Isle of Wight teacher wins regional award

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2007

SMITHFIELD—An Isle of Wight County teacher recently received the prestigious Apperson Award for 2007, the highest award given in the eastern part of the country for college counseling.

Elizabeth W. Delk, with more than 25 years in the field, was honored for her work at the Potomac and Chesapeake Association of College Admission Counseling annual conference in April.

&uot;I couldn’t have been more surprised,&uot; she said last week.

&uot;This is an award I never expected.&uot;

The Apperson Award has been in existence for 35 years and is given to the counselor whose career in college counseling best exemplifies the exemplary standards of the profession. It is awarded to counselors who work at either a high school or in college admissions for lifetime work.

Former recipients of the award include John T. Casteen, President of University of Virginia, Thomas N. Pollard Jr., former Dean of Admissions of UVA, Audrey T. Hill, past President of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling and John A. Blackburn, Dean of Admissions at UVA.

Delk, who has been based at Smithfield High School for the past 18 months, works with the students and their families at both Smithfield and Windsor High Schools and estimates she has worked with 300 different families during this time.

&uot;I am extremely proud to say that we’ve had amazing results with some of our students,&uot; she said.

&uot;We’ve had one to receive a full scholarship to UVA, another to an Ivey League School and one to receive a scholarship to William and Mary.&uot;

&uot;It makes a difference when the student is prepared,&uot; she added.

Delk said preparing the student for college admission is her goal.

&uot;I work with classes here and at Windsor, but I also work with students one-on-one, as well as with their families.

&uot;I look at the student’s SAT scores and his academic record and try to match him with from five to 10 different colleges.

&uot;I also help them with the admission papers.

They do the work, of course, but I review it and make suggestions for any changes.&uot;

She said her greatest reward is seeing students who thought college was not an option being accepted into their choice of schools.

Married to Circuit Court Judge Rodham Delk and the mother of three sons, Delk actually has been in counseling for 35 years, &uot;but stayed home for 10 years when her sons were small,&uot; she said.

A three-time graduate of William & Mary, she holds a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in guidance and counseling.

She is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Her current title is Consultant for College Counseling for Isle of Wight County Schools.

Prior to her work as a counselor for the school system, she served as a therapist in private practice in Newport News.