Parkview Chess Club Revived by LRSD Employee

Help presented itself from an unlikely source when Fund and Budget Coordinator Leroy Harris offered his assistance in jumpstarting the Chess club for Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School, but Harris provided the shot in the arm that the club needed to get enthusiastic players to join.

The club, which had dwindled to only a few students – had been waning in recent years. This year, the club has seventeen enthusiastic players – thanks in large part to Harris’ efforts.

For four years, Harris has dedicated his time and expertise to the Chess Club at Gibbs Magnet School for International Studies and at Dunbar Middle School. In addition, Harris has helped to organize city wide chess tournaments for players in grades K-8 for the last two years. 

The decision to assist Parkview was an extension of the work Harris was already doing in the schools and community – and as his students became older, it just made sense to extend the program up.

“It became apparent that a gap existed betweeen LRSD high school students who played chess and opportunities to continue playing in tournament environments. I, along with other volunteers, decided to try to fill that void by volunteering at the high school level with students we’d worked with in K-8 tournaments,” Harris said.

Harris graduated from Parkview in 1996 and was a former student of principal Dr. Dexter Booth.

“It seemed natural to lend my volunteer efforts to my Alma Mater,” Harris said.

Harris graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2001 and earned his MBA in 2005. He has been an employee of Little Rock School District since 2008.

The students in chess club are: Senior Emily May; Junior Chasity Stewart; Sophomore Blase Zinck, Ryan LeClair, Edward Finley and Quyen Truong, and  freshmen Cole Lightfoot, Andrew Curzon, Ryan Screws, Timothy McIntire, Jermaine Hopson, Bryan Morales, Dominique Phillips.


Photo: Sophomore Ryan LeClaire and junior Christopher Moore make their final moves as the bell rings signaling the beginning of another academic day at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School. Chess club members watching the game from left to right are: Sophomore Quyen Troung,  Freshmen Dominique Phillips, Timothy McIntire, Bryan Morales and Cole Lightfoot;  Mr. Leroy Harris, sponsor, Freshman Ryan Screws and Senior Emily watch the match from above.