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‘Renaming West Virginia’ student essay contest winners announced

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia First Lady Cathy Justice has announced the winners of her “Renaming West Virginia” student essay contest.

Justice says she received 181 entries from 8th-grade students across the state and was thrilled to see their creativity showing through their entries. For the essay, students had to explain why they chose their new, innovative name for West Virginia in 500 words or less.

“I was so impressed reading these essays from our 8th-grade students. They were very creative and truly took the time to honor West Virginia’s past, present, and future with the names they chose,” Justice said.

The first lady’s office says the contest was the ninth installment of her “Student Artist Series” initiative. As part of this initiative, Justice hosts art competitions or projects for students for certain holidays. She says the goal is to encourage creativity and to promote the importance of the arts in West Virginia Schools.

The series has included all grades between Kindergarten and 12th grad since it first began in May 2018. Across all nine contests, Justice’s office says they have received a combined total of 8,079 entries.

The top ten winners of the “Renaming West Virginia” essay contest are:

  • 1st Place: Katelynn M. of Lincoln Middle School, Harrison County – “The Freed State”
  • 2nd Place: Addison K. of Mountaineer Middle School, Monongalia County – “Machweo”
  • 3rd Place: Diego Z. of Faith Christian Academy, Berkeley County – “Odali”
  • 4th Place: Emily B. of St. Frances de Sales – Beckley, Raleigh County – “Vandalia”
  • 5th Place: Logan R. of South Middle School, Monongalia County – “Libertatem Terra”
  • 6th Place: Michaiah B. of Faith Christian Academy, Berkeley County – “Hestia”
  • 7th Place: Juliet B. of Milton Middle School, Cabell County – “Adena”
  • 8th Place: Lexie F. of Weir Middle School, Hancock County – “Pierpont Land”
  • 9th Place: Allison H. of Beckley Stratton Middle School, Raleigh County – “Adventure”
  • 10th Place: Kendra D. of Little Kanawha Valley Christian School, Calhoun County – “Sena”

The first lady also noted several honerable mention essays, including:

  • Ciera F. of Corpus Chirsti School, Ohio County – “Serenity”
  • Lauren C. of Shady Spring Middle School, Raleigh County – ” Lincoln”
  • Andrew M. of Mountaineer Middle School, Monongalia County – “Vandalia”
  • Landon K. of Independence Middle School, Raleigh County – “Sandara”
  • Catherine G. of Weir Middle School, Hancock County – “Destiny”
  • Cadence S. of Faith Christian Academy, Berkeley County – “New River”
  • Keondre G. of Beckley Stratton Middle School, Raleigh County – “Best Virginia”
  • Mackenzie S. of Weir Middle School, Hancock County – “Autumm”
  • Brooke T. of Mannington Middle School, Marion County – “Seneca”
  • Sophia C. of St. Joseph the Worker School – Weirton, Hancock County – “Bella Montagna”

Congratulations to all of the winners and honorable mentions!

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