Spotlight on: Class of 2024 salutatorian Kyle Carney

Class of 2024 salutatorian Kyle Carney

Spotlight on: Kyle Carney
Class of 2024 salutatorian


Herkimer Central School District recently announced the Class of 2024 valedictorian as Victoria Stapf and the salutatorian as Kyle Carney.

This spotlight is on salutatorian Kyle Carney.

Both students took a demanding course load and participated in various extracurricular activities on the way to their academic accomplishment, so they were happy when they officially found out their class rankings.

“It felt amazing to know all the hard work paid off – the nights of studying, going the extra mile, just doing my work, staying on task,” Carney said. “It’s nice to know that it’s shown and it works out.”

Carney is the son of Michael and Kathleen Carney of Herkimer. He will graduate with 24 high school credits and 24 college credits through taking six College Now courses and two AP courses. He will receive a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Honors and Mastery in Math and Science with a Seal of Civic Readiness.

For extracurricular activities, Carney served on the Student Council throughout high school including as president this school year, served as Class of 2024 vice president for most of high school and also as treasurer one year, was in the National Honor Society, represented Herkimer at the Herkimer County Youth Summit and played basketball, soccer, football, tennis and club basketball.

Carney said he didn’t expect or specifically aim to be salutatorian until entering 12th grade.

“I would say it became a goal of mine my senior year, but to be in the top 10 was always a goal,” he said.

He thought he might end up closer to fourth or fifth and was happy to find out he ranked second.

“So when I found out, I was pretty excited,” he said. “I knew No. 1 was pretty locked in, but it’s OK.”

Carney’s next step will be at Siena College.

“I plan on going to Siena to pursue a history degree on a pre-law track,” Carney said. “Siena has an affiliation with Albany Law – it’s like a three-plus-two program, so I can get my bachelor’s in history in three years and then go to Albany Law for two 11-month periods, so it will be nice.”

Carney doesn’t know for sure what type of law he plans to work in, but he definitely wants to be some type of attorney or lawyer, and he knows why he chose this path.

“My mom says I like to argue, and I like to reason my point, and it’s something I know that there’s not such a shortage, but there’s not a lot of people going into that field right now,” Carney said. “And I’ve always been interested in Supreme Court cases and history and a lot of laws’ history – the Bill of Rights, amendments, all of that.”

Carney said that going to school at Herkimer Central School District has helped him be ready for his next steps, and he named his College Now English class with teacher Matthew Watkins as an especially beneficial class.

“He’s really treated it like a college class, and I’ve felt that class has definitely prepared me probably the most for the road ahead because it’s a lot of writing and reading, so I would say my education here has definitely prepared me for college,” Carney said.

When asked, Carney also provided advice for younger Herkimer students entering high school.

“Stay focused is the one thing,” Carney said. “Don’t procrastinate work. Get it done on time. If there’s a deadline, do it by the deadline. Don’t get behind. But also, have fun because you don’t want to stress yourself out with work, so that’s why extracurriculars – like sports especially – are so awesome because you get to meet people and talk to people, and it’s kind of a break away from school a little bit. As long as you do your work, you’ll be fine.”

As far as his message to his classmates with his salutatorian speech, that’s taking more thought for him as he prepares.

“The message I want to get across is tough because it means a lot, and I want to have an impact with my statement,” he said.


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