David M. Merrill is an Analytical Chemist working at Framatome in Richland, Washington, where nuclear fuel assemblies are manufactured for commercial nuclear power plants around the world. As a young father he recognized,
analytical thinking skills he gained as a child playing chess helped him develop an interest in mathematics, and chemistry, and has served him well in providing for his family. He wanted his children to develop these same skills and realized they would not likely learn to play chess unless their peers played chess too, so he started a chess club at Sacajawea elementary school. He was the chess coach from the time his oldest son was in 1st grade until his youngest daughter graduated from Sacajawea Elementary school, about 10 years. During the last two years his youngest son Marshall started attending chess tournaments, and Coach Merrill realized the tournaments needed some help. So he and three other volunteers formed the non-profit corporation “Washington Elementary Chess Champions” to hold the Washington State Elementary Chess Championship tournament at South Ridge High School where 750 elementary school children attended in April 2003.
Chess sets from this event were then distributed to many elementary schools in the Tri-Cities to help start chess clubs. The organization also used the chess sets to hold local chess tournaments, and to teach children to play chess at the local public libraries during the summer. As a founding board member David Merrill has been president of Washington Elementary Chess Champions since December 2002, and he and the board have assisted many elementary schools in forming local chess clubs, and holding 10 local chess tournaments per year. Over 1000 local elementary students in the Tri-Cities are currently enrolled in a chess club at their local school.
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Stan is currently serving as the Vice President of Washington Elementary Chess Champions. Stan is also the coach of the chess teams at both Sagebrush Montessori and Bethlehem Lutheran School.
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Michael is currently serving as the Treasurer of Washington Elementary Chess Champions.
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Doug is currently serving as the Secretary for the Washington Elementary Chess Champions.
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Alex is a board member at large at Washington Elementary Chess Champions. He and Dave volunteer as the chess coaches for Jefferson Elementary School.
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Danielle is a board member at large at Washington Elementary Chess Champions
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