Sadie Cheshier wrote about prolific inventor Garrett Augustus Morgan

KINGSPORT, Tennessee

Dobyns-Bennett High School sophomore Sadie Cheshier won the ninth annual Eastman Black History Month Oratorical Contest. Cheshier wrote and delivered an essay about Garrett Augustus Morgan, a prolific inventor credited with creating the gas mask and the modern traffic signal. Cheshier won a cash prize of $1,500.

Rishab Dey, a 10th grade student at Dobyns-Bennett High School, won second place and a prize of $1,000 with his essay on computer science pioneer Mark Dean. Lily Gould, a Dobyns-Bennett sophomore, won third place and a prize of $750 for her essay on guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

Ada Hylton, an 11th grade student at Tennessee High School won fourth place and a cash prize of $550 for her essay on zoologist Margaret Collins. Reid Haas, a West Ridge High School junior, won fifth place and a cash prize of $250 for his essay on theoretical physicist Stephon Alexander.

Eastman conducts the Black History Month Oratorical Contest annually for high school students in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The goal is to contribute to a deeper public understanding of Black and African American contributions to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).

A student choosing to participate must submit an original essay about a notable Black or African American contributor. Essays are judged on grammar; how well they demonstrate the innovator’s contribution; the credibility and proper sourcing of references; and distinctiveness of the subject and/or topic. The oratory presentations are judged on diction, tone, pronunciation, and creativity.

Sadie Cheshier receiving the Eastman Black History Month Oratorical Award

Depicted (L-R): Paula Bulcao (Eastman), Sadie Cheshier (Oratorical Contest Winner), Andrew Yacinthe (Eastman), Tanya Foreman (Eastman)

Eastman Black History Month Oratorical finalist, Sadie Cheshier

Sadie Cheshier, a Dobyns-Bennett sophomore, delivers her winning essay on the innovations of Garrett Augustus Morgan, the inventor of the gas mask and modern traffic light.

Eastman Black History Month Oratorical finalists (L-R): Ada Hylton, Reid Haas, Lily Gould, Rishab Dey & Sadie Cheshier

Depicted (L-R): Ada Hylton (Tennessee High), Reid Haas (West Ridge), Lily Gould (Dobyns-Bennett), Rishab Dey (Dobyns-Bennett), and Sadie Cheshier (Dobyns-Bennett).

About Eastman

Founded in 1920, Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2022 revenue of approximately $10.6 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA.

Media contact

Brad Belote
Eastman Chemical Company
Corporate Communications