2017-05-17 / Front Page

Hogbin, McLaughlin and Stotler are winners of Golden Horseshoe award

Kate Evans


Morgan County’s 2017 Golden Horseshoe winners are Warm Springs Middle School eighth graders, left to right, Carson Stotler, Phoebe Hogbin and Erin McLaughlin. Morgan County’s 2017 Golden Horseshoe winners are Warm Springs Middle School eighth graders, left to right, Carson Stotler, Phoebe Hogbin and Erin McLaughlin. Warm Springs Middle School eighth graders Phoebe Hogbin, Erin McLaughlin and Carson Stotler were honored as winners of the prestigious Golden Horseshoe Award at a May 5 ceremony at the Culture Center in Charleston.

The award recognizes students that excel in West Virginia history and culture and is given to the top-scoring students on the Golden Horseshoe exam in each of the state’s 55 counties. The exam tests students’ knowledge of West Virginia citizenship, government, civics, economics, culture, history, geography and current events.

The test has been given every year in West Virginia since 1931, with each county having at least two winners. The award is considered one of the greatest honors a student from West Virginia can achieve.

The Golden Horseshoe originated in the early 1700s when Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia sent an expedition of around 50 men to explore the frontier west of the Allegheny Mountains in what is now mostly West Virginia. Spotswood gave each explorer a commemorative golden horseshoe after they returned from their journey.

West Virginia School Superintendent Dr. Steven Paine inducted nearly 220 eighth grade Golden Horseshoe recipients from across the state as knights and ladies of the Golden Horseshoe Society at this year’s ceremony.

When asked about the difficulty of the Golden Horseshoe exam, Hogbin, McLaughlin and Stotler explained that they were all on the school’s History Bowl team and knew a lot about the state’s history from studying for that. Hogbin said that nothing anyone would know was on the test. McLaughlin noted that the exam asked about current state government leaders, which they knew.

The West Virginia State Legislature was in special session when the students traveled to Charleston for their Golden Horseshoe award. They got to meet with Delegate Daryl Cowles and also met West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner.

Warm Springs Middle School Principal Gene Brock was proud of the three students and their Golden Horseshoe award and said it was an honor for the kids to earn a trip to Charleston.

“They know the history of it and what it means for West Virginia,” he said.

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