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Staunton seventh-grader wins ‘If I Were Mayor’ statewide essay contest

Courtesy of city of Staunton.

Aiswarya Vinu, a seventh-grader at Shelburne Middle School, was honored at a recent Staunton City Council meeting after winning the statewide “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest for Region 3.

The contest asked seventh- and eighth-graders to describe what solutions they would implement for issues affecting their community if they were mayor. Aiswarya’s essay focused on teacher salaries in Staunton.

Ten other Shelburne students received honorable mentions, including Aaliyah Sprouse, Alex Carpenter, Cameron Boyle, Catherine Montijo, Francis O’Shea, Giuliana Migliaccio, Jacob Holsinger, Jossalyn Mask, Katelyn Blackwell and Logan Campbell.

Regional winners receive a $150 gift card and a plaque, and their essays will be featured in Virginia Town & City magazine. Congratulations to Aiswarya and all the students mentioned!

The winning essays, including Aiswarya’s, are viewable online.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.