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Adelante Selby and North Star Students Showcase their Writing and Civic Engagement Skills as Mayor for a Day


What would Redwood City look like under the leadership of Mayor Cassandra Amaya, a 3rd grader at Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion School? Or with Mayor Katherine Elizabeth Morales, an 8th grader at North Star Academy, at the helm of City Hall? 

These two Redwood City School District (RCSD) students recently had the opportunity to share their ideas and were selected as winners of the Mayor for a Day Contest. 

Earlier this spring, the City called for children in Redwood City to write an essay expressing what they would do to make Redwood City a better place to live and play. Cassandra's essay was selected as the elementary school winner while Katherine’s essay represents the middle school level. 

For the school principals where the students attend school, this is a proud moment as the students are using both their writing and civic-engagement skills to be advocates. 

Mayor for a Day: Cassandra Amaya, a 3rd grader at Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion School

“I believe it is important  for children to be engaged in their community because they are our future leaders,” said Adelante Selby Spanish Immersion School Principal Warren Sedar. “In reading Cassandra’s essay, I can see that she values building community, and wants to create more opportunities for recreation for families and their pets. She also wants the city to be safe and clean.”

Mr. Sedar added that Spanish Immersion teachers often prepare lessons for students that resonate with their lives to increase motivation, and the essay competition highlights just that.

"We know students will be much more engaged and think critically when they understand the purpose or reason for the learning,” he said.

“I am so incredibly proud of Katherine,” said North Star Academy Principal Sara Shackel. 

Mayor for a Day: Katherine Elizabeth Morales, an 8th grader at North Star Academy

“She has always been a top notch scholar at North Star … the effort she put in to voice her concerns and ideas shows her dedication to building a better community.”

Ms. Shackel explained that North Star 8th graders dedicate 20% of their culminating year to completing a project that gives back to the community.

“Being civically minded is important for our young scholars! They are tomorrow’s leaders, and we focus on the positive impact they can have in our community and for the world,” she added. 

The winning essays are posted on the City’s website, City Hall, and the downtown library. As Mayor for a Day, Cassandra led the pledge of allegiance at the May 23 City Council meeting while Katherine will have the opportunity to do the same at the June 13 meeting.

The City received a total of 20 submissions, which included 10 from elementary school students and 10 from middle schoolers.

Note: Pictures of the RCSD students with Mayor Giselle Hale courtesy of City Hall.