“This Golden Horseshoe award is a prestigious honor that provides life-long memories and tremendous pride for students, their families and friends,” Dr. Stewart said. “This unique award is coveted by many in the state, but received by very few. It is an honor that rewards students’ appreciation for and understanding of the Mountain State and its people.”
“The Golden Horseshoe award is presented in recognition of students’ crossing the mountains of learning and knowledge on the way to becoming good citizens,” West Virginia Board of Education President Howard Persinger said. “This is one of the greatest honors bestowed upon students in West Virginia.”
According to Sharon Flack, Social Studies Coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, the Golden Horseshoe originated in the early 1700s in Virginia when then-Governor Alexander Spotswood saw the need for exploration of the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, most of which is now West Virginia.
“The governor organized a party of about 50 men to explore the frontier,” she explained. “At the end of the exploration, he presented each member of the party with a golden horseshoe. Translated from Latin, the inscription on each horseshoe read, ‘Thus it was decided to cross the mountains.’ On the other side was written, ‘Order of the Golden Horseshoe.’ Because of this, the recipients became known as ‘The Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.’”
The Golden Horseshoe Test has been administered in West Virginia each year since 1931 and is the longest running program of its kind in any state. The top-scoring students in each county receive the prestigious award.
Click here to view a list of this year’s recipients http://wvde.state.wv.us/tt/2003/2003goldenhorseshoe.doc