By Karalee Flohr, Monroe
Irene Weber and Betty Rea, both former directors of Rhododendron Girls State, returned for 2014 as members of the Board of Incorporators and as roommates. They both retired from the position after 17 years of service, but that did not stop them from continuing to attend and help with the program. Irene Weber retired from the director’s position after serving from 1997 to 2013. She was the last director before this year’s current director Michelle Sirbaugh, took over her position. Betty Rea served as director from 1987 to 1995, and she has continued attending the event since. Weber and Rea have been making the best of their time by helping out around campus including the Country Store and socializing with other staff members.
Whether its running for an office, sharing their artistic side by designing RGS literature, taking part in community projects or singing and dancing in the talent show, there’s a place for each girl to shine. Citizens learn about city, county and state government, as well as Americanism, leadership, professional development, public speaking, public safety and journalism. Learning how our democracy works by setting up a government complete with party structure and elections, Girls State Girls find and tune their voice at the week long event.
Driving Directions — Interstate 70 — take Exit 2B (Washington Avenue Exit) — WJU will be on your Left.
Wheeling Jesuit University
316 Washington Avenue
Wheeling WV 26003
The 65-acre campus sits on a hill in the center of the beautiful Ohio Valley. Since 1997, WJU has been the home of the Rhododendron Girls State program. Soon a new tradition started for the program, every year the RGS Governor, along with Director Weber, plant a rhododendron on campus to decorate the landscape, mark another successful session and leave our beautiful state flower for everyone to treasure.
Girls State utilizes four of the residence halls as well many of the 15 modern buildings that make up the campus landscape. WJU is also known as having some of the best health and recreation facilities in the region. Our program uses the track for the Party Parade and the McDonough Center all week.