BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School’s 2020 Golden Horseshoe Winners were recognized for their impressive achievement at Jawbone Park Thursday afternoon. Kari Gay, Madolyn Long, Dirk Riley and Jeremy Streets were dubbed by Mayor McCauley with the traditional West Point sword – inducting the newest Ladies and Knights into the Golden Horseshoe Society.
Each student received a key to the City of Buckhannon, their Golden Horseshoe pin and a plaque. A family member of each student presented the honorees with their Golden Horseshoe pins. Mayor David McCauley stated that 15,000 West Virginia students have earned this honor since its’ origination in 1931.
This award is given to 221 eighth grade students each year who have excelled in their knowledge about the state of West Virginia. Students spend their eighth-grade school year in a West Virginia history class, studying a comprehensive West Virginia curriculum. In order to receive the award, students must outscore their classmates on a West Virginia Department of Education test, which measures their grasp of West Virginia Studies. Students are also required to write an essay focusing on some aspect of a current event occurring in West Virginia.
This award dates back to 1716, when Alexander Spotswood, then the Lt. Governor of Virginia, later becoming the Governor, led an expedition of 50 persons across the Blue Ridge Mountains into the Shenandoah Valley. Upon returning home to Williamsburg, Spotswood presented each member of his expedition party with a golden horseshoe.
Golden Horseshoe winner Kari Gay is now one of three members in her family to win the Golden Horseshoe award. Gay stated that she is happy to carry on the tradition.
Superintendent Dr. Sara Stankus, President of the Board of Education Tammy Samples and BOE member Kristi Wilkerson were also present to honor these remarkable students.
Creating a little humor and wit, Mayor McCauley insisted that given he was subbing for Governor Justice in dubbing these 2020 Golden Horseshoe winners, the afternoon should be called “sub and dub.”
Although Governor Justice did not get to dub these Ladies and Knights of the Golden Horseshoe, these students will remember receiving this award during the global pandemic with their friends and family gathered in Jawbone Park – what a story to tell.