From left to right: Rob Bullington, VML’s communications director; Dallas Barringer, the winner of the essay contest; Dallas’ parents proudly behind her; Ms. Sanchez; and Montross Middle School Principal Bowen.

From left to right: Rob Bullington, VML’s communications director; Dallas Barringer, the winner of the essay contest; Dallas’ parents proudly behind her; Ms. Sanchez; and Montross Middle School Principal Bowen.

Every year, the Virginia Municipal League holds a state-wide essay contest among various regions of the state for 7th graders. The contest asks the students to cook up an essay describing what they would wish to do as mayor of the town they live and learn in. As a key component of the VML’s civic education, it is part of a program that seeks to teach kids and adults about how the local government works, and how they can get involved. This year, a student from Montross Middle School, Dallas Barringer, won for this region, and got her awards, both from the VML and the Montross Town Council, presented to her at the council’s meeting last week.

Town Manager Patricia Lewis was among several that were impressed with Barringer’s win, as her essay was pitted against schools from North Hampton to all along the Chesapeake Bay. The essay that Barringer penned spoke on the topic of masks, the coronavirus and improving the town.

Rob Bullington, the VML’s Communications Director and editor of their newsletter and magazine, came up from Richmond to deliver the award to Barringer, and had plenty to say before making the presentation.

“I rewrite a lot of content for other people, and it’s refreshing when I see someone young like this who can write,” he quipped. “Because it gives me hope that in the future, my job will be much easier.”

Dallas’ teacher Ms. Sanchez had much to say on her pupil’s award as well, stating, “She worked so hard. It’s nice to have a student this driven during the times we’re living in; someone that showed up and showed me that she wanted to do it.”