This school year, Herkimer Central School District is focusing the Spotlight Q&A feature on Herkimer CSD alumni who are giving back to the school community by working in the district as teachers or staff.
Spotlight on: Courtney Klock
Licensed teaching assistant in the role of special education teacher for 10th grade
“I have always liked helping others, and I want to make a positive and inspiring difference in children’s lives. I want to give my students a reason to come to school every day.”
Q. What year did you graduate from Herkimer?
Q. What’s your favorite high school memory?
A. Everything. I loved high school and spending time with my friends and playing field hockey.
Q. What led you to become a teacher?
A. I have always liked helping others, and I want to make a positive and inspiring difference in children’s lives. I want to give my students a reason to come to school every day.
Q. What else have you been doing between when you graduated from Herkimer and now?
A. I graduated from Herkimer County Community College with my associate degree in liberal arts and social sciences and then moved onto Utica University and received my bachelor’s degree in sociology, anthropology and students with disabilities generalist (7th-12th). I will be pursuing my master’s degree next. I have worked at Masonic Child Care as a daycare teacher and Herkimer BOCES as a teacher aide, and I currently have been working at Herkimer CSD since 2018. I spend most of my time with my amazing niece and nephew, and I try to spend the rest of my time doing things I have always wanted to do, like skydiving, traveling, trying new foods and things, etc.
Q. Did anyone from Herkimer Central School District influence you in becoming who you are today?
A. Mr. Mitchell was a big influence for me. He used to say, “Effort plus ability equals success,” and that has always stuck with me and inspired me. But I would also have to say that each and every teacher and coach at Herkimer Central School District influenced me in some shape or form because without them I wouldn’t be who I am today or be back here working in the same school they all taught me in.
Q. What makes you most excited or most fulfilled about working at Herkimer after previously going to school here?
A. I found it very rewarding to come back to a school that I spent so much of my time in as a student and now see it from a different perspective as a teacher. I use that to help connect to the students because I grew up here in this community, and it is amazing to see how far we have come over the years but also how we have kept some things the same. I also find it very rewarding to develop new and improved relationships with teachers that I had in the past that I now get to work with and have a rapport that I didn’t have before.
Q. What advice do you have for current Herkimer students?
A. That they don’t have to have everything figured out all at once. There are no set deadlines in life. An accomplishment is an accomplishment, and as long as they always try their best in all that they do, then they should be extremely proud of themselves.
Courtney’s senior pictures from 2010: