PCS 2021 Golden Horseshoe Winners

Putnam County Schools is excited and proud to announce our 8th-Grade WV Golden Horseshoe Winners for the 2021 school year.

Congratulations to Poca Middle School’s Maranda Raine, Alyssa Smith, and Taylor White!

Congratulations to Hurricane Middle School’s Owen Crimmel, Bryce Hill, and Braden Greenwood!

This prestigious program takes its name from the golden horseshoes given to the early explorers of West Virginia. In 1716 the Governor of the Virginia colony, Alexander Spotswood, saw the need for exploration of the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, most of which is now West Virginia. Governor Spotswood presented each member of his party with a small golden horseshoe to commemorate the bravery of those who crossed the mountains into Western Virginia, beginning the Golden Horseshoe tradition.

To promote the study of state history, the idea of forming West Virginia Clubs was proposed by Phil M. Conley, an editor of The West Virginia Review. In late 1929, Mr. Conley took his idea to State Superintendent of Free Schools William C. Cook. Superintendent Cook believed that the State Department of Education should take the lead in promoting a comprehensive study of the state. He proposed expanding Conley's idea by honoring the highest-achieving students with a state award.

The Golden Horseshoe became known as a symbol of scholastic achievement to honor students who excel in the study of West Virginia.

Approximately 22,000 8th-grade students spend the school year studying a comprehensive West Virginia curriculum. The curriculum engages the students in the intense study of the history, geography, economy, and government of the Mountain State. The primary goal of the program is to promote pride in our state, develop intellectual and participatory skills as well as foster attitudes that are necessary for students to participate as effective, involved, and responsible citizens. The State Department of Education, in effect, uses the Golden Horseshoe award to honor "all-state" West Virginia Studies students.

Each year 221 eighth-grade students are honored for their knowledge of the state in a one-day ceremony held in Charleston. The Golden Horseshoe winners have outscored their classmates in school and county-wide testing competitions and made top scores on a West Virginia Department of Education test which measures their grasp of West Virginia Studies. Students also write an essay focusing on some aspect of West Virginia current events.

Putnam County Schools’ six Golden Horseshoe recipients will be honored on June 25, 2021, on Golden Horseshoe Day at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston.

While in Charleston to celebrate the Golden Horseshoe Day, the honorees are treated to a tour of the Capitol and Cultural Center and a luncheon held in their honor. The high point of the Golden Horseshoe Ceremony is the induction of the students into the Golden Horseshoe Society. The State Superintendent of Schools presides over the induction ceremony. Each student kneels and, with a tap of a sword on the shoulder, is dubbed either a Knight or Lady of the Golden Horseshoe Society.