I am a native Virginian, and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Between time in the military, and my subsequent career in the U.S. Foreign Service, I have spent most of my adult life living overseas or in D.C. Upon my retirement in 2016, I moved to Staunton to be close to my parents. Now, I love living in the Shenandoah Valley.
In the Air Force, I earned the expert marksman medal on the M16 and the pistol. And while I've been shooting pistols since the early 80s, I became more serious about it once I retired. I found and joined a national organization of women shooters in Lynchburg where I met another female firearms instructor who became my mentor. After attending various shooting courses, I decided to get my USCCA Concealed Carry and Home Defense instructor certification in 2020. In April of 2021, Christy Knopp and I established the Augusta County Chapter of Armed Women of America (AWA) and that chapter quickly grew to more than 70 women (and is still growing!). Then as partners, Christy and I began C-BAR Firearms Training, LLC where we teach defensive shooting and gun safety. I love teaching men and women the fundamentals of shooting and watching as their skills improve and their confidence grows. It's why I do what I do.
I wanted to find ways to keep my skills current, so I began to explore the world of competitive shooting. I've been shooting in the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) since 2022. Though I have a long way to go, I can see myself improving after every match while still having a lot of fun.
When I am not on the range, I love to ride motorcycles and go wine tasting. I also work part time at the gun counter at Dominion Outdoors in Fishersville. Most important, however, is spending time with the Lord, and with my family and crazy pup.
I was born and raised in Staunton, Virginia. I was raised with five brothers and sisters on the venison that my dad hunted, and the vegetables that we grew. I live and breathed horses growing up, and I spent every minute possible at my grandparents farm in Waynesboro. Horses, a pool, a pond, a river and 28 acres, everything a young girl could dream of.
At 13, I joined the local Pony Club to begin competing in Tetrathlon, which is comprised of Running, Swimming, Riding Horses and Shooting (air pistols). I had done 5Ks and Triathlons with my parents at a young age and my dad had taught me to shoot, so this was perfect for me. I competed through my teen years through the national level and was invited to join the International Pentathlon team when I was 18. Unfortunately, circumstances did not allow me to go at that point.
I also spent my teen years teaching horseback riding and training horses/ponies. I had my first son and started a business with my mom, training and selling horses. After fixing and re-homing many “problem horses” (although we always said the people were the problem), I ended up breeding and raising my own for a few years.
After having my second son, I changed my career to Personal Training. I also taught swim lessons at the local YMCA, where my mom ran the program.
I always enjoyed shooting, but didn’t get into shooting handguns much until into my adult life. Andrea and I met at the gym where I worked, struck up a friendship and started shooting together, taking classes. That evolved into becoming instructors, bringing our passion to life by starting a chapter of Armed Women of America (formerly The Well Armed Woman) and creating C-BAR Firearms Training together.
I am now working as a CrossFit Coach and personal trainer in Staunton, and a co-owner with C-BAR Firearms, training people to be safe and comfortable with their firearms, with a focus on the defensive.
Last year I was able to put both of my professions together and compete in The Tactical Games, on a team with my oldest son. We had a blast, although it was the toughest physical challenge we have been through to date. We will definitely be back for more!
As a single working mom, I love both of my jobs, but enjoy spending time with my kids and being outdoors.
Payments are non-refundable. If you are unable to attend on your chosen date, notification must be made within 48 hours before class time, and registration can be rescheduled (up to three times) for a future date within 90 days of original registration. After that, funds are forfeited.
Students that "no-show" to a scheduled class without contacting the instructors prior to class will forfeit all funds and will not be rescheduled.
Classes with three or less students registered may be rescheduled by the instructor.
No loaded firearms are permitted for courses taught in the classroom at 1416 Churchville Ave.
We prefer class attendees to be at least 16 years of age.