FOLLOW THE LEADER is good advice when looking to a mentor for leadership and guidance.
Students throughout the Baltimore area were recently encouraged to write an essay about the area's business and community leaders in the "Follow the Leader" essay contest.
In the essays, students in grades four to 12 chose a leader in whose footsteps they might want to follow and how education can help them achieve this goal. Eight first-prize winners were selected to receive $1,000, with one grand-prize winner's school being awarded $5,000.
Two pupils in the Eldersburg area were selected as first-prize winners. Josh Crawford and Kerri Knellinger wrote outstanding essays and attended an awards breakfast to meet the leaders they wrote about.
Josh, a fifth-grade pupil at Freedom Elementary School, wrote about executive chef Randy Stahl of the Brass Elephant.
"I think it would be cool to use all the special instruments he uses," said Josh of Stahl. "Of course, you need to be good in math so you can measure the ingredients correctly."
Josh admires the way Stahl worked his way to the top of his profession. "You can't start out at the top. You have to work your way there."
Josh will spend a day with Stahl getting a firsthand look at the workings of an upscale restaurant's kitchen and the duties of its chef. Josh is considering a career as a chef, but it's just one of many he might pursue.
Josh, son of Susan and Rodney Crawford, won in a Young Author's Fair as a second-grade pupil. Josh plans to enter two works in a contest his teacher, Jennie Dow, has presented to his class.
Freedom Elementary pupils Andra Dennett and Caitlin Adolph were finalists in the Follow the Leader contest, and each received a gift certificate from Macy's.
Kerri, the daughter of Catherine and Charles Knellinger and an eighth-grade pupil at Oklahoma Road Middle School, wrote about Maryland school Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick. She admired the positive strides made by Grasmick in her job.
"I thought it was really great that she changed the whole school system around," said Kerri. "I want to become a teacher to try and help the community like she did."
Kerri is looking forward to spending a workday with Grasmick. She enjoyed talking with Grasmick during the awards breakfast. "She got to know me really quickly," Kerri said.
Oklahoma Road teacher Rita Karr encouraged Kerri and other pupils to enter this and other essay contests.
Oklahoma Road pupils Brenda Harkins, Shannon Wilson, Kasey Wright and Jason Zuniga were finalists in the contest and received Macy's gift certificates.
Put on your walking shoes and get ready for one of the biggest craft show weekends of the year in southern Carroll.
The Instrumental Music Boosters at Liberty High School will sponsor its Holiday Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the school, 5855 Bartholow Road. More than 150 vendors will offer items. Admission is $1, younger than age 12 free. Information: 410-751-3560.
"Christmas in the Country" will be sponsored by Wesley-Freedom United Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 961 Johnsville Road in Eldersburg. In addition to handmade crafts and holiday treats, holiday music will be performed. Information: 410-795-2777.
Bethesda United Methodist Church, 328 N. Klees Mill Road, will sponsor a Christmas bazaar from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Information: 410-795-7677.
Little Red Wagon Country Craft and Antique Show will be held at Lisbon Fire Hall for five days beginning tomorrow. Information: 410-795-1550 or 410-549-7164.