CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Finalists for the Golden Horseshoe Sword Smithing Design Contest have been announced.

Back in October, First Lady Cathy Justice and the West Virginia Department of Education invited high school students to create sword designs for the ceremonial knighting of Knights and Ladies of the Golden Horseshoe, the top 8th grade West Virginia history students in each county. The winning design will become the official sword used during the ceremony.

“For this Artist Series, we wanted students to combine their knowledge of West Virginia with their creativity and ability to design the sword that will be used in the Golden Horseshoe ceremony for years to come,” First Lady Justice said. “I am thrilled with the finalists and impressed with their vision and skill!”

This contest is the 10th installment of the First Lady’s Student Artist Series, a program designed to promote the importance of art in West Virginia schools. 

The following five finalists will each partner with a career technical education center to bring their designs to life. One grand prize winner will be announced on May 12, 2022.

Ava Bratton
County: Roane County
School: Roane County High School

Melody Calkins
County: Randolph County
School: Randolph Technical Center

Rebecca Chmiel
County: Monongalia County
School: University High School

Cullen Crosston
County: Randolph County
School: Elkins High School

Jillian Eicher & Avery Nine
County: Berkeley County
School: Musselman High School