Elena Bazan wrote about mathematician Gladys West


Pine Tree High School senior Elena Bazan won the 4th annual Eastman Black History Month Oratorical Contest. Bazan wrote and delivered an essay about Gladys West, a mathematician whose work led to the creation of the global positioning system. Bazan won a cash prize of $1,500.

Karima Mbeh, a 12th grade Pine Tree student, won second place and a prize of $1,000 with an essay on biochemist Marie Maynard Daly. Jessica Hernandez, a Longview High School freshman, won third place and a prize of $750 for her essay on prolific engineer Elijah McCoy.

Chadeá Gipson, a senior at Pine Tree, won fourth place and $500 in scholarship money. Carolyn Purdum, a 10th grade student at Longview, won fifth place and received $250.

Eastman conducts the Black History Month Oratorical Contest annually for high school students in Longview. 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 language use; how well they demonstrate the innovator’s contribution; the credibility and proper sourcing of references; and originality. The oratory presentations are judged on diction, tone, pronunciation, and creativity.

Elena Bazan, 1st place winner of Eastman Black History Oratorical Contest

Carol Peoples (Eastman), Elena Bazan (Pine Tree High School), and David Reed (Eastman)