Pocahontas County One Room University Approaches One Year Anniversary

Marlinton, WV – With finals week in full swing, the students and administrators at the One Room University, located above the City National Bank in Marlinton WV, are keeping their brains and pencils sharp as they prep for final testing. The site was opened last year and is a part of the New River Community and Technical College. On the eve of the schools 1st birthday, students and teachers alike pause for a moment to reflect on what this program has meant to them. Christi Broce, a mother of two and a full time student at the ORU, takes a break from intense studying to explain.

“It’s really been an asset in continuing my education, to pursue an elementary education degree,” says Broce. “You know, I live in Dunmore and driving to Lewisburg four days a week just really isn’t feasible. The other great thing, is it provides a great place for me to come and study, I can take an entire day to come here and try to work on my lessons and get those done. It’s a really nice quiet environment, I don’t have loud interruptions. Elaine and Alicia are really great at helping with anything that we need; it’s just been, it’s been a really good experience for me.”

According to the Director of the One Room University, Elaine Diller, not only have many goals have been met in this first year, but also, a feeling of personal fulfillment has been achieved.

“We have students that are enrolled now, and we have prospective students who are interviewing or are in the admissions process, we’re always getting calls or walk-ins for the fall semester,” says Diller. “Our physical space is beautiful, its in place, I think it’s welcoming and it encourages the students to use it. It’s very functional for studying, socializing and classes. I’m really glad to have the support of the community, as word of mouth spreads the news that this is real and it is totally supported by our 3 partners.”

“It’s great to be part of such a positive program. It’s been my vision for a long time, to do something for our young adults of the county who want to improve their lives. I didn’t have any idea who would come to the ORU, and I still remember the thrill I felt, when our first students walked through the door. They sat down, plugged in and were ready to go, and that was really gratifying. I am so impressed and proud of our young people who have come through these doors; they’re smart, they’re motivated and they’re determined.”

Ms. Diller’s assistant, Alicia Tallman adds that she is the “non-traditional” student, and gets to see, on a day to day basis, that getting a college education is a very obtainable goal for many of our residents here in the county, including herself.

The One Room University will remain a site of activity throughout the summer. Along with summer classes and student enrollment for the fall 2012-2013 school year, the ORU will play host to several other events, including a Prep 4 College Success Course starting the 12th and ending August 16th, a workshop through the Pocahontas CVB on June 2nd and 3rd and a CPR class in the near future. The public is encouraged to stop by and see Elaine or Alicia to enroll for future classes, special events or to just ask questions about the site and it’s opportunities. They may also be reached by phone at (304)-799-4950 or email at mdiller@newriver.edu.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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