County Golden Horseshoe Winners
One of the highlights of a West Virginian's eight-grade year is the opportunity to become a Knight or Lady of the Golden Horseshoe. 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 a 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, all of whom adopted a pledge, "Sic jurat transcendere monte," which means "Thus he swears to cross the mountains." 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.
This tradition was revitalized in 1931 with a test promoting a comprehensive study of the state being given to eighth grade students throughout the state. The Golden Horseshoe became known as a symbol of scholastic achievement to honor students who excel in the study of West Virginia.
Since that time approximately 15,000 eighth-grade students have received a golden pin in the shape of a horseshoe, much like those given by Governor Spotswood more than 300 years ago. This pin symbolizes the student's knowledge and understanding of their state's proud heritage.
Each year 221 eight-grade students are honored for their knowledge of the state in a one day ceremony held in Charleston.
Pocahontas County's winners for 2011 are Phillip Green from Green Bank Middle School, son of Allen and Monica Green, of Frost, and Cassandra Griffith, from Marlinton Middle School, daughter of Reta Griffith, of Marlinton, and Kenneth Griffith, of Snowshoe.