Enrichment Day gets down in deep strategy…and dirt

Some of the students who attended Saturday Enrichment Day at El Tejon Unified School District on March 29 went outdoors to dig into the earth. Meanwhile, inside the Frazier Mountain High School library there was deep thinking about how to conquer opponents in battle…on a chess board.

Chess Championships

No flashing lights, 3-D graphics or booming bass sound effects accompanied the games in the FMHS library—just quiet thought and the action of moving pieces on the game boards.

Nineteen years ago (in April, 1995) the El Tejon Chess Club placed first in statewide championships. It was front page news in The Mountain Enterprise and a big deal among chess enthusiasts throughout the state.

Then-coach Chuck Mullen is now working to form a new tournament-winning team in this school district. He has help from experienced chess players who coach chess to all ages, beginners and experienced, at the Frazier Park Library on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. They would like to see a tournament-ready team form here.

Next week on Saturday, April 5, Mullen will put on a district-level tournament. There were 14 players in the library last Saturday and they were learning quickly.

Dig it!

Saturday’s agriculture sessions found students learning about Future Farmers of America and getting outside in the fresh air to help whip the vineyard into shape.

Teacher Chris Penella (filling in for Ag teacher Gigi Nommensen) had students dig 6-inch deep trenches along both sides of two rows of grapevines. The 8th grade kids joked that this was slave-labor, but they were clearly having fun—including the singing of old spirituals as they worked, such as Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

Photo captions

Seth Carroll is thoughtful before moving his chess piece at ETUSD’s March 29 Enrichment Day. Chess coach Chuck Mullen is forming teams to compete in tournaments. The first will be held on the upcoming April 5 Enrichment Day. The competition is open to all ETUSD students of all ages.

Eighth grade students learned how to dig irrigation trenches along two rows of grapevines at the FMHS agricultural education center.

Instructor Chris Penella (right) talks with students about creating irrigation ditches in the vineyard at the FMHS agricultural education center. They swung into action, and then began singing ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.’

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This is part of the April 4, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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