The topic of this writing is not a new one in many ways. I have often spoke and thought of the many prominent people who have roots in Braxton County. At a Gassaway High School Alumni meeting last week we were discussing our upcoming banquet, which, by the way, is back this year and will be held on July 2. Letters will be in the mail shortly with full details and an article is forthcoming in this paper. This year marks the 100th birthday of our beloved Gassaway High School. Jered Frame has undertaken producing the program for this special gathering and hopes to chronicle the history of the school.
During the discussion it was mentioned how may GHS graduates went on the make their alma mater proud. That leads me to this week’s edition of the Citizens’ News. I think it is just great that Tiffani Huffman is the first female State Police helicopter piolet in the state. I remember her aggressive nature on the basketball court and wondering, while taking pictures those many years ago, what was in her future. Obviously, I would have never guessed helicopter pilot, but she was the type of young lady that it really doesn’t surprise me.
Tiffani is not the first woman from Braxton County to make a mark for themselves in the West Virginia law enforcement community. Sharon Sumpter from Sutton was the first female State Trooper in the Mountain State. Linda (Jackson) Steen was the first female DNR Law Enforcement Office in West Virginia. These remarkable women are just the beginning of a long list of people who helped shape our state and nation that call or have called Braxton County home.
Many years ago, Skip Johnson authored a ten-part series for our paper about people from our county who achieved national prominence in a number of fields. I am going to try to make time to find that service of articles and reprint some or all of them. I think today’s readership would be just as amazed as those who read the stories fresh from Skip’s pen.
Jerad and I had a long talk after the GHS Alumni meeting and we both agreed that the biggest obstacle with his history project will probably be condensing the material into a manageable presentation.
We may be one of the smaller counties, but we have produced an extraordinary number of exceptional people. I don’t see that stopping and people like Tiffani Huffman give me a reassurance that the future is bright for our youth if they grasp it.