Tenesha Irvin, a sales professional and radio personality, speaks during EPB's 14th Annual Black History Poetry Contest Thursday, March 15, 2018 at EPB headquarters in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. Irvin encouraged students to work hard and become leaders in their communities.

Students invited to enter EPB's Black History Month Poetry Contest

Hamilton County students in grades 1-12 are invited to enter EPB's 16th annual Black History Month Poetry Contest in honor of Black History Month this February.

"We are excited about the opportunity for students to learn more about these events, become inspired by them and to ignite their passion for creative expression," said Kelvin Boyd, EPB community relations specialist, in a statement. "We encourage students to write their poem in first person as if they were there as a participant or as a witness during the time period the event occurred."

Students attending public and private schools as well as those who are home-schooled are eligible to enter the contest, which is separated into four age categories. Students can research a range of topics including historical events and figures to write their poem on, including Bessie Smith, Rosa Parks, Barack Obama, the Tuskegee Airmen and Simone Biles.

The deadline to enter the contest is 5 p.m. on Feb. 7. Winning students and their teachers will receive $100 and will be invited to attend the EPB Black History Month Awards Banquet.

For more information, visit:


Chattanooga State offers new mental health technician program

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Chattanooga State Community College still has seats available in its new mental health technician program.

The nine-week certificate program begins Jan. 15 and will run through March 25. Classes will be held Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.

"We have a dedicated committee of mental health advocates who requested this program, and we are very proud to be offering this new program in spring 2020," said Laqueta Soule, assistant dean of TCAT, in a news release.

Students who complete the nine-week program would be eligible to work in the field as entry-level technicians and earn salaries between $21,000-27,000 annually, with job opportunities in public and private inpatient mental health facilities.

Prospective students would need to visit Chattanooga State's campus to apply via a paper admissions application. For more information call 423-697-4433 or visit


Lee University to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with week of events

Lee University's Cultural Diversity Committee will host a series of events the week of Jan. 20 commemorating the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The events will consist of lectures, multiple discussions, a chapel service and a film showing.

"During this week of honoring Dr. King's work, we are all learners — students, faculty, and community," said Mary McCampbell, associate professor of humanities, in a news release. "Learning to truly love our neighbors as ourselves is the work of a lifetime, and we look forward to spending a week focusing on the ways in which our love of neighbor relates to understanding the experiences of African Americans in this country."

Events will include:

— Resistance, Lament and Praise: The History and Practice of African American Protest Music: a lecture on the historical connections between music, protest and the struggle for freedom at 7 p.m. on Jan. 20 in the Johnson Lecture Hall

— A chapel service featuring Mo Huggins, a pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia, at 10:40 a.m. on Jan. 21

— A showing of the film, "King in the Wilderness," the 2018 documentary about the final chapters of King's life, along with a live discussion with Chattanooga racial justice advocate Donivan Brown at 7 p.m. on Jan. 21 in the Rose Lecture Hall

— A panel discussion called "Bridging our Parallel Lives: Lee University and College Hill Community" at 7 p.m. on Jan. 23 in the Johnson Lecture Hall

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Mary McCampbell at 423-614-8353 or via email at

If you have news about local schools you'd like included in Class Notes, email Meghan Mangrum at