Cornwall-Lebanon School District didn’t have to go far to find a new principal for Cedar Crest High School.

Last month, the district announced that Christopher M. Groff, the current athletic director/assistant principal at Cedar Crest, will take over for Nicole Malinowski in mid-November. She is leaving to become principal of Cumberland Valley High School.

Groff told LebTown that moving into administration was a goal of his after years of teaching and coaching. “I loved coaching and had to get that out of my blood,” he said.

A graduate of Northern Lebanon, Groff earned a bachelor’s degree from West Chester, where he played baseball. He holds a master’s degree from Penn State and his principal certification from Temple.

Groff has been at Cornwall-Lebanon for 22 years, which he’s “thoroughly enjoyed.”

“It’s the only place I know professionally,” he said.

“I love this district, I’ve had a lot of great experiences and so many opportunities,” Groff added. “I love our community and our staff.”

The Cornwall-Lebanon School Board approved the recommendation of Groff as the next principal Oct. 19. He’s been athletic director/assistant principal at the high school – which has an enrollment of about 1,600 – since July 2019. He also serves on the district’s Pandemic Planning Committee and is deputy Title IX coordinator for the district, according to a release.

Groff was previously a sixth grade teacher at Cedar Crest Middle School for 20 years, where he taught reading, language arts, math and social studies. While there, he served as English-Language Arts Curriculum Leader for 15 years. He fulfilled his administrative internship at the middle school and was a member of many building leadership teams.

Groff also was assistant junior varsity baseball coach for three years and head varsity coach for 10 years at the high school. Two of his squads won District 3 championships and one captured a Lancaster-Lebanon League title. He coached high school basketball for eight years, too.

One of his baseball players, Derek Fisher, went to the University of Virginia and was drafted 37th overall by the Houston Astros in 2014. Fisher appeared in 16 games this season with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Outside of school, Groff volunteers as travel/recreation coordinator for Falcon Youth Basketball and as president of the Falcon Youth Baseball Association. He is head coach of the baseball and basketball teams for third to eighth graders.

Groff and his wife, Lauren, have three children going to school in the district: Nolan, a 10th grader, Dylan, an eighth grader, and Ali, a fifth grader.

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Paula Wolf worked for 31 years as a general assignment reporter, sports columnist, and editorial writer for LNP Media. A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, she is a lifetime resident of Lancaster County.


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