Walker's retiring Dean of College Counseling and Guidance Neil Clark was honored (and surprised!) with the 2019 Larry West Award at the annual Southern Association for College Admission Counseling Conference.
The Larry West Award is a leadership award based on longevity of service and dedication to SACAC, outstanding contributions to the admission counseling profession, leadership within the profession, and dedication to students. The award is named in memory of a former SACAC president and is the highest distinction given by SACAC. Congratulations on this well deserved honor, Neil - or should we say, HOOPLA!
Susan McCarter, SACAC's awards chair, presented the award to Neil with the following speech.
"So where do I begin? Everyone seems to have a story about this year’s honoree. He has a sense of humor that is second to none. He uses his comical talent to alleviate the stress of high school for his students, calming nerves, easing tensions and building relationships. A tenacious advocate for his students, he has never been one to obfuscate his appraisal of their record, so when his college colleagues read his recommendations, they know they are getting the whole perspective and a next level of knowledge about the applicant. By looking deeply and carefully at each student, he helps them find the best post-secondary options, and guides them based on their ability to be successful at those colleges rather than being dazzled by rankings or reputation.
In his 40 plus years in education, he has also selflessly provided thoughtful and candid appraisals of how university policies affect students and these insights have helped shape best practices at high schools and colleges at the state, region, and national level. Without question, his attitude and ethics have positively shaped the professional lives of countless admissions and college counseling professionals. To conclude, this year’s Larry West Award winner lives out the mission and vision of SACAC in the most noble way by inspiring others to remember that there is no one we can’t love if we take the time to know their story. It is my distinct privilege to present the Larry West Award for Leadership to Neil Clark from The Walker School."
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