Charlotte graduated from Harding High School in Bridgeport in 1960. Varsity sports were not offered because of double sessions. She did, however, participate in intramurals with Staples and Ludlowe High Schools and played for the North End Girls’ Club Team. In 1959, Charlotte was recognized as Bridgeport’s “Girl of the Year” by the North End Girls’ Club. She was also selected as the “Most Athletic Girl” in her senior class at Harding.
Charlotte encountered Dr. David Field, Director of Arnold College (University of Bridgeport) during her high school years – while she was teaching rope skipping and other activities at the Girls’ Club. Dr. Field eventually nominated her for the Arnold Alumni Scholarship, which enabled her to attend college.
The fleet-footed Gallagher participated in field hockey, softball, gymnastics, badminton and basketball at Arnold College. She recalls scoring 28 points in one game of her freshman year. She was a Dean’s List student and in 1964, received the Dr. E.H. Arnold Award for Outstanding Graduating Senior Female. She was inducted into the University of Bridgeport Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. Charlotte’s officiating career began after she decided to leave teaching in 1965. Joan Gauthey, from Shepaug High School in Washington Depot, offered her an opportunity to begin refereeing basketball. For the next 15 years (1966-1981), she officiated girls’ high school basketball games.
Charlotte was the first Coordinator of Basketball Officials for the western part of the state. She was responsible for scheduling and assigning officials for games – no easy task because of the scarcity of qualified female officials. She officiated many regular season and several State Tournament Games. She also umpired field hockey games from 1966-86.
Officiating colleagues remember Charlotte as a conscientious, assertive, dedicated referee who always gave her best effort. They are quick to recall Charlotte’s zest and enthusiasm for the job, and her constant efforts to improve the quality of her officiating so that she could provide the best refereeing for the players. They remember, with fondness, officiating in kilts and tunics at the time when the game was changing from the 6 on 6 game to the 5 on 5 game. That transition required changes in officiating techniques -- from calling every little touch foul to calling fouls only where there was an advantage gained.