State Superintendent Presents Inaugural Service Above Self Award

September 24, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Martirano introduced a “Service Above Self” award which will be given to teachers and administrators throughout the state in recognition of courage, selflessness and going above and beyond the call of duty.

Martirano presented the inaugural award to staff at Philip Barbour High School following a hostage situation which ended peacefully and safely as a result of their heroic actions. Twila Smith, Jen Swift and Principal Mark Lamb were recognized by Martirano at the school. They were joined by County School Board members and local elected officials.

“You are my heroes and I commend you for your actions,” Martirano said during the award presentation. “We never went to school thinking we would have to deal with a situation such as this. I am honored to recognize the work you do on behalf of our students every day,” Martirano said.

While this is the first of the Superintendent’s Award to be presented, Martirano expects to continue recognizing dedicated teachers and administrators throughout West Virginia with the honor.

Martirano is completing a 55 county “One Voice” tour and has witnessed firsthand examples of dedication and valor during his school visits.

“The work being done in our schools is unmatched and I look forward to recognizing our exceptional staff throughout West Virginia,” he said.

For additional information, contact Kristin Anderson at the WVDE Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or

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