At Holderness School, college counseling is all about helping students find the right college fit. It's only appropriate, then, that the leadership of the College Counseling Office be an appropriate fit.
With Director of College Counseling Bruce Barton’s Chair Year scheduled for the 2020-21 academic year, Holderness School is proud to welcome Erika Blauth as the Interim Director of College Counseling.
“Erika Blauth is the right fit,” says Head of School Phil Peck. “She is uniquely qualified to be our Interim Director of College Counseling.”
Erika brings a great a breadth of selective admission experience to Holderness, most notably as Senior Assistant Director of Admission at Colorado College overseeing the on-campus visit program, interviews, and application review process for upper New England, New York City, and Washington D.C., as well as liaising with NCAA Division III athletics. She has also been an Admission Officer at Wellesley and Franklin & Marshall Colleges and an interviewer for Harvard and Bates Colleges. In addition to her admission work, Erika has been a college counselor for two college-access organizations serving first-generation, lower-income students from the Denver and Chicagoland areas, and for international students from Brazil hoping to study in the U.S. Through her professional experiences, Erika certainly brings a unique and seasoned perspective to Holderness School’s College Counseling Office
It was during her time at Colorado College when Erika learned about Holderness School. Erika says that “Holderness students asked thoughtful questions, weren’t afraid to have an open mind about the unique aspects of Colorado College, and were really engaging to speak with. When it came time to read their applications, they stood out even more in large part because Holderness facilitated their growth as a learner, leader, and citizen.”
A graduate of Bates College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Erika sees college counseling like “a big puzzle, with the pieces representing all aspects of the college process. I enjoy using my breadth of knowledge about various colleges and universities and depth of experience working in admission to help students and their families put the pieces of the puzzle together.”
Erika will lead the College Counseling Office during Director of College Counseling Bruce Barton's Chair Year, a program designed to provide revitalizing, inspirational, and developmental professional opportunities for members of the Holderness faculty. Over the course of the 2020-21 academic year, Bruce will visit some of the most competitive colleges and universities that Holderness students apply to as well as explore several key areas of the college process, chief among them international student admission and gap year opportunities.
“Bruce Barton is recognized as one of the premier college counselors,” says Head of School Phil Peck, “because of his ability to work with families and his connections with colleges all around the country. Holderness will be able to better support our students as a result of Bruce’s takeaways and lessons learned from the Chair Year.”
Erika will join an experienced Holderness College Counseling Office that includes Kristen Fischer, Pam Mulcahy, and Joan Barnum. In addition to serving as the Dean of Faculty, Kristen Fischer has over ten years of college counseling experience at Holderness. Pam Mulcahy teaches math and brings considerable experience in supporting students in secondary schools and higher education. Joan Barnum, Assistant to the Director of College Counseling, has supported the office and the college counseling process since 2005.
There’s no doubt that we’ll miss Bruce next year, but we look forward to welcoming Erika to the community. In addition to her experience in higher education and college counseling, she loves being outside, looks forward to sharing meals with community members in our dining hall, and brings with her a three-year-old golden retriever Ellie -- we think she’ll be a great fit.