Did you know the school was named after the founder of the National School Breakfast Program and that she was also once a principal at the first Whittier and the original Captain Gray? Rowena Chess knew how important a nutritious breakfast was to a student’s ability to perform well throughout the school day. The next time you find yourself passing by the Chess library, look for the photograph of “Chessie” that dedicates her commitment to healthy and vibrant students.
Chessie is still fondly remembered around town. Several current and former employees were students in her schools, such as Dr. Dennis Maguire and Tom Brandon. They remember her to be small but a powerful force for children.
Chess Elementary was a recipient of the 2013 Washington Achievement Award and was honored for Special Recognition Award, English Language Acquisition. This is an extraordinary accomplishment and is a direct reflection of the hard work of our students, the dedication of our teachers, and the support and guidance of our parents. This award is well deserved. In the past years, Chess has implemented several improvements that have impacted our students’ success.
Some other interesting things to know about our school include:
- About 12,000 students have attended Chess since its opening in 2000.
- There are 44,196 books living in the school library and there were 33,699 books checked out last year.
- Chess has participated in the Jump for Heart Program since it opened.
- Nine Staff Achievement Award Winners work at Chess: Jill McColloch, Ida Silvers, Ana Arriaga, Penny Schultz, Carmelita Salinas, Judy Church, Linda King, Karen Hilbert, Kathy Crowner, Kristin McCormick and Sandra Barragan.
- Chess teachers Jill McColloch and Alicia Barber are Crystal Apple Award winners.
- Chess is home to the District’s Primary Deaf Education program.
- The school’s PEAK! Partners are Conover Insurance and Community Health Plan of Washington.