It is with great admiration that the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District says good-bye to Karen Tuomi. Karen has been the Director of Extended Day and Community Services for 20 years. When she began the Extended Day Program consisted of a small group of children in the before and after school care sharing space in the basement of the old high school. Now it cares for over 200 children on a weekly basis! The program began in what had been called the “New Gym” and slowly over the years the entire building has been renovated. Working with community groups and at no cost to the District, the building was transformed including a new gym floor, new playground, new roof and an addition for the growing Middle School population. The program was also expanded to include middle school children, vacation care and a summer camp program.
In addition to the extended day program Karen also ran the Community Education Program. This program has also been expanded over the years and now not only includes Adult Education, but also Middle School After School Clubs, GDRHS After 2 Club and the Elementary Enrichment programs. Additionally, they have incorporated school and town programs that were in danger of being cut due to budget constraints such as the Middle School and Elementary plays, the Middle School Ski Program, Elementary Band, Flag Football, Chess Club and Summer Tennis Camp.
Karen has also taken over the scheduling of all of the district’s facilities including the Performing Arts Center, Black Box Theatre, gyms, and fields. This involves the wearing of many hats while trying to juggle the interests of outside groups, district and community needs along with the scheduling of custodians to cover these events.
And last, but certainly not least, Karen donned the hat of Coordinator of District Security, a position that was created for our District after the Sandy Hook tragedy. In this position she has brought up the districts security to a new level implementing the new Response Options enhancements to our existing plans. Karen coordinates all staff and student trainings and drills and serves as the liaison between the District and Groton/Dunstable Police and Fire Departments.
The district interviewed four well qualified candidates for the position. Karen will be turning the reins over to Stasia Twomey on April 1, 2017. When we spoke to Karen about the transition we asked her how she felt about the new incoming Director. She said “I feel confident that the programs that I have fostered over the last 20 years will thrive under Stasia.” Stasia is a graduate of Worcester State College with a Bachelor of Arts with a Degree in communication.
She has been working both in the before and after school care program as well as at Florence Roche for the past year. In speaking to Stasia she commented, “I am excited to begin, and I can’t wait to grow the existing programs and bring more positive changes to the District”.