First Lady Cathy Justice announces winners of Golden Horseshoe Sword Smithing Contest


CHARLESTON, WV – First Lady Cathy Justice announced the winners of the First Lady Student Artist Series Sword Smithing Design Contest in a ceremony today at the West Virginia Culture Center.

The winning sword will now be used to knight the winners of all future Golden Horseshoe recipients, starting with the next ceremony on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.

Top students received the following prizes:
1st Place - $500
Avery Nine and Jillian Eicher
Musselman High School
James Rumsey Technical Center
Berkeley County
2nd Place - $250
Rebecca Chmiel
University High School
Monongalia Technical Center
Monongalia County
3rd Place - $100
Cullen Crosston
Elkins High School
Randolph Technical Center
Randolph County
Honorable Mention - $100
Melody Calkins
Elkins High School
Randolph Technical Center
Randolph County
Honorable Mention - $100
Ava Bratton
Roane County High School
Roane Jackson VoTech Center
Roane County
“I am so proud of these students,” First Lady Cathy Justice said, “I know they loved seeing their designs come to life….this is definitely an experience that we all will never forget.” 

As part of this Student Artist Series, four West Virginia Career and Technical Education Centers forged top sword designs out of metal. They were James Rumsey Technical Center, Monongalia Technical Center, Randolph Technical Center, and Roane Jackson VoTech Center.
The West Virginia Department of Education awarded a $1000 grant to each of the Centers to cover costs associated with the creation of the sword and to support their programs. 

The 1st place sword’s Career Center - James Rumsey Technical Center - will receive a total of $5000 in a grant to cover costs and support their Career Center Program. 

“This competition has provided a wonderful chance for our students to put their skills to the test for a memorable and historic occasion,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “We are grateful to First Lady Cathy Justice for her commitment to education and for giving CTE programs this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Contact Information

Jordan Damron,


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