March 13, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. EDT

EPB Honors Winners of 2012 Black History Month Essay Contest

Nine Hamilton County students were named winners of EPB's 2012 Black History Month Essay Contest at a banquet March 1.

This year, participating students were asked to write an essay answering the question:

On Sunday, October 16, 2011, millions of people witnessed the historical dedication of the first national monument created in honor of a great African- American leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Not only is he the first African- American to receive this honor, he is also the first non-official to receive it. If you could dedicate a national monument to someone from African- American history, who would it be and why?

More than 100 public and private middle and high school students within EPB's service area submitted essays this year. Student essays focused on individuals from well-known civil rights history makers Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman to entertainer Michael Jackson, baseball legend Leroy "Satchel" Paige and even "Mrs. Gordon," one essay writer's teacher.

Retired educators volunteered their time to read and judge this year's entries. Executive Vice President and CFO Greg Eaves, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Gang Task Force Outreach Coordinator Fred Houser spoke at the banquet.

The 2012 winners are:

Grade Division First Place Second Place Third Place
6th and 7th Halle Fields Brown
Middle School
Jasmine Bonner Brown
Middle School
Maccayla Rhodes Brown
Middle School
8th and 9th David Streeter Loftis
Middle School
Jenna Reshucenthaler
Hunter Middle School
Gracey Hall Hunter
Middle School
10th-12th Stephen Houston Jr.
Central High School
Jordan Baker
Central High School
Jenny Ross
Middle College High School

All winners were awarded cash prizes, as well as certificates and medals. Teachers of first place winners received gift cards for school supplies.