ASHTON — Wyatt Bryan of Hannan Junior/Senior High School is a third generation Golden Horseshoe award winner.
The Golden Horseshoe is an award that students win every year, but this one in particular is special. Bryan, as well as his father and grandmother, are recipients of the Golden Horseshoe, all of whom attended Hannan as well. Eric Bryan and Brenda McComas, father and grandmother, say they’re are proud of Wyatt.
Each year, 219 awards are issued out of the 22,000 that are in competition for it. Winners are inducted into the Golden Horseshoe Society, knighted by the governor, and given a special lapel pin modeled after the original Golden Award, a special prize given to explorers of what is now West Virginia.
“In the 1700’s, the state governor would send out explorers into West Virginia because it was fairly unknown” Bryan explained. “They would get these golden horseshoes covered in rubies and gems and be knighted for their work.”
This is the basis for the award today. The idea was brought about in the 1920’s to promote the study of West Virginia history.
The Golden Horseshoe is earned by students in the eighth grade who know the most about West Virginia history and current events. It is a test that is taken in every middle school across the state, over 22,000 take it each year. Of those, less than one percent will receive the honors. Students must answer 50 questions ranging from the early settlers and explorers, to current issues dealing with the coal industry, and all of the events in between. Bryan chalks up his success to his father’s help, and his teachers in West Virginia History, a class students take.
“My teacher from my last school helped me a lot. We had to memorize every county in the state” said Bryan. “My dad helped me a lot with learning West Virginia history, too.”
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108 or firstname.lastname@example.org