West Virginia history whizzes earn Golden Horseshoe induction

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A couple of hundred students who just finished the 8th grade were honored Tuesday for what they know about West Virginia history.

The 2022 Golden Horseshoe Knighting Ceremony was held at the state Culture Center in Charleston.

The Golden Horseshoe test is based on the history and culture of West Virginia. It’s the longest running program of its kind in the country. The top scoring eight graders from each county in the state receive the prestigious award and are inducted as knights and ladies of the Golden Horseshoe Society.

The West Virginia Department of Education honored 221 students Tuesday during three separate ceremonies. State School Superintendent Clayton Burch said it was a job well done.

“These students demonstrated both the resiliency and dedication required for this achievement,” Burch said. “The work ethic exemplified by this class is evidence that they will be incredible ambassadors for the Mountain State. I look forward to the many wonderful things they will achieve.”

Summersville eighth grader Isaiah Bailey said he’s come to learn what an honor it is to earn a Golden Horseshoe.

“It’s a great responsibility and a huge honor,” he said.

Bailey’s mother was all smiles when she spoke to MetroNews.

“I’m extremely proud and he’s done amazing all year. He’s not only done this but finished with a 3.8 GPA and won first place for the young writers contest.”

New Martinsville rising 9th grader Chenbin Ren said the test wasn’t easy.

“It was hard and I didn’t know a lot of the questions but I tried my best. I studied a couple hours for a week,” Ren said.

The Golden Horseshoe has been awarded to more than 15,000 students since its inception.

This year’s ceremony featured the newly designed sword created and forged by students at Musselman High School and James Rumsey Technical Center in Berkeley County.

There’s a Golden Horseshoe reunion scheduled for West Virginia Day, next Monday. Gov. Jim Justice, First Lady Cathy Justice have invited past winners to the state Culture Center from noon until 2 p.m.

There were nine people who were named honorary recipients Tuesday including James D. Turley (posthumously), Boone County; Delegate Brent Boggs, Braxton County; Keith Moody, Jefferson County; Jeffrey Stephens, Marshall County; Carmen Soltesz, Mingo County; Ashley Mann, Monroe County; Cela J. Burge, Nicholas County; Deana Kendall, Roane County; and Norma J. Cutright, Upshur County.

You can find more information about the Golden Horseshoe award at wvde.us.

Story by Chayse Matheny

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