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Krista Hoffstaedter:
2006 Winner
Bayside High School

Krista Hoffstaedter

Winning Essay

The President of the United States is often considered the most powerful elected official in the world. The president leads a nation of great wealth and military strength. Presidents have often provided decisive leadership in times of crisis, and they have shaped many important events in history. Basically, the President of the United States of America is the symbol of the nation as a whole and the representation of the beliefs and behaviors of the country.

Since the President is the top figure in the United States, there are certain qualities that are essential when considering his success. Five important qualities a successful President should possess are leadership, ambition, competence, integrity, and a humane type of personality. Leadership is the most important quality every great president must have. He must have the ability to provide overall leadership and direction for the country in an appropriate and sufficient manner. He must ensure guidance and influence to all citizens with rules, regulations, laws, court decisions, amendments, organized methods, and so on, with the help of the government and the people. This is very important to the stability and orderliness in achieving safety and prosperity for one’s country. Ambition is an essential quality too. With myriad goals and objectives to be attained for the country, the President must have a strong sense of ambition and drive in obtaining these aspirations. The citizens must feel that the President will make sure that all ends are met at all times. Without a strong feeling of wanting to be successful and achieve great things the country will dwindle in every possible way. Although academic knowledge does not determine a President’s success, competence definitely does. Competence is defined as, the ability to do something well or to a required standard. The President must have skill and capability assuming a task, making a decision, or having good judgment for the welfare of the country. The people of the nation need to have confidence that the person running their country knows and understands what he is doing and the consequences that could possibly follow. The quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards is quite important in a President’s demeanor. In other words, integrity, honesty, and veracity are vital features a President must hold when in office. A moral President will not act unjustly and will ensure that every citizen is treated equally. He will follow through with promised plans with great honor and precision. Humane characteristics add to his credibility. People will want to support his beliefs or opinions and will have more trust and confidence in him.

Along with certain qualities a President must be considered a great leader. There are also certain “qualities” he should not possess. Prejudice, disloyalty, or selfishness is three that a President should never acquire. The United States of America is a free country that welcomes citizenship for all races, sexes, and cultures. If a President voices an opinion, usually an unfavorable one, based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or inaccurate stereotypes, chaos and confusion could strike the country. Because of the vast differences in socioeconomics and cultures of Americans, the US president must appeal to each type of person in a caring and concerned way. When elected to office the newly inducted president must stay true to his actions and his citizens. If a president is to act disloyally he can loose the trust of the people, the government, and the world. The title of president gives a distinct indication that one is capable of leading a country with loyalty to the best of one’s ability. Thus, if this is broken, then all respect and dignity is lost. The president’s job is to lead the people of a nation in a skillful manner. Therefore, there is no room for selfish behavior or greedy tactics. A president’s duty is to help the country flourish and direct it toward success.

Throughout American history certain Presidents have shaped the country in outstanding ways. Two of these presidents were Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Lincoln was truly one of the greatest men of all time, leading the Union during the Civil War, the utmost crisis in our history. Lincoln helped end slavery in the nation and kept the Union from permanently splitting apart. In conducting a bitter war, Lincoln never became bitter himself. He demonstrated a nobility of character that has worldwide appeal. Overall, Lincoln possessed leadership, ambition, competence, integrity, and humanity and never once compromised his beliefs or his country. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest-serving holder of the office and the only person to be elected President more than twice, and one of the central figures of 20th Century history. He is best known for leading the U.S. through the Great Depression, creating his New Deal, building a powerful Democratic party that dominated American politics for three decades, and leading the military alliance that defeated Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Empire of Japan in World War II. A child of economic and social privilege, he overcame crippling illness to place himself at the head of the forces of reform. Roosevelt was both loved and vilified in his day, but today many consider him one of the greatest of American presidents.

Although Bill Clinton was not a horrible President and did lead the country to economic achievement, he still suffered two major setbacks during his administration. The first was his failure to obtain health care reform. The second, and much more damaging to his place in history, was his impeachment by the House of Representatives on charges of having lied under oath and having obstructed justice in the attempted cover-up of his affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. The scandal did not indicate if he was a superior president or not, but proved his disloyalty to his family and office. The President of the United States of America is the symbol of the nation and a role model to many Americans. By lying under oath to Congress and to the entire country, not only were people disappointed, they lost respect for the man who is supposed to represent our ideal of honesty and integrity.

The President of the United States of America has one of toughest jobs in the world. Certain qualities can make or break the success of a US president. America has had many outstanding presidents along with barely competent ones. But perhaps over the years, American presidents have created a country of prosperity and power.


We would like to wish Krista Hoffstaedter the best of luck moving on to The University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Congratulations!

My name is Krista Hoffstaedter and I’m a senior at Bayside High school. I am a very cheery and out-going person. I have strong qualities of leadership, organization, motivation and ambition. I have a very positive attitude towards life and strive for the best. I work extremely hard in school and have an optimistic outlook on my college career and future plans. In the fall I will most likely be attending The University of Massachusetts in Amherst. I will be majoring in marketing at the Isenberg School of Management. I enjoy helping others whenever I get the chance which is why I created the European Club. Being founder and President of the club has allowed me to give back to my school and community for the last 3 years. During my free time I take dance lessons. I have been dancing ballet, tap, and jazz for about 7 years. I’m not only dancing, but I’m expressing who I am through my movement and technique. I appreciate all that is offered to me and take nothing for granted.

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