Nancy Johnson is a retired educator with experience in general and gifted education. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Missouri Valley College, a Masters and Education Specialist Degree from The University of Alabama, and completed course work toward a Ph.D. also from The University of Alabama.
Ms. Johnson has taught Grades K-5 in general education and Grades 2-5 in gifted education. She also served 10 years as Coordinator of Gifted Education in Huntsville City Schools, and 8 years as Gifted Education Specialist at the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE). Over the course of 27 years in the field of education, she presented and consulted nationally at a variety of educational conferences. In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Gifted Education from the Alabama Gifted Education Association.
During her last two years working at the ALSDE, Ms Johnson was placed in charge of the newly proposed Alabama Chess in Schools Iniative (ACIS) and helped to bring the initiative to fruition. In the course of working with the founders of the organization as well as administrators, teachers, and students who participated, she soon saw the value of chess as a natural vehicle for teaching much needed critical thinking skills, as well as life skills essential to success in and out of school for all students. When students acquire these skills through chess, a very motivating medium, they can be transferred to academic achievement, as well. An added benefit to ACIS is the building of self esteem as students realize that they are smart and can achieve at higher levels than they realized. After all, they reason, “Chess is a game for smart people!”
Following retirement in 2015, she accepted the position of Operations Manager for Chess in Schools LLC. She assists in teacher training and serves as consultant to teachers and administrators participating in ACIS.