In ending her two-decade tenure on the county board, she also closed out a total of 28 years as a school trustee, the first eight as a member of the Tracy Joint Union High School board.
Before completing her final four-year term on the county school board, Talley decided not to seek re-election. Janet Dyk of Manteca, who ran unopposed for the open board seat, is succeeding her.
“I was given quite a sendoff in my last board meeting Wednesday,” Talley reported. “They gave me several trophies, a gavel and a thank-you card. I was really honored.”
Mick Founts, the county superintendent of schools, commented:
“Gretchen has been a part of the San Joaquin County Office of Education for 20 years, first as a member of the county board and second as an advocate for all students. It was important to her that all kids received fair and equal treatment, and it showed in the way she did business at the board table. We will miss her.”
Talley, who was first elected to the county school board in 1992, said that she saw major areas of growth and development of educational services provided on the county level.
“The county office of education has been developing new and expanded programs of serving school districts throughout the county, especially in the area of special-education programs,” she said.
One example of new programs is the Teacher College, which provides classes for college graduates who want to earn a teaching credential, she said.
Talley, 79, is a native of Los Angeles who holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley. She moved to Tracy in 1962 and has been involved in community projects and programs over the past half-century.
In addition to her eight years as a high school trustee, she headed Tracy Friends of the Stockton Symphony, which promoted local concerts and scholarships for middle-school music students. She was a founding member of the Arts Leadership Alliance, which sparked the development of the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, and was chairwoman of Save Our Stadium, which generated funds to provide new lights and home-side bleachers for the Tracy High football field.
She was named a Tracy Citizen of the Year in 1991.
Talley, who has two sons, two daughters and six grandchildren, remains active, playing tennis,
riding her bicycle and attending community events.
“I may be slowing down, but I want to stay involved as much as I can,” she said. “I love our town and was proud to represent it and the rest of south county on the county board.”