First Lady Student Artist Series


First Lady Cathy Justice is inviting West Virginia students to participate in a Renaming West Virginia Essay Contest in honor of West Virginia Day. All 8th-grade students who are public, private, or home-schooled in West Virginia are urged to participate in this Student Artist Series.

Eligible students are asked to consider the following statement:

Imagine you could rename the state of West Virginia…

Then, in 500 words or less, write an essay about what name you would choose and why. This is the perfect time for students to be creative!

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

Students may submit an essay via email to or mail their entries to:

The Governor’s Mansion
1716 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305​

With their submission, they MUST include their contact information (phone, email, school name, county, teacher name, and teacher email). The essays must be received by May 21, 2021. Winners will be announced on June 1st. Prizes will be awarded to winning essays. For questions please contact the First Lady’s Special Assistant, Katie Speece at (304) 558-3588 or

The First Lady Student Artist Series started with Mother’s Day 2018 and was designed to coordinate special holidays with a related student art project. Each initiative is tailored to specific grade levels, so students of all ages get the opportunity to participate.​

Renaming WV Essay Contest


Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:

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