WELLSBURG - The Brooke County Board of Education recognized local winners of the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe competition and an essay contest held by the Wellsburg Elks Lodge.
The West Virginia Golden Horseshoe competition involves an online examination testing West Virginia eighth-graders' knowledge of the state's history, culture, geography and current events.
The state's top scorers were inducted to the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Society by state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple at a ceremony held in Charelston May 10.
STATE?HONOR — Jakob Heilman and Lindsay Six, both of Follansbee Middle School, and Zachariah Spurrier of Wellsburg Middle School were inducted to the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Society after being among three Brooke County pupils with top scores on an online examination testing West Virginia eighth-graders’ knowledge of the state’s history, culture, geography and current events.
The county's three local winners are: Zachariah Spurrier of Wellsburg Middle School and Jakob Heilman and Lindsay Six, both of Follansbee Middle School.
Heilman and Zwicker, who are pupils of Miranda Zwicker, said they prepared for the test primarily by studying their West Virginia history books.
Spurrier, a pupil of Ron Javorsky, said he also took short quizzes found at the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe website using a computer in his school's writing lab.
Also recognized were Austin Guiler, Shelby Grizzel and Hannah Kubincanek, all sixth-graders at Wellsburg Middle School, who placed first, second and third, respectively, in the Americanism essay contest held by the Wellsburg Elks Lodge.
"Why I Am Proud to be an American" was the theme for the contest.
The three were honored at a dinner held by the Wellsburg Elks Lodge May 15.
In his essay Guiler wrote, "I am proud to be an American because I know I have freedom. Freedom to be what I want to be, live where I want to live, dress how I want to dress, eat what I like to eat, work any job I please, while expressing my own opinions without being persecuted for my beliefs and thoughts."
Guiler also reflected on the freedom to practice his religion and the sacrifices made by the nation's veterans to defend such freedoms.
Grizzel also noted the nation's many freedoms, adding, "We are a country that is willing to defend human rights and independence both inside our nation and throughout the world. We care about neighbors, we care about strangers. We care about the world."
Kubincanek commented on the freedom to "vote for someone who thinks like me" and on the strength of the nation's military.
"I am proud of our troops because the military protects us from terrorists trying to attack us. They also help in disasters, like when the National Guard helped us in Wellsburg when we had a major flood."
The board also recognized the following employees for their 30 years of service to the school district: Erin Ankrum, Mary Beth Cross, Rebecca Hagwood, Terry McIntosh, Cynthia Schiffbauer, Deborah Sole, Karen Zumpetta, Teresa Fithyan and Jack Kins.
(Scott can be contacted at email@example.com.)