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Food Service Director Appointed

Food Service Director Appointed

Groton Central School district welcomes new Food Services Director Kelley Neville. An outdoor enthusiast who loves camping, it is no surprise then that some of her favorite foods to cook include creating unique soups, stews and chilies, the perfect accompaniment to outdoor activities. A 1997 Groton graduate, Mrs. Neville studied culinary arts as high school Senior through the BOCES Career and Technical program. After graduation she then earned her Associates degree from Paul Smith College and began her career in food service at local businesses before she found her niche at SUNY Cortland were she was employed for nine years as Executive Chef. In her new role, she will be working to ensure the new state guidelines are implemented and the cafeterias in both schools continue to undergo positive changes in the direction of sustainability and healthy food choices. Mrs. Neville plans to continue to collaborate with the Groton Student Farm to contribute compostable items and looks forward to other joint efforts. She said “I would love to use some things from our own community garden as well as using local produce from the Fresh Food Hub.” In the past Neville enlisted a local farmer to grow tomatoes in order to make large quantities of fresh tomato sauce from scratch, Neville would like to establish these types of rewarding partnerships to ensure healthy food options within the district. Neville sees areas of growth for the district being the development of more community awareness of healthy eating especially healthy snacks that students can consume at home and the enhancement of the summer food program to include eligible students whether or not they attend a summer school program. Interestingly, Mrs. Neville’s grandmother-in-law, Norma Neville, was previously employed at the high school as a Cook/Manager, retiring in 1998. “We have been here a really long time,” she said of her family, “and we really love the community.” Of her own undergraduate experience she commented, “I have all great memories, the teachers were fantastic, Mr. and Mrs. Gambetta, Mr. and Mrs. Levick, there are those teachers that really stand out to me. I was a part of some different groups and I feel like they were really helpful to get you to find out what you want to do. Everyone wanted to see you succeed, and I always carried that with me.” This year, Mrs. Neville’s daughter started her first year in Groton as a kindergartener. “The district has had a really positive effect on my daughter, she loves the teachers, school and programs,” Neville said. This organic partnership is a welcome one for Groton Central Schools, as is the dedication of Mrs. Neville to her new role. “Everyone has been great and really welcoming, I am excited to be here.” Neville said, “I have a lot to learn but am excited about all the things to come.”

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