Press Releases

Wheeling, W.Va. – West Virginia State Treasurer John D. Perdue visited with students at Middle Creek Elementary School in Ohio County Friday to encourage them to participate in the ninth annual SMART529 When I Grow Up essay contest.

Middle Creek Principal, Michelle Snyder, welcomed Treasurer Perdue to the school and encouraged children in all grades to participate in the contest.


“Every year I look forward to visiting local elementary schools to talk about the contest and stress the importance of post-secondary education,” said Treasurer Perdue. “These days, education beyond high school is an essential part of ensuring a child’s success.”


The contest gives kindergarten through fifth grade students a chance to share in nearly $20,000 in SMART529 savings for higher education. Three age group winners (K-1, 2-3, 4-5) will be judged in each of the five regions, making for a total of 15 winners.


The 15 winners will be awarded $500 invested into a SMART529 college savings account and will be invited to an event in the fall where the grand prize winner will be randomly selected to receive a total of $5,000 in SMART529 scholarship money. Each winner’s school will also receive a $500 cash award.


Middle Creek Elementary produced a Region 5 winner of the contest in 2012. Levi McConnell, a third grade student at the time, wrote about becoming a marine biologist.


The When I Grow Up contest allows students, with the help of their parent or guardian, to submit, in 100 words or less, an essay that answers what they want to be when they grow up. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity and the importance of post-secondary education.


Teachers of grades K through 5 will also have the opportunity to compete in the teacher portion of the essay contest. This year’s winning teacher will receive a $2,500 cash prize.


“We rely on teachers to emphasize the importance of obtaining a higher education. I am thrilled to continue a program that will reward them for making a special effort to encourage their students to think beyond high school,” said Perdue.


The deadline for entry form and essay submissions is February 26, 2016.


For more information on SMART529 and the When I Grow Up essay contest, including entry forms contact Jenny Jebbia, Regional Marketing Manager, or Tim Hooper, Regional Representative, State Treasurer’s Wheeling Office, 2001 Main Street or call 304.232.4778. You may also go online at for more information.

The Treasury does not collect state taxes. Visit the The West Virginia State Tax Department for assistance.

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