Several Wetzel County students were honored at the May 6 Wetzel County Board of Education meeting.
Wetzel County Golden Horseshoe Winners Anntwinette Fox, Long Drain School; Justin Rice, New Martinsville School; and Evan Harter, Short Line School, were all recognized for their achievements by Superintendent Diane Watt.
The prestigious Golden Horseshoe award is given to eighth graders for outstanding knowledge of West Virginia history and culture. The students get inducted as Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Society during a pinning ceremony at the Cultural Center. The award is considered one of the greatest honors bestowed upon students in West Virginia.
Pictured are the 2013 Wetzel County Golden Horseshoe winners: Anntwinette Fox, Long Drain School; Justin Rice, New Martinsville School, and Evan Harter, Short Line School. (Photo by Bill Abraham)
"Was it a real sword you were knighted with?" Watt asked the students, who confirmed that the sword was in-fact a real one.
The students were all recognized statewide during a knighting ceremony May 3 in Charleston.
The exam tests student knowledge on West Virginia citizenship, civics and government, economics, geography, history and current events.
The Golden Horseshoe originated in the early 1700s in Virginia when then-Governor Alexander Spotswood saw the need for exploration of the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, most of which is now West Virginia. Spotswood organized a party of about 50 men to explore the frontier. At the end of the exploration, he presented each member of the party with a golden horseshoe. Translated from Latin, the inscription on each horseshoe read, "Thus it was decided to cross the mountains." On the other side was written, "Order of the Golden Horseshoe." Because of this, the recipients became known as 'The Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.'"
The following Wetzel County Spelling Bee winners were also recognized at Monday night's meeting: Kameron Melott, fourth place, New Martinsville School; Matthew Riley, third place, Long Drain School; Cassie Bates, second place, Short Line School; and Isaac Neff, first place, Paden City School.
In another matter, The Preliminary Operating Budget for the 2013-2014 School Year, approximately $7.8 million in revenue and $7.5 million expenditures, was approved by Wetzel County Schools. It was acknowledged that local revenue increased significantly this year because of higher assessed values. However, this is only a proposed budget. Everything in the budget does not have to be completed. It was mentioned that there is sufficient funding to replace all windows at New Martinsville School.
Also, board member Linda Kirk asked if new school nurses will be hired next year. It was confirmed that one more nurse is in the budget, which will bring the county a total of three. School nurses must be RNs with school certification.
Kirk also expressed concerns that Long Drain School and Hundred are "short-changed" on a live foreign language instructor. She stated that virtual instruction has limitations.
Director of School Improvement Tammy Wells responded that there is no literature that exists comparing the outcomes of a live teacher verses a virtual instructor.
Discussion also took place on if they should hire a director of nutrition or similar position at the county office level.
That function is now performed by Brian Jones, director of ancillary services. The consensus was against creating that specific position. However, no motions took place on the matter.