City of Gaithersburg Invites Fourth Graders to Enter Junior Mayor Essay Contest

2023 Junior Mayor, Milly Abdo, a fourth grader at Fields Road Elementary
Courtesy of the City of Gaithersburg

The City of Gaithersburg has announced details for its annual Junior Mayor contest.

Per the news release: Each year, the City conducts a Junior Mayor contest for fourth grade students inspired by the statewide “If I Were Mayor…” essay contest, sponsored by the Maryland Municipal League (MML), the Maryland Mayors Association and the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Company. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about local government and to showcase their creative writing talents. The City takes the MML Mayor’s Essay Contest a step further by selecting a winner specifically from our own community – a winner who will be named Gaithersburg’s Junior Mayor for a year.


To participate in the Gaithersburg Junior Mayor contest, fourth grade students must be City of Gaithersburg residents. Click here for an address look-up map.


Deadline April 5, 2024
Essays must be 275 words or less and should focus on the following theme: “Inspiring Leadership in your City/Community.” What are some ways that elected officials inspire leadership in others? What would you do to inspire leadership in your City/community? Describe a project you would undertake to make others want to help make the City better?

All essays must include the student’s name, full address, school name, and teacher’s name. Students may directly email their essays, or teachers may collect essays from their students and combine them in an email to this address. An MML digital entry form is not required for the Gaithersburg Junior Mayor contest.


Members of the City’s Educational Enrichment Committee and City staff will review the essays and invite the top five scorers to an interview with a panel of judges. Finalists will also be asked to propose a community service project that the Junior Mayor and his/her/their classmates will host, ideally something that would also involve the Mayor, members of the City Council and City staff.

The Junior Mayor will be announced in the spring and will be officially introduced at a Mayor and City Council meeting, where they will have the opportunity to read their essay. The winning essay will be posted on the City’s website, and the Junior Mayor will receive a gift card and be invited to participate in City events throughout the year, including the Book FestivalMemorial and Veterans Day Observances, SummerFestLabor Day ParadeSt. Patrick’s Day Parade, and more.

Mayor Jud Ashman has prepared a special video message to encourage Gaithersburg fourth graders to participate in the contest. Teachers are invited to show the video when introducing the contest to their students. Click here for the YouTube video. For more information, please email the program coordinator, or call 240-805-1171.

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