Schools welcome new faces

From left to right, new Jr-Sr high school principal, Tammy Farrell, Superintendent Margo Martin and food service director Kelly Neville at the Groton Harvest information booth at the Girl Scouts annual Community Night Out.
From left to right, new Jr-Sr high school principal, Tammy Farrell, Superintendent Margo Martin and food service director Kelly Neville at the Groton Harvest information booth at the Girl Scouts annual Community Night Out.
Photo by Linda Competillo

As August winds down, Labor Day approaches, and the start of the new academic year is right on its heels, the parents, students, faculty, staff and administrators of Groton Central School are all filled with excitement, albeit for different reasons.

As parents either watch their children board the school bus or drop them off at the door of the school, and then walk or drive away with either their eyes brimming with tears or perhaps doing a “fist pump” in the air, they still all share one common sentiment, and that is their hopes and aspirations for a great year ahead for their precious young ones.

Under the helm of Superintendent Margo Martin, the GCS staff is poised and ready to help fuel those hopes and turn those aspirations into reality.

Along with many veteran employees, the district will welcome some new administrators and faculty this year.

Elementary school principal, Kent Maslin, welcomes Elizabeth Fuller, music teacher, Sydney Coon, first grade teacher, and Lisa Sharpe, fourth grade.

Tammy Farrell will step into her role as Jr-Sr high school principal, as Billie Downs puts on a new hat as the GCS district coordinator, covering the areas of public relations, human resources, data coordinator and registrar.

Filling administrative spots due to retirements and other vacancies are Cara Stevens, business manager, Nick Darling, buildings and grounds supervisor, and Jim Sedorus, transportation director.

Joining Farrell in the high school are Christopher Caza, Jr-Sr high music, Adam Berkowitz, senior high math, Todd Martin, senior high science and buildings and trades in the STEAM Center, Bryn Albro, Jr-Sr English, Samuel Lojacano, Jr-Sr science, and Kenneth Updike, Jr-Sr math.

It’s hard to believe that September is already upon us, and the carefree days of summer are essentially behind us, but there is a great staff waiting to lead and guide the students of GCS through the next 10 months of their academic lives!

Labor Day 5K

The 22nd annual Groton Labor Day 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run will take place Monday, Sept. 2 beginning and ending at the Groton Jr-Sr high school track at 400 Peru Rd. This popular and much-anticipated race is sponsored by and is a fundraiser for the Groton High School varsity cross-country program. All proceeds benefit the girls’ and boys’ cross-country teams. Each year since the race’s inception, proceeds have been used to help fund trips to other competitions and to purchase team apparel or equipment that may exceed the school’s limited budget.

Race day fee is $25. There is no fee for the fun run. There will be ribbons awarded to every finisher and plaques, medals and gift certificates for the top three finishers in various categories.

Register ahead at On-site registration will take place from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. The fun run takes off at 9 a.m., and the 5K at 9:30 a.m. There will be free parking, restrooms, showers, water and post-race refreshments available near the registration table.

For more information, visit or contact Coach Scott Weeks at

Food Scraps Recycling

The Tompkins County Department of Recycling and Materials Management (TCRMM), in partnership with the Town of Groton, will be opening its newest food scraps recycling drop spot right here in the Village of Groton.

“This will be our 15th drop spot and the first to be located in Groton. Our goal remains 20 spots by the year 2020,” TCRMM director Barbara Eckstrom said.

The drop spot, staffed by an attendant, will operate every Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Town Clerk’s Office, 101 Conger Blvd., beginning Sept. 7.

The program accepts all food scraps, including meat, bones and dairy products, as well as food-soiled paper towels and napkins. Coffee grounds, filters and tea bags are also accepted. The material collected is delivered to Cayuga Compost in Trumansburg, where it’s processed into compost and sold as a soil amendment.

“Recycling food scraps offers a clean, comfortable and convenient way for residents to expand recycling opportunities while reducing disposal costs,” said waste reduction and recycling specialist Seth Dennis. “We want to thank the Town of Groton for their part in helping grow this program.”

TCRMM provides free toolkits, including kitchen caddies and transport containers to all interested participants. Toolkits are available at any drop spot and at the Recycling and Materials Management Office in Ithaca. For more information, including a complete list of drop spot locations and hours of operation, visit or contact Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management at (607) 273-6632.

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

In brief:

Free meals for students

This fall, Groton Central School will be offering free breakfast and lunch for all students under its existing Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) grant. For this to continue, it is imperative that all families that are income-eligible to receive free or reduced meals complete the Household Income Eligibility application form.

The future sustainability of the CEP grant, which directly impacts the school’s ability to provide the free meals, is dependent upon the district having an accurate number of eligible families residing in it. The ONLY way New York state recognizes a district’s eligibility is through this application process and the resulting total number of applications that district has on file.

Applications will be sent to households in the mail and are also available in the school offices.

Groton school calendar highlights

The first day of school for both Groton Elementary and the Jr-Sr High School is Wednesday, Sept. 4. Universal pre-K 3 will begin on Thursday, Sept. 5, and pre-K 4 has a staggered start with some students starting on Thursday and others on Friday, Sept. 6. Parents should have received specific information in the mail, but if anyone is unsure, call the school at 607-898-5853.

Start time for the elementary school is 8:40 a.m., and the school day ends at 3:08 p.m. First period classes at the Jr-Sr high school will begin promptly at 8 a.m. with the homeroom time incorporated into the first period timeframe.

Elementary school parents and students - save the dates for open houses at the school. Grades universal pre-K through second will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24. The open house for grades three through five will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. The Jr-Sr high school open house will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2.

Utility pole citizenship

The Village of Groton Municipal Electric Department respectfully asks residents and others to refrain from tacking, nailing or stapling posters, handbills and other advertisements to the village electric poles.

In addition to the postings becoming unsightly over the course of time, they are a potential hazard to the electric department’s workers and a distraction to motorists.

The department reserves the right to remove any poster, handbill or other similar advertisements from utility poles at any time without notice to the person who placed it.


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