Four Greenbrier County students inducted into ‘Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Society’

By Matthew Young, RealWV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “Since 1931, West Virginia has recognized over 15,000 eighth-grade students for their superior knowledge of our state – a tradition characterized by a formal knighting ceremony.”

That’s how Dustin Lambert, social studies coordinator for the W.Va. Department of Education, began Tuesday’s Golden Horseshoe Ceremony at the Culture Center in Charleston. 

Watch the full 2023 Golden Horseshoe Ceremony broadcast, courtesy of V.Wa. Public Broadcasting.

As explained on the Department of Education’s website, “Each year 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.”

“While in Charleston to celebrate the Golden Horseshoe Day, the honorees are treated to tours of the Capitol Complex and a reception held in their honor,” The website further explains. “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 a Knight of the Golden Horseshoe Society. Each student is presented a Golden Horseshoe pin and the honor and tradition continues.”

The newly-minted Golden Horseshoe Knighting Bench. Photo by Matthew Young, RealWV.

This year, some 225 eighth graders from all across West Virginia were inducted as “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Society,” including four students from Greenbrier County. 

Greenbrier County’s newest members of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Society:

  • Wyatt Smith, Western Greenbrier Middle School.
  • Jeb Brown, Eastern Greenbrier Middle School.
  • Kennah Collins, Eastern Greenbrier Middle School.
  • William Laird, Eastern Greenbrier Middle School.

“In my estimation as an educator – and in West Virginia specifically – when a student reaches the level of Golden Horseshoe, that’s a lifetime-achievement that’ll stay with them forever,” Greenbrier County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Bryant said, while speaking with RealWV. “It’s an honor that says so much about the student, the family, and the school support system.”

“Again, it’s a lifetime-achievement,” Bryant added. “Our four winners – they’re just outstanding.”


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