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Chess Program Director Russell Harwood
Chess Program Director

Russell Harwood has been chess program drector since November 2005.

From 1996 to 2005, Harwood was a teacher in the Brownsville Independent School District. His involvement with scholastic chess began in 1997 when co-founded and coached the chess team at Morningside Elementary. At the 2000 State Scholastic Chess Championships, Morningside won the primary and elementary state titles, the only school to win both sections in the same year. Morningside’s success in chess got the attention of Hispanic Magazine, and Morningside was named one of their “Schools of Excellence” for the year, one of only five in the nation. Harwood was invited to Washington, D.C., with Principal Jay Harris to accept the award. In 2001, Harwood moved with his principal to help open a new BISD school, Dr. Americo Paredes Elementary. A chess team was formed, and Paredes Elementary began experiencing immediate success, highlighted by second place individual and team finishes at nationals. Since then, Paredes Elementary has won numerous state championships and six national championships in chess.

Harwood, a native of Brownsville, received a Bachelor of Arts from Texas State University in 1978. He also attended Texas Southmost College.

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