Rockville, Maryland, May 17 – If she were mayor, Caitlyn Couch would strive to make schools safer by addressing violence in media, cyberbullying, school security and gun laws.
Couch, a fourth-grader at St. Elizabeth Catholic School in Rockville, will get to see what it’s like to be mayor when she serves as the city’s honorary “Mayor for a Day” on Thursday, May 24. She earned the honor after her essay was selected as a semifinalist in the “If I Were Mayor” statewide essay contest sponsored by the Maryland Municipal League (MML) and the Maryland Mayors’ Association (MMA).
On her day as mayor, Caitlyn will tour the Rockville City Police Department and Croydon Creek Nature Center, attend the city’s Department of Public Works Equipment Show and have lunch with Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton. Members of the media are invited to interview and photograph the “mini-mayor” at work on May 24. To arrange to do so, call Director of Communication Marylou Berg at 240-314-8105.
The essay contest asked students to describe how, if they were mayor, they would get the community involved in addressing an issue or cause, and let people know how their city is making positive changes. Caitlyn’s recommendations for safer schools included parental guidance to make sure children play age-appropriate video games, guidance counselors to encourage students to discuss their emotions and security officers in school buildings.
“Students of today should feel protected at school,” she wrote. “Too many school shootings should not be happening. As mayor, making sure my friends are protected is the biggest issue in our schools today. Life is the most sacred gift we have.”
In addition to her day as mayor, Caitlyn and three contest semifinalists will be recognized at the Mayor and Council meeting that begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 21. She also will participate in Rockville’s 74th Annual Memorial Day Parade at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 28.
For more information on the “If I Were Mayor” contest, visit MML’s website at www.mdmunicipal.org, or call the City Clerk/Director of Council Operations Office at 240-314-8280.
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Director of Communication