Dr. Glenn Hornstein
Parent Involvement Matters Award winner
Westside Intermediate School, Wicomico County Public Schools
Dr. Glenn Hornstein, father of students at Westside Intermediate and Salisbury Middle schools, is Wicomico County’s PIMA winner for the 2015 - 16 school year. The PIMA (Parent Involvement Matters Award) is sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and recognizes a parent from each local school district for that parent’s commitment to the success of all students.
Dr. Hornstein was recognized for his creation of a chess club program nearly five years ago that embodies both public and private schools. He recruited other parents and began to teach any students who were interested how to play chess. The beauty of his program was the students did not have to have high academic grades; they did not need to be from a certain socioeconomic status. Rather, they had to have an intense commitment to learning and executing the strategies and techniques of the game. By the end of the first year, more than 80 students were getting up early and coming to school BEFORE classes began to play chess.
Some students who were not very successful in their classes have been able to improve their academic abilities as a result of the chess club. Other students have seen an improvement in their self-esteem and self-worth.
Within a year of starting the chess club at Westside Intermediate, Dr. Hornstein organized a tournament for any elementary school student (no matter what school) to compete and showcase their abilities. That tournament – with the help of other parents, community members, and staff – now brings together more than 100 students to compete. Chess clubs are now active in another elementary and a middle school.
To facilitate the work of the chess clubs, he helped to raise money so that each school could purchase the needed quantity of chess boards. In addition, he purchased a computer program for use in expediting tournament play, paying for it out of his own money.
Dr. Hornstein is an emergency room doctor where he often works the night shift. That does not stop him from coming to schools (again, before classes begin) to work with students, often teaching students first how to play then increase their board strategies.
Because of his success in getting students involved in playing chess, the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center organized its first chess tournament in 2014, a tournament which spanned two days. Dr. Hornstein’s efforts have not just positively impacted the students of Westside Intermediate School or Wicomico County Public Schools, but the entire Wicomico County community.