Cathy Justice holds ‘Renaming West Virginia’ essay contest

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia Day will be celebrated June 20 this year. So, to get ready for the historic holiday, West Virginia’s First Lady, Cathy Justice, has created a special project.

“To challenge eighth-graders who are studying the history to think about our state, their experiences in our state and to be creative,” said Katie Speece, Special Assistant to First Lady Cathy Justice.

Eighth-grade students who are public, private, or home-schooled in West Virginia have the opportunity to participate in the essay contest. Essays should explain their new innovative name for West Virginia in 500 words or less. Winners will be chosen by the First Lady and awarded a cash prize.

This will be the ninth installment of the First Lady Student Artist Series, an art program to promote the importance of the arts in schools throughout West Virginia.

“Gives students an outlet to be creative and to send something into the first lady and have it read, it just gives them confidence,” said Speece.

“They get very competitive. The Governor has been in on some and the first lady,” said Vicki Shannon, Executive Assistant to First Lady Cathy Justice.

So what would First Lady Cathy Justice rename West Virginia?

“Her sort of signature branding or identity is the rhododendron. So maybe she’d just name it rhododendron,” said Shannon.

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