On Thursday, nearly 230 West Virginia middle school students joined the ranks of those to be called Knights and Ladies of the Golden Horseshoe during a ceremony in Charleston.
Among this year's honorees were local students Jacob Huntzinger, Ethan Secrist and Mikayla Wood of Brooke County, and Sean Gray, Morgan Hicks, Alessia Richmond and Jonathan Wynn of Hancock County.
Becoming part of the Golden Horseshoe Society is among the greatest honors for students in West Virginia, testing knowledge of West Virginia's history, culture, civics and government, economics, geography and current events.
It has existed since 1931 and is the longest-running program of its kind in the country. The Golden Horseshoe takes its inspiration from the early 1700s and an expedition across the Allegheny Mountains and into current West Virginia. A party of approximately 50 men organized by Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood set off on the journey. Upon their return, each member was presented with a golden horseshoe inscribed with a Latin phrase translated into "Thus it was decided to cross the mountains," and "Order of the Golden Horseshoe."
Education is important and an ongoing process to be cherished throughout our lives. These students have demonstrated their hard work and determination toward their education through this achievement, and we applaud them for it.
We are sure their families, friends and schools are proud of their accomplishments.
They are the future of their community and the state of West Virginia. With students like them, our future will be golden.