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Meet Coach Ray!

Cary “Coach Ray” Easterday is the owner and lead educator at Orangutan Chess Academy.  Ray has 40+ years of chess experience, a Master’s Degree in Geology, and 30+ years of professional experience as a lead science teacher at colleges, universities, museums, meetings, and public events. He has taught chess professionally since 2018 with students from dozens of Seattle-area schools.

Coach Ray

In May 2024, 26 of his current and former students qualified for the Washington State Elementary Chess Championships, and thirteen were awarded trophies (i.e. “state champs”)!  Since 2020, Coach Ray has mapped and identified 10,000+ trees, shrubs, ferns, and other plants at Seattle’s popular Green Lake Park. He manages the day-to-day operations of OCA, gives science lectures and tours, and is writing a book on the History & Ecology of Green Lake.

About OCA

Since 2018, Orangutan Chess Academy has introduced students to the world of chess with supplemental science education. We specialize in beginner and intermediate-level chess players. We teach Standard Chess and chess variants from around the world. Our students also create their own chess variants to teach parents, friends, and family! Chess tournaments are optional, but we help students and families when they request more information. In 2023-24, we taught the #15 ranked elementary chess tournament team in Washington State!

Starting in 2024,  we have a new permanent location near Green Lake Park where we offer we offer Summer Camps in Science • Technology • Engineering • Mathematics (STEM) - with themes such as games, natural sciences, food sciences, national parks, state parks, and history - plus After-School Chess Clubs, Holiday Camps, Birthday Parties, and guided tours of Green Lake with our resident expert in Green Lake plants, animals, and ecology.

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