The membership of the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce recognized Philip Barbour High School teacher Twila Smith recently for her courageous service to her students as she faced an armed gunman in her classroom last fall.  Smith, left, received the Chamber’s 2015 Community Service Award from Chamber President Eric Ruf during the organization’s annual banquet at Alderson Broaddus University.

Smith has also been honored by the West Virginia House of Delegates and the state Superintendent of Schools, was chosen one of Steve Harvey’s Heroes, and has appeared on several television shows to tell her story.

Ruf, a member of the county’s Board of Education, said, “On August 25, 2015, Twila Smith’s fifteen years of teaching experience, were put to the test as she faced a student with a gun in her classroom.  To this day, she expressed that her only concern that day was for the safety of ‘her kids’, including the armed student.  We’ve all read accounts”, Ruf said, “of that event, and the many people who were involved - which led to a peaceful ending.  But, without her calm and steady demeanor and quick-thinking, the day could have ended much differently.  The members of the Chamber of Commerce, your community, and your friends, wish to recognize you for the significant positive impact you made on our community, and say ‘Thank You’ for protecting our children and loving them as your own,” Ruf said.