If I Were Mayor Essay Contest

2018 “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest winners


Statewide winner: Jalia Hardy of Binford Middle School in Richmond (also Region 7 winner)

Region 1: Bryleigh Middleton of Pennington Middle School in Pennington Gap

Region 2: Kaydence Addison of Dalton Intermediate School in Radford

Region 3: Will Schwantes of Daniel Morgan Middle School in Winchester

Region 4: Catherine Selfridge of Buckingham Middle School in Buckingham

Region 5: Gideon DeMarco of Lanier Middle School in Fairfax

Region 6: Maeve Myers of Louisa County Middle School in Mineral

Region 8: Tina Li of the Academy for Discovery at Lakewood in Norfolk

Read the 2018 winning essays.


About the Essay Contest

Each fall the Virginia Municipal League (VML) invites all Virginia 7th Graders to participate in its “If I Were Mayor” essay contest. The essays describe what the student would do as mayor to make their cities, towns, and counties great places to live.

Promoting good local government is important to VML, and this essay contest provides students the opportunity to reflect on the important role of elected officials in their own city or town.

Eight Virginia regional winners are selected (see map below).  Winners receive a $150 cash prize and plaque. One statewide winner is selected and receives a $250 cash prize and plaque. VML will be going to the localities of the winners to present the awards at their local council meetings.

Contest Rules

  • The contest is open to all Virginia students enrolled in the 7th Grade during the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Each entry must include a completed Entry Formstapled at the top of the essay. (see page 2 of download)
  • Essays should be typed or clearly handwritten.
  • Essays must be 200 – 500 words.
  • Essays must address the subject of what the student would do if they were elected mayor.
  • Only one essay may be submitted per student.
  • Essays will be judged based on the following: originality, persuasiveness, understanding of city, town and county services, and proper use of composition and written expression.
  • Essays must be received at the VML office by Friday, December 22. Winners will be notified in February 2018.
  • Essays will not be returned.
  • VML retains the right to publish essays along with the names of each student.
  • Submit entries to: VML, Attn: 7th Grade Essay Contest, P.O. Box 12164, Richmond, VA 23241.


2017 “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest winners

Gov. Terry McAuiffe (center) with the winners of the essay contest:
(L to R) Jerry (Trey) N. Mitchell III, Terrence Massenburg, Skyla Rain, Sadie Dryden, Liv Scappa, Andrew Middleton and Dillon McReynolds. Not pictured: Maha Laiq.

Statewide winner: Jerry (Trey) N. Mitchell III of Lawrenceville

Region 1: Dillon McReynolds of Abingdon

Region 2: Andrew Middleton of Covington

Region 3: Sadie Dryden of Buena Vista

Region 4: Skyla Rain of South Boston

Region 5: Liv Scappa of Falls Church

Region 6: Maha Laiq of Warrenton

Region 7: Jerry (Trey) N. Mitchell III of Lawrenceville (statewide winner)

Region 8: Terrence Massenburg of Portsmouth 

Read the 2017 winning essays.

2016 “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest winners

Statewide winner: Lily McClung of Fishersville (also Region 3 winner) Governor Terry McAuliffe presented awards to one statewide winner and seven regional winners of the VML “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest. The contest, hosted by the Virginia Municipal League, drew more than 1,000 entries from seventh graders throughout the state. Their challenge was to describe what they would do if they were mayor of their hometown. The winners are:

Region 1: Sumer Grace Lloyd of Bristol

Region 2: Simran Kaur Gill of Salem

Region 3: Lily McClung of Fishersville (statewide winner)

Region 4: Grace Coover of Petersburg

Region 5: Evan Lankford of Falls Church

Region 6: Brynley Meadows of Culpeper

Region 7: Alexander Elstun of Chesterfield County

Region 8: Alyssa Levy of King William County

Read the 2016 winning essays.


2015 “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest winners

With Gov. Terry McAuliffe are winners (l-r) Sophie Freiling, Adele Masson, Logan Kurtz, Garrett Love, Na’Seem Hopson, Macalister Gordon, Kendryek Wheeler and Bailey Nash.

Region 1:  Bailey Nash of Lee County

Region 2:  Kendryek Wheeler of Roanoke

Region 3:  Macalister Gordon of Winchester

Region 4:  Garrett Love of Buckingham County

Region 5:  Logan Kurtz of Manassas Park

Region 6:  Adele Masson of Culpeper

Region 7:  Na’Seem Hopson of Hopewell (statewide winner)

Region 8:  Sophie Freiling of Williamsburg

Read the 2015 winning essays.


Он хотел их отключить. Для него важен был только один голос, который то возникал, то замолкал. - Дэвид, прости .

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