Superintendent’s Spotlight: Kiera Ferrier


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Kiera Ferrier

December 12, 2023

Kiera Ferrier is a member of both the National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society, the latter of which she serves as President. The WVHS senior is a standout in the WVHS Criminal Justice program (CJ), an area she first became interested in during the eighth grade. Kiera said she can’t really recall now what it was that piqued her crime-solving interest, but that it was “probably something on TV.” She is sure now that whatever it was, “none of it turned out to be real anyway.”

Since then, Kiera has dived deeply into every opportunity that the district offers for students with an interest in the field. She started in tenth grade, with Criminal Law & Justice, a half-year course that creates a foundation for students who may choose to pursue a career in criminal justice. It provides a comprehensive look at American and criminal law and the law enforcement process.

“That was a really interesting class, but as much as we learned then, we didn’t go into the kind of depth that you get into in the criminal justice program,” said Kiera. Currently, Kiera is in her second year of CJ, taught by Eduardo Avila.

“It’s a really good program and Mr. Avila is a great teacher,” Kiera said. “He has so much experience to share, and we have three periods in the afternoon with him. There is a lot to learn!”

Kiera explained how her first year in the program had a lot of focus on clerical and soft skills, and that the second year has been much more hands on.

“Yesterday, we conducted arrests with our classmates,” she said with a smile. The camaraderie between students in the CJ program makes those sort of exercises as much fun as they are preparatory. “We go outside and do traffic stops, taking on the role of a police officer, issuing summons.”

Kiera has spent a lot of time considering which legal she might want to follow.

“At first, I liked the idea of law, but realized there was a lot of schooling that goes into becoming a lawyer,” Kiera laughed. “Then, I got interested in the medical side of things for a while. I’m not really trying to be a police officer; I’m sort of drawn toward the psychology/criminology side of things.”

Lawyer may have lost its spot on her career leader board, but Kiera does still explore her interest in the courtroom side of things by competing on the WVHS Mock Trial Team. She is more drawn to criminology, though, for its combination of psychology and criminal justice. Last year, she learned some of the ins and outs of forensics, including a whole unit on crime scenes – marking crime scenes, lifting fingerprints, taking pictures at the correct angles.

“Investigations interest me, but I’m also not really a ‘techie’ person,” she said. “So, forensics, once you get in the lab, I feel like that’d be a little bit too much. I’d like to major either in criminal justice or criminology, with probably a minor in psych or forensics.”

When CJ students get back from the holiday break this year, they will be practicing more and more hands-on skills, as they prep for their NOCTI exam. NOCTI is an recognized credentialing organization for CTE programs across the country.

“We have to learn how to do arrests, field sobriety tests,” said Kiera. “If we pass our NoCTI exam, we get a major certification, so it’s a big deal. I also got my IS-100C, Incident Command Systems, with FEMA, and I think we’re getting our IS-700s through the criminal justice program this year.”

Kiera is also in the process of completing her Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship, and sees a post high school pathway through the military and an eventual master’s degree.

Whichever path she decides to follow, Kiera said the CJ program has done a lot more than just give her the knowledge and skills to perform a job.

“The class definitely prepares all of us for real world,” Kiera said. “There’s so much I’ve learned, even beyond the legal stuff, like, we talked about taxes and doing your taxes. It’s definitely helped get me college ready, especially with communication skills, and being able to work smoothly with others.”

And, that’s not all! Read this story about Kiera’s recent involvement with the prestigious American Legion Girls State leadership program, by our neighbors at the Warwick Advertiser. Kiera and fellow WVHS student Olivia Holland represented Warwick’s Nicholas P. Lesando Jr., American Legion Post 214 at the intensive week-long government training sessions, which were attended by a select group 250 teacher-recommended delegates from across New York. 


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