CHARLOTTESVILLE — For six decades students, staff and families have made their way through Eastern Hancock High School. Now there are six murals on the wall there depicting the decades, capturing moments in time thanks to Kaitlyn Delk, an EH senior who wrapped up her Eagle Scout Badge project by creating and hanging the murals.
Kaitlyn, who graduates Sunday, June 4 from Eastern Hancock, has been a member of Boy Scouts Troop 262, as part of an all-girl scout troop, since the fall of 2019 after they started letting girls into the program. Like many scouts before her, she’s wrapping up her scouting career with an Eagle Scout Badge project, something designed to have a lasting impact on the scout’s community.
“The six different canvases are up and in the hallway and they are basically a collage of photos from yearbooks starting in 1964 through 2019,” Kaitlyn said.
Part of the task when a scout goes for an Eagle Scout Badge is coordinating, researching and raising funds for their project. Kaitlyn and her helpers went through the old yearbooks, picked out important moments and special happenings for each mural.
“Once we got everything, we put it into a timeline so all of the canvases line-up together and make up the timeline of the school,” she said.
From the time Kaitlyn first came up with the idea of creating the canvases to seeing the finished project, it’s been hard work, but the finish project gives her a real since of accomplishment.
“I’m very happy with how this whole thing turned out,” Kaitlyn said. “While I was stressed at first, the biggest thing for me was the time restraint and if it did get done, I was kind of afraid it wasn’t going to be what I had envisioned.”
Kaitlyn was also concerned she would not have the project completed by the end of the school year, which coincided with her 18th birthday. Scouts must have their Eagle Scout projects completed and turned in before they turn 18.
”Originally, when I started talking to the school about the project, we were not going to do the timeline or anything like that as it was just going to be photos,” Kaitlyn said.
However, the decision was made to turn the murals into timeline photos and she’s glad the project ended up that way.
“I think it really made the project look and feel a lot better and a lot more finished and professional,” Kaitlyn said.
Superintendent George Philhower agreed and said the work of art is “fantastic.” He liked how Kaitlyn and her group went through each old EH yearbook from the past 60 years, picking and choosing poignant moments to add to six different murals.
“It’s pretty spectacular as she exceeded our expectations,” Philhower said. “The six different murals are really pretty cool as she put all the pictures on canvases after she came up with such a neat idea to help share our school district.”
Kaitlyn noted it was neat to see how happy administrators were with the finished project. They liked the work so much that they regretted putting the murals in a hallway that doesn’t get as much traffic as other places.
“They put the murals in a hallway where they thought they would look nice, but they said it was kind of a waste and that they should have put them in a place that was more visible,” Kaitlyn said with a laugh. “They told me the work looked professionally done and that is something I loved to hear because I was the one in charge.”
Regardless of where the murals are located, Kaitlyn and school officials are pleased she was able to add a lasting piece of art to the school district, something people will see for decades to come.
“To me, this was kind of a final token of appreciation to the school,” Kaitlyn said. “This was my final goodbye to Eastern Hancock. I spent a lot of time researching and looking into the school’s history that was even beyond what I have experience since I’ve been there from kindergarten through senior year.”
Kaitlyn finished the project, which included filling out a folder with project details, an essay about the project goals and reference letters to submit to officials so she can be awarded her Eagle Scout Badge by state and national scouting officials.
”I was racing the clock and got it all turned in last week,” Kaitlyn said.
That was just a few days before her 18th birthday earlier this week. Kaitlyn has plans to head to IUPUI in Indianapolis next fall where she wants to earn a history degree and eventually work in a museum.