York, who operates the Salem Drug Company and serves as Director of Pharmacy at Fulton County Hospital, is a supporter of the two year college system. She began her college career by obtaining an Associates's Degree from Arkansas State University-Beebe.
"I knew I wanted to become a pharmacist and I was encouraged by many to attend a four year school, like UA or ASU," said York. "But a two year college was more affordable and I feel like I got more one on one training at Beebe. I was well prepared when I went on to Little Rock (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to study pharmacy)."
Despite running a combination drug store, restaurant and gift shop and keeping up with family responsibilities, York did not hesitate to accept the position on the Ozarka College board.
"With the economy the way it is, many people need affordable higher education closer to home and Ozarka meets those needs," said York. "I am glad we have something to offer, but I want Ozarka to continue to grow and improve and be the best it can be."
York is replacing Barbara Perryman of Viola, whose term expired in July.
Ozarka College President Richard Dawe welcomed York, who will serve until July 2018.
"Darla York will provide a strong and supportive voice from Fulton County and will make an outstanding addition to the Ozarka College team," said Dr. Dawe.
York already has some ideas she was would like to pursue, including an Ozarka presence in Salem.
"I think starting at the high school would be a logical step," said York. "Salem students already earn college credit through online and video conference classes. Maybe Ozarka College can get involved in some way."
Because of her background in medicine, York also wants to see the Ozarka Nursing School continue to improve, since nursing offers many job opportunities and many prospective students are interested in nursing.
York and her husband, Ted, have three children. Their daughter Shelby is studying Occupational Therapy at the University of Central Arkansas. Oldest son Carson is studying biology at UCA and youngest son Layton is a sophomore at Salem High School.
Other Ozarka College Board members are Bennie Cooper of Melbourne, Dennis Wiles of Horseshoe Bend, Larry Sullivan of Mountain View, Bob Evins of Cherokee Village, Paul Weaver of Violet Hill and Jack Yancy of Brockwell.
Figures released Sept. 8 show Ozarka College enrollment increased by four percent for the fall 2011 semester, which began Aug. 22.
1,632 students are attending fall classes, with students fairly evenly distributed across the Melbourne, Ash Flat and Mountain View campuses.
The newest Ozarka site, Mammoth Spring, showed an increase of almost 40 percent in full time students this semester.
The Mammoth Spring site opened a year ago in a building that formerly housed a day care center. President Richard Dawe expects Mammoth Spring enrollment to continue to grow and says additional classroom space will be added as needed.
Increasing enrollment is an ongoing Ozarka College trend.
Last fall, Ozarka showed a 25 percent overall increase in students, the largest one year growth of any two or four year institution in the state.