Out of a field of 93 entries, Maya Walker of Gaithersburg Elementary School has been selected as Gaithersburg’s Junior Mayor for 2012. Her first appearance will be at the annual State of the City Address on April 19, 2012 and she will be officially introduced to the public at the Mayor and City Council meeting at Gaithersburg City Hall on May 21, 2012.
Earlier this year, 4th grade students throughout the City were invited to submit essays describing what they would do if they were mayor. The contest is sponsored statewide by the Maryland Municipal League (MML), the Maryland Mayors’ Association, the Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund and Local Government Insurance Trust. The theme this year was “Meeting the Challenge.”
Regardless of whether or not MML selects its statewide winner from a Gaithersburg school, the 93 entries were reviewed locally by members of the City’s Educational Enrichment Committee. Five finalists were identified and were invited to City Hall for a video interview, out of which Ms. Walker was selected as Gaithersburg’s Junior Mayor.
When asked during her interview why it is important for people to identify challenges and propose solutions, Ms. Walker responded, “It’s important to identify challenges because they can get out of hand and escalate to a bigger problem.” In her essay, Ms. Walker stated that “If I were mayor, I would have to face many challenges that endanger the Gaithersburg community. Insuring the safety of Gaithersburg’s citizens would be the main thing me and my council would be working at.”
The Junior Mayor will be invited to participate with Mayor Sidney Katz and members of the City Council in several public events throughout the year. Her winning essay is posted below. For more information on the Junior Mayor program contact Gaithersburg’s Community Services Division at 301-258-6395.