Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students were given the opportunity to participate in the 388th St. Mary’s City annual Maryland Day Celebration set for Saturday, March 26. A fourth-grade student is selected annually through an essay contest to represent the school system and Charles County at the celebration. Students submitted essay responses to the prompt, “Why is Charles County a great place to live?” The finalist is selected by a panel of judges from the CCPS Department of Instruction who review and score all submissions for content, support, and mechanics.

Shylah Harris, fourth grade student at Billingsley Elementary School Credit: Charles County Public Schools

Fourth-grader Shylah Harris at Billingsley Elementary School entered the essay contest and was selected to represent Charles County in the 388th Maryland Day Celebration. She was happy and surprised when she found out she was selected. “I did not think I was going to win,” she said.

In her essay, she said that she enjoyed the many parks in Charles County such as Gilbert Run Park for fishing and birthday parties and Laurel Springs Park for the fun playground and walking trail. When she is not fishing with her grandpa or hanging out with her friends, Harris enjoys researching hamsters, playing with dolls, and learning about money. She says that she hopes to have a hamster of her own one day.

Harris’ fourth-grader teacher, Susan Heywood, said she was not surprised that she won the contest. “This is my second year in Charles County and having a student of mine win the contest was the icing on the cake.”

As the Charles County representative, Harris will present a flag before a podium of dignitaries during the flag ceremony at the MD Day Celebration. She said that she is excited to represent Charles County at the celebration.


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