Criner is an AP Scholar with Distinction, an alumna of both the Kentucky Governor’s Scholar Program and the Chamber of Commerce’s Youth LEAD, and holds a National Speech and Debate Association Degree of Special Distinction. She has earned a state championship title in the Kentucky Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts’ poetry division and is currently ranked #1 in the state in Mock Trial. She has been honored as a Paducah Bank Teen of the Week and a US Presidential Scholar Candidate and received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award in recognition of her commitment to her community.
She is the captain of the Paducah Tilghman Speech and Debate Team, the girls’ PT Tennis Team, and the Future Problem Solving Team. Criner is also a member of the Mock Trial Team, Interact Club, PT Ambassadors, Tilghman Tellers, Beta Club, and Academic Team. She is a member of the PTHS Honor Wind Ensemble and Tilghman’s distinguished Band of Blue Pep Band.
She is a volunteer at the Yeiser Art Center, with the Trinity United Methodist Church band, and with the Empty Bowls Project of Paducah. She has served as the merchandise manager for the Paducah Chiefs since 2016. Criner is a Paducah Human Rights Commission Student Intern and recently co-chaired the PHRC Student Intern Youth Involvement Project. She is the founder of the teen-driven mental health initiative Loqui.
Her parents are Janie and Andy Criner.
“During her 13 years in Paducah Public Schools, Kate has been a dedicated student and has had an impactful presence in activities that are meaningful to her. Her stellar grades have earned her a spot on the All A Honor Roll every year since elementary school; she has been an active member of the academic team since 4th grade, the FPS team since 5th grade, and the speech team since 6th grade; and her involvement in music and the arts has roots in her elementary and middle school years. She was in the first class of 5th graders to play the violin with Mr. VanFleet, and she has followed her passion for music throughout her high school career,” said Principal Allison Stieg. “Her positive impact at Tilghman, in the school system, and in the community is felt in numerous ways, and her school system family is enriched because of all that she has done and continues to do.”