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Local Eighth-Graders Named Golden Horseshoe Winners

Northern Panhandle students will be among those becoming “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe” during ceremonies in Charleston next month.

The West Virginia Department of Education (will recognize 221 eighth-grade students from middle schools across the state as 2022 Knights of the Golden Horseshoe on June 14, 2022, at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston. The event will be livestreamed on West Virginia Public Broadcasting stations.

Eighth grade students in West Virginia history classes throughout the state take the Golden Horseshoe tests each year that measure their knowledge of West Virginia history, politics and current events.

Winners from the Northern Panhandle are as follows:

– Brooke County: Jalynn Gebroski, Quentin Toth, and Mollie Diaz, all students at Brooke Middle School.

– Hancock County: Ella Paras, Oak Glen Middle School; Micah Hvizdak and Cayden Braswell, Weir Middle School; and Ethaniel Baker, St. Joseph the Worker School.

– Marshall County: Brodie Baker, Lila Roman, Jasper Murrin, and Morgan Messner, all from Sherrard Middle School.

– Ohio County: Finn O’Connell and Michael Hutnick, St. Michael Parish School; William Blackwell, Triadelphia Middle School; and Dayton Van Fossen, Bridge Street Middle School.

– Wetzel County: Jessa Anderson and Chenbin Ren, New Martinsville School; and Rachel Hickman, Short Line School.

– Tyler County: Kayden Utt andl McKenzie Utt, both of Tyler Consolidated Middle School.

One of the highlights of the eighth-grade year is the opportunity for a student to become a Knight or Lady of the Golden Horseshoe. This prestigious program takes its name from the golden horseshoes given to the early explorers of West Virginia. This historical tradition was revitalized in the late 1920’s.

To promote the study of state history. The Golden Horseshoe became known as a symbol of scholastic achievement to honor students who excel in the study of West Virginia.

The program of studies in combination with state awards is unique in its statewide recognition of scholastic achievement.

Each year approximately 22,000 eighth grade students spend the school year studying a comprehensive West Virginia curriculum. The curriculum engages the students in the intense study of the history, geography, economy and government of the Mountain State.

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.

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.


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