West Virginia Virtual Academy Students to Receive Prestigious Golden Horseshoe Award

Two eighth grade students enrolled at West Virginia Virtual Academy (WVVA) will receive the prestigious Golden Horseshoe Award during this year’s Golden Horseshoe ceremony June 13.

This is the first year WVVA students have participated in the test, and after receiving high scores on the test, which focuses on West Virginia history, eighth graders Ky’Aira Anderson from Martinsburg, WV, and Kingston Digman from Frametown, WV will be recognized as Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Society.

Administered each year since 1931, the Golden Horseshoe test is the longest running program of its kind nationwide, not just in West Virginia. The program’s origins date back to 1716, when governor of the Virginia colony Alexander Spotswood recognized a delegation of men who explored the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, most of which is now West Virginia. To commemorate their bravery during the expedition, Spotswood presented them each with a small golden pin in the shape of a horseshoe, much like what students receive today, according to the WVDE.

“Having two Golden Horseshoe winners is a testament to the outstanding instruction and opportunities that WVVA provides our students,” Cheryl Stahle, principal of WVVA, said. “As a first-year public charter school, this is another example of how WVVA supports the needs of students and challenges all students, not just our Golden Horseshoe winners, to excel in the classroom.”

This win cements a year of building and creating to support the families of West Virginia, Stahle said.

“Our entire faculty, including our eighth grade history teacher, excel in the classroom, and students are reaping the success of the educational quality that they are being provided,” Stahle said. “The Golden Horseshoe is the oldest state history test in the nation and is an honor that will follow the students throughout their academic careers,” she continued. “Doing well on the Golden Horseshoe test demonstrates a depth of knowledge about our state that ranks among the top of all eighth graders from the 55 counties.”

WVVA eighth grader Ky’Aira Anderson enjoys learning about West Virginia history and is excited to receive the Golden Horseshoe.

“I really enjoyed this class; it was super fun, and Ms. Godfrey was super patient with me when I was struggling with certain assignments, which was really helpful,” Anderson said. “I believe this achievement will further help me to get into colleges, and it would help me to find a good career.”

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will recognize 226 eighth grade students from across the state as Knights of the Golden Horseshoe at the Golden Horseshoe Ceremony Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at the West Virginia Culture Center, located at 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East, Charleston, West Virginia, 25305. For more information about the ceremony, contact Dustin Lambert at dllambert@k12.wv.us. A complete list of winners can be found on the WVDE website.

About West Virginia Virtual Academy

West Virginia Virtual Academy (WVVA) is a full-time, tuition-free public school for grades K-10. WVVA provides an online learning program for students statewide, giving families the choice to access the curriculum provided by K12, a Stride, Inc. company. For more information about WVVA, visit https://wvva.k12.com/.


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