They studied hard, took the test and Friday they became members of a very special group — winners of the Golden Horseshoe exam.
Some 230 eighth-graders from across the state were named Knights and Ladies of the Golden Horseshoe Society during a ceremony at the state Culture Center. They were tops in their counties for their knowledge of West Virginia history along with current facts and figures about the state.
Taylor Miller, a student at Fairmont Catholic in Marion County, was thrilled and surprised to be among the winners.
“When they first told me I won, I was like, ‘No I didn’t! You’re kidding me!'”
But Taylor’s mom, Karie Hardy had no doubt. She said her daughter set a goal and accomplished it.
“It has just been a celebration for all of us: the school, the family, everyone,” Hardy said.
Miller was joined on the stage by Noah Spencer of Monongalia County. He studied hard for the test and his history teacher took time out to make sure he was prepared for the exam. Spencer also credited his parents who really got behind him.
“They were very supportive. My mother always wanted me to win a Golden Horseshoe,” he said.
Not only did the students have learn basic facts about West Virginia like the state animal (the black bear) and the first capitol of West Virginia (Wheeling) but also some pretty difficult facts and figures. (Here’s a question from the sample test: The exploits of this West Virginian during the Spanish-American War were documented in “A Message to Garcia.” The answer: Elbert Hubbard.)
Parents, grandparents and teachers crowded into the Culture Center for the ceremony. It was standing room only.