Groton on the Inside: Valedictorian and salutatorian named for Groton High School


The Groton High School Class of 2019 has announced its valedictorian, Diaz Niño, and its salutatorian, Zoe Barclay. With just a bit over two months to go until the pomp and circumstance take place, each of these students has earned their way to this crowning achievement.

Niño, with his 99.1 GPA, plans to continue his education with the goal of becoming a biomedical engineer, and Barclay will take her 98.6 GPA with her to SUNY Albany this fall. Both have been involved in numerous activities inside and outside the walls of GHS these past four years.

In school, Niño has been actively involved in class council, also serving as treasurer for a year, and was an integral and invaluable member of the GHS Drama Club’s stage crew for its productions of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Annie.”

Niño also taught Spanish to elementary students through games and songs, volunteered at the elementary school fair, and helped set up and participated in a haunted house to raise funds for the school music groups.

In the community, Niño assisted in the local Groton Memorial Park playground build and volunteered at a Halloween fair for local children.

Barclay is a member of the National Honor Society, class council, student council, and various other school clubs, and has been a three-sport athlete for her entire high school career in cross-country, track and field, and winter track.
In 2017, Barclay served as a delegate to the Washington Youth Summit on the environment at George Mason University, as well as a delegate to Teen Institute, a program to promote teen resilience and ability to choose healthy lifestyles through helping them to develop their emotional intelligence and understanding of leadership.

Barclay was also a delegate to the prestigious 77th American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Girls State session; learning about the inner workings of state, local, and county government in 2018, and was also chosen as the winner of the logo design project for Groton Harvest; a grant through the Park Foundation that focuses on healthy eating both in and outside of school for the entire Groton community.

Congratulations to each of these accomplished young people as they prepare for graduation day and the future beyond!

Chicken, firefighters, and STEAM
Saturday, April 27 promises to be a great day to be in Groton! The Groton Fire and Ambulance Department will be “firing” up the grills for its famous annual chicken barbecue, and the Groton Jr/Sr High School STEAM Learning Center will host a community open house to celebrate its first year of STEAM in Groton, in tandem with the GFD’s offerings.

The day begins with the STEAM open house and student showcase from 10 to 11:15 a.m. at the high school, 400 Peru Road, where Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) curriculum combines with project-based learning at the high school level.

Student projects and field trip experiences will be on display in GHS’ state-of-the-art space, where visitors will be able to get a glimpse of how the design of the area promotes collaboration among students, allows for direct instruction, and enables them to also work independently – all with the “end-game” being relevant to real-life experiences.

Students will be present to discuss their work and will showcase some of their projects, STEAM instructors will be there to provide their insight, and information on all the programming being offered, including the FFA (Future Farmers of America) and new agriculture program set to begin in Fall of 2019, will all be available.

Light refreshments will be served at the school, and there will be free school bus shuttles to and from the future home of the new Groton Municipal Building at 308 Main St., where the chicken will be served, beginning at 11 a.m.
Chicken dinners will be available for $10 each, halves for $6, and hot dogs will also be available. The event will also serve as an open house for the GFD, and will last until 2 p.m.

There will be maple cotton candy and flavored shaved ice for sale, activities for children, and many of our first responders on hand to visit with. They would especially love to speak with anyone who might have an interest in becoming a firefighter or emergency medical technician.

Groton on the Inside appears weekly. Submit news ideas to Linda Competillo, or 607-227-4922.

In brief:

Citizen Preparedness Corps training
The Groton Rotary Club will be hosting a community event designed to help families learn about planning for natural and man-made disasters from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25 at Groton High School.

The event, “Citizen Preparedness Corps” teaches residents to prepare for any type of natural or man-made disaster, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions.

Families will be guided to develop a family emergency plan and learn what supplies they should gather in order to be prepared. A key component to the training is the distribution of one free NYS Disaster Preparedness Kit to each family that registers and attends in-person. All participants must register in advance at

Other public service agencies from our community will be present with informational tables. Light snacks will be served.

This event is being brought to Groton by Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Senator James Seward, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, County Legislative Chair Martha Robertson, and Groton Mayor Chris Neville.

Groton Senior Club news
The Groton Senior Club will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 24 at the American Legion on Main Street. Sign-ins and fellowship time begins at 11:30 a.m., followed by a dish-to-pass lunch at noon. Members are asked to bring their own table setting and a serving utensil for their side dish. Entertainment and business meeting will follow.

The Club is also collecting non-perishable items and paper products and hygiene items for the Groton Food Pantry. New members are always welcome. Contact Jane Belonsoff at (315) 496-2125 or for any further information.


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