CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDOE) hosted a ceremony to honor 2022 Golden Horseshoe recipients on Tuesday, June 14. The event was held at the West Virginia Culture Center located in Charleston, W.Va.
The ceremony honored a total of 221 eighth-grade students in West Virginia. Three of those students were from Upshur County and included Buckhannon- Upshur Middle School (B-UMS) students Declan Gowers, Lila Wright and Cody Hanline.
The event began with comment by the host, “Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Golden Horseshoe Day 2022. My name is Dustin Lambert and I serve as the social studies coordinator at the West Virginia Department of Education. I’d like to begin by asking that all cell phones be silenced at this time. We would like to extend greetings to Superintendent Birch, Board President Miller Hall, student honorees, parents and many others who are joining us here at the culture center; thank you for being here.”
Students were knighted and then presented with a lapel pin. It was noted by the WVDOE that students that are inducted as “knights” and “ladies” of the Golden Horseshoe Society. The test has been administered each year since 1931 and is the longest running program of its kind in any state. Furthermore, the WVDOE said, “The primary goal of the program is to promote pride in our state, develop intellectual and participatory skills as well as foster attitudes that are necessary for students to participate as effective, involved, and responsible citizens. The State Department of Education, in effect, uses the Golden Horseshoe award to honor “all-state” West Virginia Studies students.”
The WVDOE also revealed the following information, “Each year 221 eighth-grade students are honored for their knowledge of the state in a one-day ceremony held in Charleston. The Golden Horseshoe winners have outscored their classmates in school and county wide testing competitions and made top scores on a West Virginia Department of Education test which measures their grasp of West Virginia Studies. Students also write an essay focusing on some aspect of West Virginia current events. A minimum of two students from each county and one student from the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind at Romney are selected for the award. The other 110 honorees are selected from the 55 counties based on each county’s eighth-grade population.
While in Charleston to celebrate the Golden Horseshoe Day, the honorees are treated to a tour of the Capitol and Cultural Center and a luncheon held in their honor. The high point of the Golden Horseshoe Ceremony is the induction of the students into the Golden Horseshoe Society. The State Superintendent of Schools presides over the induction ceremony. Each student kneels and, with a tap of a sword on the shoulder, is dubbed either a Knight or Lady of the Golden Horseshoe Society. Each student is presented a Golden Horseshoe pin and the 70-year honor and tradition continues.”