CHARLESTON, W.Va. – More than 200 eighth grade students across West Virginia were honored Tuesday with the prestigious Golden Horseshoe award celebrating West Virginia heritage.
State Superintendent Jorea Marple inducted all new knights and ladies of the Golden Horseshoe Society from each of the 55 counties during the awards ceremony at the Culture Center in Charleston.
“The Golden Horseshoe award is a great honor for students in West Virginia,” Marple said. “It stresses the importance of learning about our great state.”
The Golden Horseshoe award has been given every year since 1931 and is the longest running program of its kind in the United States. Each county has at least two students who receive the award. Students are awarded based on their score on the Golden Horseshoe exam, which tests students’ knowledge of West Virginia citizenship, civics and government, economics, geography, history and current events.
The Golden Horseshoe originated in the early 1700s when Gov. Alexander Spotswood of the early Virginia colony found it essential to explore the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, most of which is now West Virginia. Spotswood arranged a team of about 50 men to explore the unknown region. After the exploration, Spotswood honored each member of the team with a golden horseshoe to signify the bravery of the venture.
“Naming recipients knights and ladies was inspired by the inscription on the horseshoe,” said West Virginia Department of Education Social Studies Coordinator Joey Wiseman. “Translated from Latin, one side of the horseshoe read, ‘Thus it was decided to cross the mountains.’ On the other side was written, ‘Order of the Golden Horseshoe.’”
For a complete list of the 2011 Golden Horseshoe recipients, click here. For other questions, contact the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.
--The West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) are committed to ensuring all students in the state are college and career ready when they graduate from a public school. What West Virginia students are learning in school exceeds national and international standards. Through the WVDE’s 21st century learning plan called “Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it.,” West Virginia is seeing better student performance on the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 (WESTEST2); the SAT and the ACT college entrance exams; the job skills assessment called Work Keys given to career and technical education students; and in a high school graduation rate that exceeds the national average.
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