Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Education notebook: 5 Roanoke chess players square off in national match

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Correction (Jan. 16, 2013: 8:13 p.m.): In a previous version of this story, Derek McIntyre's first name was misspelled. | Our corrections policy

Five Roanoke City Public Schools students recently competed against more than 1,000 students from 40 states in the United States Chess Federation's 2012 National Grade Level, Collegiate Championships.

Phillip Harmon, a senior at Patrick Henry High School, placed 34th overall in the 12th grade competition and earned a second-place trophy for players with a United States Chess Federation rating below 1,400.

Aiden Taylor from James Madison Middle School, Justin Kreft and Robert Kreft from Woodrow Wilson Middle School and Derek McIntyre from James Breckinridge Middle School also participated.

The competition was held last month in Orlando, Fla. Students faced off for individual and team championships for each grade level from kindergarten through college.

Phillip, Aiden, Justin, Robert and Derek are members of the school system's traveling chess team. They qualified for the trip based on their performance in various tournaments, attendance at weekly chess lessons and completion of chess homework. They were recognized by the Roanoke School Board on Jan. 8.

>> The school board also recognized Patrick Henry High School athletes during the Jan. 8 meeting. The girls volleyball team and boys and girls cross country teams were honored for their championships.

The girls volleyball team won the Northwest Region championship this year and also won the Western Valley District for the seventh consecutive year.

Several players also were recognized for their individual achievements.

Caroline Brailsford was named Player of the Year for the region and a co-MVP of the district. Caroline was also Virginia's female recipient of the Wendy's High School Heisman Award, which honors students' performance on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

Sarah Miller was named first team all region and a co-MVP of the district.

Morgan Robison was named to the second team all region and defensive player of the year for the district.

Abby Wolpert was named to the first team all district.

The coach of the girls volleyball team, Patty Sheedy, was also recognized. She was named district and regional Coach of the Year.

>> Board members also congratulated the Patrick Henry boys and girls cross country teams for winning their district championship.

Alina Woodford led the girls team with a second-place finish in the district, and a sixth-place finish in regionals. Zach Paget won the boys competition.

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