PENDLETON, Ore. -

Two students from Redmond captured first-place prizes in the Oregon Mayors Association’s annual statewide civic awareness contest titled “If I Were Mayor, I Would…”. 

Rebekah O’Neill, a 5th grader from Terrebonne Community School, won the first place prize in the poster category, and Emma Poindexter, a 9th grader from Ridgeview High School, won first place in the video/PowerPoint category. 

The first place prize in the third category, for an essay, was given to 8th grader Nandini Naidu from Beaverton’s Valley Catholic Middle School.

Each year, students compete in three age groups using different media to describe what it would mean to them if they were the mayor of their city.  Posters are designed by 4th and 5th grade students, 6th through 8th grade students write essays, and 9th through 12th grade students produce a short video, PowerPoint or other electronic media presentation.

The competition begins with a contest conducted by mayors in their local cities in the spring.  The first place winners of the local contests are entered in the state-level contest which is judged by members of the OMA Board of Directors.  Over 30 cities participated in this year’s contest at the local level, with 52 entries being forwarded to the state-level contest. 

The statewide first place winners from each category receive a prize – this year a new Apple iPad Air tablet – and are invited, along with their family, to a special awards ceremony during the OMA’s Annual Summer Conference, where the students talk about their entries and are presented with their prizes.  This year’s annual conference was held August 7-9 at the Pendleton Red Lion.

Second place winners in this year’s statewide contest received a Kindle Fire HD.  This year’s second place winners were:

  • Poster – Alyssa Ward, 5th grader from Lewis & Clark Elementary in St. Helens
  • Essay – Bailey Aldridge, 6th grader from North Bend Middle School
  • Video/PowerPoint – Mariah Kaylee Gray, 12th grader from North Bend High School

All of this year’s prizes were provided through a generous donation by Facebook. 

About the Oregon Mayors Association

Founded in 1972, the Oregon Mayors Association (OMA) is a voluntary association of persons who hold the office of mayor.  OMA is recognized as an affiliate organization in cooperation with the League of Oregon Cities.  Over two-thirds of Oregon’s mayors are active members of the OMA.