CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — First Lady Cathy Justice and the West Virginia Department of Education have announced the finalists for the Golden Horseshoe Sword Smithing Design Contest in a press release.

They say that the contest is to promote the importance of art in West Virginia schools.

High school students were asked to create a design that will be used to make a sword for the ceremonial knighting of the top eighth-grade history students in each West Virginia county. The finalists will partner with a career technical education center to create their swords and bring them to life, the press release says.

“For this Artist Series, we wanted students to combine their knowledge of West Virginia with their creativity and ability to design the sword that will be used in the Golden Horseshoe ceremony for years to come,” First Lady Justice said.

Finalists for the contest include:

Ava Bratton

  • County: Roane County
  • School: Roane County High School

Melody Calkins

  • County: Randolph County
  • School: Randolph Technical Center

Rebecca Chmiel

  • County: Monongalia County
  • School: University High School

Cullen Crosston

  • County: Randolph County
  • School: Elkins High School

Jillian Eicher and Avery Nine

  • County: Berkeley County
  • School: Musselman High School

The winner of the contest will be announced on May 12, 2022, according to First Lady Justice and the WVDE.

The West Virginia Department of Education website says winners of the Golden Horseshoe, “have outscored their classmates in school and county-wide testing competitions and made top scores on a West Virginia Department of Education test which measures their grasp of West Virginia Studies.”