The second year of the Galion Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) “Pawns on Pawns” chess club concluded with a chess tournament at Galion Intermediate School April 9. 36 students and their families braved the wintery conditions to enjoy the morning competition.
Each student was guaranteed two games in the double elimination tournament. When the final piece fell, fourth grade student Nate Reed was crowned the first ever “Paws on Pawns” champion. Caden Jutz and Cooper Kent, both fourth grade students, finished second and third respectively.
“This event, for our first one, was a huge success,” co-advisor Bryan Summer said. “The success of this tournament, and the entire season, was due in large part to the volunteers from the Galion High School National Honor Society.”
The competitors and their families weren’t the only ones who braved the snow and ice conditions. Four members of the National Honor Society, Kierra Staton, Katie Keller, Kearsten Kostelnik and Jun Hao Zheng, worked with Bryan Summer and co-advisor Adam Lehman to help during the event.
“The younger students definitely enjoyed the opportunity to work with, and learn from, the older students from the high school,” Summer said. “This was a great year for our chess club, and we’re excited to see continued growth next school year.”
“Paws on Pawns” is a member of the United States Chess Foundation. The Galion Elementary PTO, in-kind donations from the Galion community and the National Chess Trust assisted the club in purchasing additional chess sets to accommodate the increase in student participation.
“I want to commend Mr. Summer, Mr. Lehman and all the volunteers for their time and dedication to making the ‘Paws on Pawns’ program a huge success,” Intermediate School Principal Alex Sharick said. “We are fortunate to have a program of this caliber to help our students further expand their critical thinking and reasoning skills outside the classroom.”