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Checkmate for success: A teacher’s vision for academic achievement

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT – June 18, 2024) — At Edgar Park Elementary School, a dedicated teacher is using the game of chess to help his students reach their full potential. 

Arturo Young, a 2nd-grade Dual Language teacher, has turned his love for chess into a powerful educational tool. He started a chess club at the school a few years ago, aiming to inspire his students not only to master the game but also to grow as individuals. 

"I see it as an opportunity for growth," Young said. “Chess teaches critical thinking, problem-solving, and spatial awareness, skills that go beyond the board." 

Students from kindergarten to fifth grade join Young's chess club and the results are clear. "The impact is immediate," Young explained. "I've seen remarkable improvements, especially in math. Some of my students even say they've gotten better at sports." 

Young's passion for chess began in his own youth and it’s what inspired him to create the club. His students' growth and success keep him going, even if he must be at tournaments every Saturday morning. 

"It's all about the kids," Young said. "Their growth is my motivation, their success my reward. As they move on to middle school and beyond, I take pride in knowing that their journey to excellence started here." 

For Young, the chess club is more than a hobby; it symbolizes the special bond between teacher and student and the power of dedication and teamwork. “It's always an adventure," he said. “I just wish more people and clubs participated in chess because it's such a vibrant and strong community.” 


Chess club students posing with trophies Chess club students posing with trophies  Arthuro Young's chess students competing  Chess club students posing with trophies