WENTWORTH — Willamsburg School, the first public school in North Carolina, opened its doors in 1840 in Rockingham County. 

“I mean I'm standing in this one room school house and for 40 years the architecture is pretty much about the same,” said Rockingham County Schools superintendent Rodney Shotwell. 

On Friday, fourth-grade students from Williamsburg Elementary School had the chance to explore a replica of the very first one-room school house. 
"I thought it would be a little bit bigger and the benches would be a little bit longer, but it's was really different than I imagined,” said fourth grade student Leeland Darnell.  

Darnell and his classmates performed a skit they wrote highlighting what they've learned about education during the mid-1800's. 

"Williamsburg was the first public school and that it was very small and that it had cracks and holes in the wall,” said Darnell. 

Shotwell said today's schools are innovative, adaptive, and determined. 

"I describe them that way because look at what North Carolina looked like in 1840 and here we are in 2015. ‘What's the one constant over that time?’ It's been the public schools. We're the feeder for the universities where all those discoveries are made." 

Shotwell also said there are a record number of students attending college. 

"I think what the schools have really taken a good hold of is we still want kids to go to college, that's never changed, but what we're also doing right now is more than ever meeting the needs of our vocational needs." 

With hopes of making our schools every child's chance and every community's future.  Williamsburg Elementary School will hold a "Williamsburg Museum/Gallery Walk" on March 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

This will be a compilation of projects students have been working on to learn the history of the state's first public school.