Hallie’s Healing Hands


Julia Deicicchi

Zuckerman in Action: Zuckerman wraps an athlete’s ankle before a game.

     The whistle blows, the game stops, Hallie immediately runs onto the court to help the injured player. Hallie Zuckerman, the certified athletic trainer at Foran, is found at every single game and practice. 

     Her job is an important one, and, unfortunately, not all schools have athletic trainers. President of the National Athletic Trainers Association Tory Lindley states, “Schools need to see athletic trainers are an essential requirement to having an athletics program…athletic trainers are responsible for injury prevention and addressing the physical and mental effects of playing the game. Athletic trainers should not be a luxury but rather a necessity for all programs.”

     Athletic Director Anthony Vitelli has known Zuckerman since she was a student herself, as he was her athletic director. He also acknowledges the importance of her job to the athletic department.

     “Hallie plays a very important role for our athletic department. She is here every day for many hours making sure that our student athletes are getting the best services possible. The time that she spends with our student athletes is pivotal in making sure that they are healthy and able to return to play as soon as possible.”

     It is clear that schools need people like Zuckerman in order to keep athletes safer and attend to injuries more efficiently. However, becoming an athletic trainer is no simple task, and Zuckerman had a rigorous workload in order to get certified.

     Zuckerman attended Keene State College in New Hampshire, where she got a four-year bachelor’s degree. She completed over 1000 clinical hours along with her schooling while in the program. After that, she passed her board exams and got her license through the health department.

     Her passion and interest for the job was sparked during high school. Zuckerman, a Foran alumni, shares that, “When I was here, we had an athletic trainer, and I saw what she did and I thought that was such a cool job. I always knew I wanted to be in the medical field, so I shadowed her, and I was like this is what I want to do.”

     Zuckerman encourages anyone, including high school students that have interest in the job, to seek out their school’s athletic trainer and ask to shadow them. This is an opportunity, especially on game days, to allow for a hands-on experience to see what it is really like.

     She notes that, “It’s not for everyone, it’s crazy hours, stressful, high paced environment.” Therefore, anyone who thinks this is something that they want to pursue should first follow around their trainers to see all that the job entails.

     Zuckerman was an athlete herself, running track and cross country, which is how she got to know her athletic trainer and realize her intrigue for the job. She had gotten some overuse injuries like tendinitis, so she has experience with sports related injuries. She is able to empathize with injured athletes, which gives her an advantage, making her a better person for the position.

     While she loves her job and helping student athletes, it comes with its challenges. Zuckerman reveals that, “The hardest part of the job is definitely telling an athlete they might have a season ending injury. Especially when it’s someone like a senior, and it’s their last year, having to be the one who lets them know that they might not come back from that”.

     However, while the job comes with its challenges it also comes with the joy of helping people. Zuckerman is the first person to run out to an athlete when they get injured or tape an athlete before a game. Her job serves a great purpose in keeping the athletic department running and safe.

     Her favorite part of her job is, “Getting to see my injured athletes back out on the court playing after helping them get back from an injury and watching them finish their season is always super rewarding.”

     One of the athletes that Zuckerman helped is junior Joseph Gaetano. Gaetano is a three-sport athlete, and back in 2019 he dealt with a major injury.

     Gaetano shares that, “Right when I got into the locker room Hallie figured out that I was misdiagnosed, and that I actually tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus. Without that help, I probably wouldn’t have taken proper action.”

     Today, Gaetano is back out on the field and court, and he is grateful for all the help that Zuckerman has given him over the years.

     A typical game day for her looks different depending on the sport. On a football game day, she is typically taping from 10-20 athletes, setting their water up, and preparing her first aid. Football has larger teams, so there are usually more injuries and athletes to tape. With winter sports, there is less taping needed, but still preparation with medical bags, water, etc.

     Students have an appreciation for Zuckerman, and her contributions and effort do not go unnoticed. 

     Junior Reese Jasminski, on the cheer team, says, “Hallie is very quick on her feet, and she always knows what to do. She knows how to assess injury and acts immediately.”

     Zuckerman’s ability to stay calm and focused during high stress moments like an injury is apparent. Many people panic in these situations, so it is important that the athletes have someone who will do their job efficiently and effectively.

     Junior Jonna Lord, also on the cheer team, comments that, “With being an athlete herself she understands the constant strain that training has on your body and will help with anything you need. She is definitely an important figure at Foran, and all sports appreciate everything that she does.”

     Not only do students admire what she does, but also how she acts. 

     Junior Logan Aronson says, “I’ve known Hallie for almost two years, and she is the most genuine and kind person, who really cares about others.”

     No matter the sport, her friendliness with the athletes and compassion is valued. 

     Junior Jack Pietrosanti on the football and lacrosse team says, “I like how she talks with the athletes, and is an overall kind person.”

     It is evident that Zuckerman truly has an impact on students and does her job well. She has great value to the athletic department, and her job is necessary for the wellbeing of all athletes. Her dedication for the job has not gone unrecognized, and it is obvious that Zuckerman has a mutual respect for her athletes.