Mary Elizabeth Christensen has been teaching students K-6 the rules and strategies of chess at Rock Canyon Elementary once a week for ten years now. Students and parent volunteers surprised her with a chessboard cake and all took a moment to thank her for her dedication. Mary Elizabeth started Rock Canyon’s Chess Club and has been running the show the pulls in at least 50 students each time.
“Mary Elizabeth is truly a gem and has made Chess Club a fun and cool tradition here at Rock Canyon,” Principal Dean Nielsen said. “She makes it enjoyable and educational for the students, and once they sign up, they come back year after year after year.”
Mary Elizabeth recognizes that not only is chess simply fun to play, but it teaches problem solving and creativity at the same time.
“Chess forces students to think several steps down the road, to think and solve problems that suddenly arise, and to adapt and modify your plan if your original idea isn’t quite possible anymore,” she said. “Chess teaches these important skills all while students think they’re playing a fun game.”
“Not only is Mary Elizabeth really good at chess, but she’s an even better teacher,” said William Christensen, her husband, who was there to help celebrate Mary Elizabeth’s ten-year mark.