CHARLESTON – Six Jefferson County eighth-graders were among the high-achieving history students from across West Virginia honored at the Capitol last week as the state’s 2014 Golden Horseshoe winners.
Nicholas Chapman, Emma Damm and Eva Smith all students at Wildwood Middle School, along with Donovan Frye and Max Ober, both of Shepherdstown Middle School and Parker Jackson of Charles Town Middle School all attended the morning-long festivities on Thursday.
More than 200 West Virginia eighth-graders were inducted as Knights and Ladies of the Golden Horseshoe. The test has been administered in West Virginia each year since 1931.
State education officials say it’s the longest-running program of its kind in the United States.
The top-scoring students in each county receive the award, with at least two students from each county honored with the distinction.
During Thursday’s ceremony, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin praised the students.
What’s the Golden Horseshoe? The name derives from the exploration of western Virginia in the 18th century. Alexander Spotswood, then governor of Virginia, gave a golden horseshoe to some 50 men who ventured into what was then wilderness.
The exam tests eighth-graders’ knowledge of West Virginia citizenship, economics, geography, history, current events, and civics and government.
Nine students from Berkeley County also were honored with the Golden Horseshoe. The winning students were Grace Bridges, Eden Canby, Ashton Dill, Solange Disasi, Zachary Hammersla, Abigail Hess, Thabiso Mutumhe, Cameron Palmer and Christophe Salgado.