Hagerstown mayor honors two local finalists from statewide essay contest
Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II stands behind Erin Engstrom Tuesday. Bruchey honored Engstrom and another local finalist from the statewide "If I Were Mayor, I Would..." essay contest. (Submitted photo)
The finalists were Erin Engstrom, 11, of Hagerstown, and Jolene Miller, 9, of Funkstown, both of whom attend Emma K. Doub Elementary School on South Potomac Street.
The contest is open to fourth-grade students across the state, said Kathleen Pleasant, the girls' teacher.
It is hosted by the Maryland Municipal League and the Maryland Mayors' Association, according to the website www.mdmunicipal.org.
For the contest, students were asked to answer what would they do if they were mayor of their community.
Erin directed her essay toward green efforts, including recycling and maintaining the tree canopy in the city.
She also said she would encourage citizen participation and cooperation in city efforts. Those citizens who worked toward the common goals she established would be rewarded, she said in her essay.
A cleaner, greener, more cooperative city would add jobs, allow for more playgrounds and provide more homes for those who don't have them, Erin wrote.
Jolene, meanwhile, focused on cooperation among residents in Funkstown.
"I would try to get the citizens of Funkstown to try to communicate together better," she said.
To do that, Jolene said she would host a cookout funded by grant money.
She said she would also increase tourist attractions in Funkstown.
Pleasant said she felt all her students who submitted entries to the contest presented unique ideas.
Mary King, city communications manager, said Erin and Jolene were honored by the city because they both attend Doub Elementary, which is within the city limits.
Washington County is in the municipal league's eighth district.
Other district finalists included Haley Cunningham and Hannah Little, both from Boonsboro Elementary School, according the website.
Leah Kline of Smithsburg Elementary School was listed as the district winner, the website said.