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WWTHS graduate killed in Libya remembered

December 6, 2013

The Warren Woods Public Schools community is feeling the devastating loss of a 1998 Warren Woods Tower High School graduate.

School officials are remembering Ronald Smith as, “An active and valuable member of the Warren Woods community” who “undoubtedly had a bright future.”

According to a press release, Smith was an outstanding student, athlete and member of the National Honor Society while attending WWTHS.

“We are all deeply saddened over this loss of a bright and talented alumnus,” WWPS Superintendent Stacey Denewith-Fici said in a prepared statement. “We would ask that you keep his family, as well as our Warren Woods family, in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”      

The press release does not state how Smith died, but news reports circulating via social media indicated he was shot to death Dec. 5 while jogging in Benghazi, Libya.

Smith was a teacher at the International School Benghazi, located just outside Benghazi, where he deeply touched the lives of his students. News of the educator’s death was reported on the school’s website at

“We are deeply saddened to report the tragic death of Ronnie Smith, a beloved teacher and friend. Ronnie supported students in their learning and always had time to help when asked. He was a professional who gave his time freely and without question,” school Principal Peter Hodge stated on the website.

“We cannot begin to comprehend why this has happened and it is extremely difficult for his students and his colleagues to accept. Our deepest condolences go to his family at this terrible time,” Hodge continued. “We are doing everything we can to work with authorities at this difficult time, and thank you all for your expressions of support and condolences. Thank you.”

Students and parents who knew Smith took to Facebook to remember the slain teacher. Many wrote for Smith to “rest in peace,” and that he was a “wonderful” teacher. Others were saddened and offered their condolences to his family.

Friends also remembered him on the Warren Woods Tower High School Alums Facebook page.

About the author

Staff Writer Maria Allard covers the school districts of Center Line, Fitzgerald, Van Dyke, Warren Consolidated and Warren Woods, and Macomb Community College for the Warren Weekly newspaper. She also covers northeast Detroit, the City of Harper Woods and the Harper Woods District Schools for the Advertiser Times newspaper, and the City of Grosse Pointe Woods and the Grosse Pointe Public Schools System for the Grosse Pointe Times newspaper. Allard has worked for C&G Newspapers since 1995, and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University.

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