The City of Gaithersburg holds an essay contest every year for fourth graders, and the winner of the best essay gets to be Junior President for a year.

The essay prompt is “If I were Mayor…” Students were told to write about a specific issue or cause in the community and explain how they would solve it, how they’d enlist the help of others, and how they would communicate the positive changes that happen in the community.

The winner of this year’s contest was fourth grader Diego Flores-Cerezo from Summit Hall Elementary School. He discussed pedestrian safety.

“As mayor, I would add more stop signs to intersections, change speed limits on streets that have more accidents, and add traffic lights where there are none,” Flores-Cerezo wrote in his essay. “These car crashes are very dangerous, especially to the weak, elderly, and very young. It is very important to stop them from happening in our streets.”

In a panel interview with city officials, Flores-Cerezo said he wanted volunteers from the community to create murals that emphasize and promote safe driving habits.

The new Junior Mayor will make his debut during the State of the City Address on April 25. He will receive the gavel from his predecessor, Zayd Salahuddin of Dufief Elementary.

Flores-Cerezo will be invited to join Mayor Jud Ashman and city council members at various punlic ceremonies and events through the year, and even have a chance to host his own community service project at Summit Hall Elementary School. You can read his winning essay here.