Game she loved honors her memory Chess center dedicated to Karen Waters, CRMS teacher who died last year

By Julie Gorham / Citrus Chronicle

Friday, March 10, 2017 at 9:44 pm

On Friday, Crystal River Middle School unveiled the Karen T. Waters Chess Center in memory of a beloved teacher.

With her family standing to watch, Principal Inge Frederick shook with tears in her eyes as she spoke of her Waters’ qualities as a teacher.

“She wanted her kids to think, and every lesson was to develop to get her children thinking,” Frederick said. “That is why she loved chess. Watching Karen teach chess was magic, and her students became chess fanatics while learning to love a game.”

Waters died March 12, 2016, at age 59.

Waters’ colleagues expressed great admiration for her, noting that while she could be tough, she was an effective educator.

The school built the chess center with 13 folding chess sets handmade by CRMS teachers. Above the chess area hangs a painting of a tiger’s eye created by past students of Waters in tribute to the song “Eye of the Tiger,” which she played every year during standardized testing.

One of her six children, son Nick Vihrachoff, spoke on behalf of his family, thanking the school for honoring his mother.

“This is not a small thing; it is huge for us,” he said, adding, “I will remember this for the rest of my life.”

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