Harley Pruetting was recently named overall winner of “If I were mayor” essay contest. Pictured are: Darrell Wait, Pioneer Ridge Middle School teacher, Kim Thomas, president of the League of Kansas Municipalities, Harley Pruetting , and Erik Sartorius, executive director of the League of Kansas Municipalities. Submitted Photo

Harley Pruetting, Pioneer Ridge Middle School, was honored last week as the overall winner of the “If I Were Mayor,” essay contest, sponsored by the Kansas League of Municipalities.
On Jan. 25, LKM held their annual Local Government Day event in Topeka. At this event, six 7th graders received recognition for their participation in the “If I Were Mayor” essay contest. The overall winner of the contest was Pruetting, daughter of Jim and Missy Pruetting, Gardner, and student of Darrel Wait, PRMS teacher.
Each year, LKM oversees a statewide competition for all seventh-grade students in public or private school systems. LKM, which represents the interests of Kansas communities, asked students what they would do if given the opportunity to serve as mayor of their town.
This year, over 1,000 students from 69 schools across Kansas participated. Pruetting’s essay focused on creating opportunities to involve residents in local government. Some of her thoughts for improving engagement included offering volunteer opportunities to learn about city government functions, increased social media and use of technology, and generally making it easy to converse with elected officials and city staff.
Pruetting’s essay represented the north east region of the state. LKM presented awards to five regional winners from across the state along with the overall winner.
Local Government Day is an opportunity for city officials from around the state to gather and discuss legislative issues. In the afternoon, Kim Thomas, Mayor of Stockton, and LKM president, presented the “If I Were Mayor” winners with their awards.