Williams Elementary chess team performs well

Published: Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 10:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 10:36 p.m.

Students from Williams Elementary registered strong performances at the U.S. Chess Federation 2011 National K-12 Scholastic Chess Championship.

About 1,200 players representing 483 teams from schools in 37 states competed in the championship tournament held recently in Dallas.

Fifth-grader Abhimanyu Banerjee tied for third place, while Tianhui “Cindy” Jie, also a fifth-grader, tied for 11th place in the 5th Grade Section of the championship tournament.

Although there were only two players on their team — all other winning schools had three or more players — the Williams Elementary chess team won a sixth-place team trophy in the 5th Grade Section of the championship tournament.

To achieve this, each student played seven games, with a maximum duration of three hours per game over a three-day period.

For every win, a player earned one point, and a half-point for every draw.

At the end of the tournament, totals were tabulated to decide individual placement.

The sum of points for the top three performers in a team was used to decide team placement.

Banerjee and Jie also were members of the Williams team that took first place in the 4th-grade division in the 2010 National Grade Level Championships; and second place in the K-5 division of the U.S. Chess Federation National Elementary Championship, K-5 Championship held in May 2011.

The Williams Chess Club is coached by George Pyne, Britt Ryerson, and Monica and Simon Dewitt.


As part of a Laptop Initiative that began with the Class of 2014, freshmen and sophomore students at St. Francis Catholic High School completed all their mid-term exams online using their Mac laptops instead of the traditional paper and pencil method.

This is not only a first for St. Francis, but also a first for any school in Alachua County.

With the Laptop Initiative, every student is equipped with a Mac laptop for their four years at St. Francis, which they can purchase for $1 upon graduation.

Their laptops are used in every class and for homework assignments.

The goal of this initiative is to provide students with the technological skills necessary for success in college and in the workplace.

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