League of Kansas Municipalities Honors “If I Were Mayor” Contest Winners

TOPEKA — On January 23, the League of Kansas Municipalities held their annual Local Government Day event. Hundreds of local government officials, both elected and appointed, attended the event to discuss legislative priorities for cities. The League also uses this event as an opportunity to recognize six 7th graders for their participation in the League’s annual “If I Were Mayor” memo contest. This year, the League recognized Brent Henry, a 7th grade student at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Goddard, as the statewide winner. Henry’s memo represented the South Central region of Kansas.

Every year, the League hosts a statewide competition for all seventh-grade students. The students are tasked with deciding what change they would want to make in their community if given the chance to be mayor. The memo format requires students to consider their policy proposal, barriers to implementation, and an evaluation of necessary resources. Hundreds of students participated in the contest and five regional winners along with one overall winner was selected.

Henry’s memo focused on building more inclusive playgrounds with accessibility to everyone which included smooth surfaces, wheelchair accessible ramps, adaptive swings, and sensory components. His memo suggested funding for his project would be managed through existing funds for playgrounds, by reallocating funds to buy more inclusive equipment, or through grants and fundraising. Henry emphasized the need for collaboration between schools and community organizations.

The League presented awards to six regional students who were named regional winners in the contest.

Name Region School City
Brent Henry Overall Winner
South Central
Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School Goddard/Wichita
Karissa Haldeman North West Quinter Junior High Quinter
Peyton McCormick South West Scott City Middle School Scott City
Jack Tell North East Billy Mills Middle School Lawrence
Luke Franklin North Central Smith Center Junior/ Senior High School Smith Center
Emma Krueger South East Burlington Middle School Burlington