Mayor Gayle Recognizes "If I Were Mayor" Essay Contest Winners

By: City of Valdosta Email
By: City of Valdosta Email
Local student wins district, first time since year 2010

IN PHOTO (from left): VECA Teacher Jessica LeFiles, Nia Scott, Cayla Rowland, Da’Jai Thomas and VECA Principal Ingrid Hall. Courtesy of City of Valdosta

News Release: City of Valdosta

Valdosta Mayor John Gayle recognized the winners in the 2014 “If I Were Mayor” 6th-Grade Essay Contest at the April 10 City Council meeting. The contest, sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association and the City of Valdosta, encourages local 6th graders to creatively use their language art skills and civics knowledge to express, in 350 words or less, how they would make a difference if they held the city’s top elected position.

Each year local students from city and county schools, as well as home schools, compete in both a local and statewide contest, producing some award-winning essays and well-thought out ideas for our community.

Students read their winning essays at the meeting in front of the mayor, city council members and others in attendance. This year’s winners are all students of Ms. Jessica LeFiles at the Valdosta Early College Academy:

1st Place—Nia Scott
2nd Place—Cayla Rowland
3rd Place—Da’Jai Thomas

Nia Scott was also selected as the first place winner for GMA’s District 11. Valdosta has not had not had a district winner in the state-wide competition since 2010. Over 1,050 essays were received in GMA District 11, producing more essays than any of the GMA’s 12 districts. Nearly 6,000 essays were received statewide. Nia will be recognized for her outstanding achievement and awarded a $250 prize check at a special luncheon, on May 8, at the 755 Club at Turner Field, in Atlanta, where the overall state winner will also be announced.

The winning essays will be on display at Valdosta City Hall during Georgia Cities Week, April 13-19. For more information, contact Public Information Officer Sementha Mathews at (229) 259-3548, or at

IN PHOTO (from left): VECA Teacher Jessica LeFiles, Nia Scott, Cayla Rowland, Da’Jai Thomas and VECA Principal Ingrid Hall.

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