vacated by friends. Glick sat down with her prospective landlady, Evelyn Rominger for an impromptu interview. “Can you tell me what you can contribute to our little town?” Rominger asked. Glick, slightly taken aback, remembers she was unprepared for the question. She had wanted to rent the farmhouse, unaware a responsibility to help a community thrive would come with along in the rental. “I remember being so totally floored. But I must have said something that didn’t turn her off completely, because we moved in.” A year later Shirley Rominger became Glick’s landlady and they too became friendly, checking in about one another even more often than the property. When Glick got the bright idea to both satisfy her joy of theater and enrich the fabric of Winters, it was Shirley that helped introduce Linda to people around town also interested in drama. Thus the Winters Theatre Company was founded. In 1980, the year of their first production, Glick remembers Shirley became Citizen of the Year. Glick, inspired by her friend, wondered what it took to become Citizen of the Year. Last month, after receiving this award for her deep rooted service to Winters, her humble thoughts resisted the tone of finality in the honor. “I thought… no, wait, I still have so much more I want to do!” laughs Glick. Suffice it to say, Linda has more than risen to Evelyn Rominger’s challenge.    After 38 years in operation, the Winters Theatre Company has produced over a hundred productions. Almost every show has financially benefited various community groups, as well as served to enrich Winters with a stronger culture and sense of togetherness. For almost four decades Glick has famously participated as an, actress, director, wardrobe and props manager, promoter and even as caterer. At the time of writing this article, Glick could be found at rehearsal. Glick also fondly remembers seeing students engage in her theater games and the therapeutic art of drama, most notably in weekly fourth and fifth grade bilingual classes at Rominger school. Teaching these activities merged her two joys; children and drama. It’s an odd sounding combination for some adults, but a quite fitting for Glick. As Glick was growing roots in Winters 1976 she was also branching out in her career. She describes the feeling of walking into Yolo County Office of Education (YCOE) to interview for a special education position. “I don’t know what the word would be in English but, it was beshert. It worked. It fit me. The people that interviewed me were enthusiastic and hired me right on the spot… and I stayed with the county for 35 years.”  For those 35 years Glick worked in preschool special education and full inclusion. She worked as an early intervention specialist, a teacher of the hearing impaired and a teacher for the blind, all under YCOE. She was one of the first teachers to be trained in autistic care, as autism was being diagnosed more often. In the early 90’s, as the county began to move away from in-home care, Glick started the first preschool for autistic children in Yolo. As a special education teacher for autistic, for the blind and hearing impaired babies, preschoolers, and adults her focus extended beyond working for her students well-being. She would continue to advocate for the support of their family structures and helped them navigate the process of preliminary screening. She provided support and advocated for children and families for decades. Glick’s experience working with State and County programs, Yolo County Office of Education, school districts, and all walks of life, has afforded her an understanding of the systems. Glick continues to navigate and guide families through these labyrinthine systems, advocate for them through the process of referral and provide support. She worked with Pam Scheeline in the ROAR (Repeated Oral Assisted Reading) program for delayed readers, using repeated oral assisted reading to improve fluency of students with learning disabilities. Ellie Yeatman shared a story about Glick. “We had both just retired. We got to talking about what’s next, you know, what are we gonna do now? I said, I don’t know, relax? And I asked, ‘What are you gonna do?’ Linda said, ‘I want to organize a consortium of mental health professionals of Early Childhood Education.’ Basically, she was looking forward to her retirement being a harder version of her job, without pay.” After retiring, Glick, became a member of the Yolo Early Start (YES) team, working on a new project with Dr. Steven Nowicki, a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician. Together with another colleague, some technology and a grant from First 5, they were able to offer a free online screening tool pilot project. Glick credits Dr. Nowicki with the unique components of the pilot. “To be able to look at the whole family is a valuable perspective.” said Glick. The tool was the first of its kind as it looked at not only at early childhood development, but maternal depression as well. The project has since been taken over by Help Me Grow. While Glick is no longer part of HMG, she is still involved and communicative.   Landes says of his wife, “My default, when nothing else is happening, is to sit and read a book or, watch TV. Linda’s default, her natural state, is to start a group, organize involvement and take action.” Linda has been an active Winters Friends of the Library (WFoL)  member for over 20 years. In that time has held many offices within the non-profit. She initiated Story Time, inducted Little Free Libraries into the community, buys books for the library, fills books for the little library and participates in their many events. In 2014, the year of her co-presidency with Linda Springer, Big Day of Giving (Big DoG) first came to Winters. Big DoG is an annual, single-day, fundraising event sponsored by the Sacramento Community Foundation, where all donations are made in a 24 hour period. Glick describes herself as a “worker bee,” insisting the credit is due to coordinator Sally Brown, along with leads Lisa Nalbone and Jo Crescent. That first year WFoL pushed tirelessly through incredibly dense preparation to make this new type of major fundraiser a major success. They set an ambitious goal of $10,000, and their hard efforts allowed WoFL to not only surpass, but more than double that amount, raising over $24k in cash in 24 hours. Subsequently in 2017, WFoL gave over $25,000 of their Big Day of Giving funds to the Playground Committee, and in 2018 raised over $30,000 for programing and library support. Several community groups are now following in WFoL’s fundraising footsteps and participating in Big DoG to raise money for their own Winters based non-profits. Glick is an active member of several weekly Winters groups, some of which have stood for several decades. She has been walking Winters with her friends every early morning for close on 40 years. She is involved in Democracy Winters, one or more book clubs, reading to Waggoner students, Story Time at the Library, a meditation group and a new singing group. Recently Glick hosted a WFoL retreat in her home. She is a highly contributing member of almost every club, committee and group in town, and even several out of town. Right up until the afternoon of the awards ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 19, Glick will be participating in the Women’s March through Democracy Winters.   Looking to the future, Glick is excited and hopeful to continue talks between the Hispanic Advisory Committee and the Winters Theatre Company. Most productions benefit a Winters community group which promotes and supports the play, and a substantial portion of the proceeds go to that group. Glick is excited that the Hispanic Advisory Committee might become just such a group and the two can cyclicaly benefit Winters. Glick hopes that the Winters Theatre Company will form a lasting partnership with the Hispanic Advisory Committee and that someday the company sponsor full productions in Spanish for the entire community. Glick is seeking support to make her long felt desire to have the company put on a Spanish production. Answering the question, What is one thing you would change about Winters? Glick said, “There are no theater and drama classes in any of the schools in town, that seems so wrong to me.” Transitioning into retirement, Glick started Story Time at the Library, where she could get her “baby fix,” observe her “little buddies” and help families procure a referral for their children if needs be. “Being involved with children is really important to me,” Glick says earnestly. “The kids that came to story time had really engaged families, and it is so lovely to engage with them and see how my little preschoolers have grown up in just a few years.”   Charley Wallace, a past recipient of this award, say of Glick, “She is one of those people that work hard to make Winters a better place and has for years, and years and years and years and years.” Of herself, Linda says “I’m just me.” ]]>

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