NJASA Immediate Past President Patrick Fletcher and his wife, Esther will be honored at the West Bergen Mental Healthcare Fall Night of Fine Dining on November 14, 2016. They have a long history of volunteering and serving their community.
It is no surprise that they immediately saw the value in the good work of West Bergen Mental Healthcare. As a result, they devoted their time and efforts to supporting West Bergen’s mission “to promote psychological health and personal growth”.
Patrick began his educational career as the Research Assistant to the Superintendent for the Rutherford Board of Education in 1983. He served as the Business Administrator/Board Secretary for the Closter and Englewood Cliffs School Districts. In 1992, he moved to the Glen Rock School District, where he spent the next fourteen years first as the Business Official and then Assistant Superintendent. He became the Superintendent in January 2002. In 2006, he moved to the River Dell Regional School District to serve as their Superintendent.
Patrick is most proud of developing a comprehensive special education program that provides the same opportunities and transitions as the non-disabled population. This approach allows disabled students to access the full range of academic, athletic and artistic programs offered by the district. It is not uncommon for these students to be a part of an academic awards ceremony, the school musical or a competitive athletic team. Every student meets with success at River Dell.
Patrick considers one of his most worthy achievements one that is not often affiliated with him. Several months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it became clear that schools needed help in dealing with situations involving grief. September 11 involved a large scale shared grief experience but many districts suffer tragedy every day. These tragedies could be the death of a beloved faculty member, a member of the student body or a well-known member of the community at large. With the help of other educators, the Bergen County Flight Team was born in Glen Rock. The Flight Team consists of trained school personnel, who are ready at a moment’s notice to respond to calls for assistance. Fifteen years later, this model is in wide use across the state and is ubiquitous in Bergen County.
Esther and Patrick are most proud of their work on behalf of West Bergen Mental Healthcare. Patrick served as a trustee for nine years and is currently a member of the Foundation Board.