CHARLESTON — Three Mason County eighth-graders were knighted into the Golden Horseshoe Society by state Superintendent of Schools Dr. James B. Phares on Thursday at the West Virginia State Capitol Complex.
Colton Arrington and Isaiah Pauley, of Wahama High School, and Hayden Fetty, of Point Pleasant High School, participated in the day-long event in Charleston. A fourth winner from Mason County was Christopher Potts, of Hannan.
Approximately 22,000 eighth-grade students from across the state took the Golden Horseshoe exam, with 228 being inducted into the society. The exam measures the students’ knowledge of West Virginia.
The induction ceremony was held in the West Virginia Culture Center theater. Each winner knelt before the superintendent, who tapped them on the shoulder with a sword and dubbed the students either a knight or lady of the Golden Horseshoe Society. Phares told them that being inducted into the society was a symbol of academic excellence. Each student was presented a golden horseshoe pin.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin addressed the group and challenged them to begin thinking about their career. He emphasized that their generation will have more opportunities in West Virginia than any of the ones before them.
Also speaking were Robert Wiseman, assistant director of the West Virginia Department of Education, and Robert Hull, associate state superintendent of schools. A fanfare, arranged specifically for the event, was played by a trumpet trio from George Washington High School.
Following the ceremony, students and guests were treated to a reception in the upper rotunda of the State Capitol Building. The group was also afforded the opportunity to tour the Capitol, Governor’s Mansion and WV State Museum. A special treat for some of the Mason County delegation was listening to the Cornerstone Academy students of Hartford as they participated in the National Day of Prayer in the Capitol rotunda.