Golden Horseshoe
Upshur County recipients of the Golden Horseshoe are honored during a recent Upshur County Board of Education meeting. Pictured are eighth-grade students Bryce Cayton, Ian Donnen, Lakoda Lantz and Nathan Cornett.

Four Upshur County students earn Golden Horseshoe honor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education announced the 2018-2019 eighth-graders who earned the esteemed Knights of the Golden Horseshoe honor. Two-hundred, twenty-three students statewide received the high honor, with four of them from Upshur County.

The Golden Horseshoe is one of the greatest honors bestowed upon students in the state. Bryce Cayton, Nathan Cornett, Ian Donnen and Lakoda Lantz representing Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School will be among the students statewide to be knighted by West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine.

“The Golden Horseshoe is one of the most enduring academic honors in for West Virginia students and once inducted, these students will always be a part of this circle of scholars,” Paine said. “It is a special occasion, and we always look forward to welcoming our students, families and educators to Charleston for this time honored ceremony.”

This year marks the 303rd anniversary of the Golden Horseshoe which began with Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood in the early 1700s. Seeing a need for exploration beyond the Allegheny Mountains in the region that encompasses what is now West Virginia, he organized a party of approximately 50 men to explore the area. At the conclusion, Spotswood presented each member of that group with a golden horseshoe with the Latin transcription, “Thus he swears to cross the mountains… Order of the Golden Horseshoe.” The recipients became known as the Knights and Ladies of the Golden Horseshoe.

Dr. Sara Stankus, Superintendent of Upshur County Schools, offered congratulations, stating: “These young men have dedicated their time and energy to learn about the great State of West Virginia! They make Upshur County proud! Their families stood by them when we recognized their accomplishments at the board meeting, they too were so proud of these fine young men! Congratulations!”

Governor Jim Justice and members of the state Board of Education will join Dr. Paine for the induction ceremony on May 3, 2019, at the state Culture Center in Charleston at 9:30 a.m. A live stream of the ceremony will be available by visiting

For a complete list of 2019 winners visit

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