4th Graders Are Invited To Enter Essay Contest to Become ‘Junior Mayor’ of Gaithersburg

by MCS Staff

Each year the Maryland Municipal League (MML) & the Maryland Mayors Association invite 4th grade students throughout Maryland to participate in a statewide essay contest. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about local government and to showcase their creative writing talents. The digital entry form with instructions is available here. The 2023 submission deadline is midnight on March 31. Additional information below.

Junior Mayor Contest:

The City takes the MML Mayor’s Essay Contest one 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, 4th grade students must be City of Gaithersburg residents. Click here for an address look-up map.


Deadline March 1, 2023. Essays must be 275 words or less, and should focus on the following theme: “Preserving the Past to Power the Future.” What past traditions, beliefs, or events define Gaithersburg? Which of these would you keep and honor? Which would you try to change, and why? How would you get people to accept and participate in those things you are trying to change?

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


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

The Junior Mayor will be announced in the spring and will be officially introduced at a virtual meeting of the Mayor & City Council, 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 virtual and/or in-person events throughout the year, including the Book Festival, Memorial & Veterans DayObservances, SummerFest & Fireworks, Labor Day Parade, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and more.

Mayor Jud Ashman has prepared a special video message to encourage Gaithersburg 4th 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. The 2022 Junior Mayor, Loriele Nix, a fourth grader at Summit Hall Elementary School began her term on June 6, when she was officially sworn in at the Mayor & City Council Meeting. The meeting can be viewed on the City’s YouTube channel. Read her winning essay here.


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