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Student Artist Series Sword Smithing Design Contest Winners Announced

Commissioner of the WV Department of Culture and History Randall Reid-Smith, First Lady Cathy Justice, and Director of the WV Governor’s Mansion Vicki Shannon inspect the winning entries in the “Golden Horseshoe” Sword Smithing Design Contest.

First Lady Cathy Justice announced the winners of the First Lady Student Artist Series Sword Smithing Design Contest in a ceremony, held on Monday, May 16, at the West Virginia Culture Center.

The winning sword will now be used to knight the winners of all future Golden Horseshoe recipients, starting with the next ceremony on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.

First Lady Cathy Justice presented awards to the following students:

First Place: Avery Nine and Jillian Eicher, Musselman High School – James Rumsey Technical Center, Berkeley County
Second Place: Rebecca Chmiel, University High School – Monongalia Technical Center, Monongalia County
Third Place: Cullen Crosston, Elkins High School – Randolph Technical Center, Randolph County
Honorable Mention: Melody Calkins, Elkins High School – Randolph Technical Center, Randolph County
Honorable Mention: Ava Bratton, Roane County High School – Roane Jackson VoTech Center, Roane County

“I am so proud of these students. I know they loved seeing their designs come to life….this is definitely an experience that we all will never forget.” 

– First Lady Cathy Justice

“I am so proud of these students,” First Lady Cathy Justice said, “I know they loved seeing their designs come to life….this is definitely an experience that we all will never forget.” 

As part of this Student Artist Series, four West Virginia Career and Technical Education Centers forged top sword designs out of metal. They were James Rumsey Technical Center, Monongalia Technical Center, Randolph Technical Center, and Roane Jackson VoTech Center.

The West Virginia Department of Education awarded a $1000 grant to each of the Centers to cover costs associated with the creation of the sword and to support their programs. 

The 1st place sword’s Career Center – James Rumsey Technical Center – will receive a total of $5000 in a grant to cover costs and support their Career Center Program. 

“This competition has provided a wonderful chance for our students to put their skills to the test for a memorable and historic occasion,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “We are grateful to First Lady Cathy Justice for her commitment to education and for giving CTE programs this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

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