Kylie Kerner

At the tender age of four, Kylie Kerner began planning her future. While attending the Point Place Parade with her parents, she was mesmerized by the baton twirlers. “At that moment, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she says. That very day, she pulled her mom along as she spoke with the twirlers and two days later began baton lessons.

The junior Early Childhood Education major has spent the last 17 years honing her skill and competing. To date, she has earned 53 titles including 25 regional, 17 state, 4 national and 5 junior Olympic medals. Ms. Kerner has garnered so many trophies that she has begun donating them to organizations. “If they can bring joy to others or inspire them to pursue their dreams, then it’s worth it,” she says.

“Some people think of twirling as girls in sparkling costumes but it is so much more than that. In 2013, I went to the Junior Olympics in Detroit and captured four gold and two silver medals. While participating I met some fabulous individuals and realized that our sport attracts competitors from around the world – both men and women,” she adds.

Representing Lourdes University, Ms. Kerner is set to compete next in the College Miss Majorette of America pageant at the University of Notre Dame.

Kylie in Gray Wolves gear

Dedicated to becoming a K-5 educator, the Notre Dame Academy graduate is grateful to her Lourdes education teachers. “Lourdes was my college choice because I could twirl but also because of the small school environment. The teachers especially Sister Valerie Grondin and Dr. Vince Laverick are amazing. All the professors provide one-on-one attention and they really want to help us achieve our goals.”

Another benefit of Lourdes for Ms. Kerner is the University’s dedication to service. As a high school senior, she participated in the Toledo Labre Project, a weekly campus ministry initiative that brings food, refreshments and cheer to those in need in two Toledo neighborhoods. Falling in love with service, she has remained active in campus ministry projects as a Lourdes student including the most recent Habitat for Humanity Spring Break Project which traveled to North Carolina.

Scheduled to graduate in 2020, Ms. Kerner is determined to fulfill two more goals. In addition to teaching, she and two twirling colleagues hope to establish a coaching team and prepare the next generation of twirlers. Graduate school is part of the plan as well. “It’s so rewarding to work with young individuals who have learning challenges. With a master’s degree in special education, I will be licensed to teach young children in our region and play a part in helping them realize their potential.”

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