Meet Kayla Critser

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The Herkimer Central School District Spotlight showcases student, graduate and staff member successes. If you know someone who should be in the Spotlight, please fill out this Spotlight nomination form.

Kayla Critser graduated from Herkimer High School in 2007.

What’s your favorite high school memory?

My favorite high school memories are of the pep rallies, homecoming parades and bonfires at Brookwood Park. All of the students and teams would really go all-out to show their school spirit by getting dressed up, participating in competitions, and making creative floats.

What have you been doing since you graduated?

Following graduation, I attended MVCC, followed by Ithaca College, in pursuit of my bachelor’s degree in exercise science. I had the opportunity to play basketball and softball throughout undergrad and that was a definite bonus. I then attended Rutgers University in New Jersey and achieved my Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

For the past three years, I have been working as a physical therapist in an inpatient rehabilitation facility at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J. I completed a 13-month residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy there and am working towards taking the Neurologic Clinical Specialist certification examination this March. I’ll be stationed there on the Spinal Cord Injury Unit for the next few years!

Did anyone from Herkimer Central School District influence you in becoming who you are today?

I believe many people from HHS played an influential part in my journey: Teachers, such as John Mitchell, Tim Zaleski and Kathy Benedict. Coaches, including Mike Carney, Marla Stagliano, John Tripp and Janet Getman. Being a student athlete could be challenging at times, and it was always nice to have some strong support on your side!

What advice do you have for current Herkimer High School students?

The advice I have for current HHS students would be to seek out new experiences and immerse themselves in opportunity! Observation and hands-on experience are the best ways to gain insight and knowledge to help carve out your own personal and professional career paths for the future. Also — make sure to always have some fun along the way.

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