Suburban drama teacher to compete in ‘Jeopardy’ tournament

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A suburban Chicago educator will put her smarts to the test on the “Jeopardy” Teachers Tournament, a two-week event kicking off Monday on the long-running quiz show that airs at 3:30 p.m. weekdays in Chicago on WLS-Channel 7.

Mary Bayer, a drama teacher at northwest suburban Elgin Academy, is one of 15 kindergarten-through-12th grade educators vying for the $100,000 prize and automatic entry into the next Tournament of Champions. The second-place winner in the Teachers Tourney gets $50,000, while third-place wins $25,000.

Bayer’s debut will be on the Feb. 5 episode of the Alex Trebek-hosted show.

Here are the rest of the tournament contestants:

  • Tracy Alexander, an AP English teacher at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona
  • Lydia Cuffman, a World, U.S., and Latin American History teacher at Sequoia High School in Redwood City, California
  • Adam Elkana-Hale, a math teacher at Loyola Academy of St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Cathy Farrell, a Physics and General Science teacher at Huron High School in New Boston, Michigan
  • Jennifer Giles, a bilingual education teacher at Columbine Elementary School in Longmont, Colorado
  • Chris Grinvalds, a World History and computer teacher at Bennington High School in Yutan, Nebraska
  • Eric Hack, a Latin teacher at Broadwater Academy in Exmore, Virginia
  • Martha Jackson, a Math and Speech teacher at Fremont-Mills Community School in Tabor, Iowa
  • Michael Jones, a Special Education teacher at Black Hawk Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Kate La Riviere-Gagner, a fifth- and sixth-grade classroom teacher at Monkton Central School in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont
  • MaryLou McKenna, an algebra teacher at Barnstable High School in Hyannis, Massachusetts
  • Erin McLaughlin, a fifth-grade classroom teacher at Bay Ridge Prep in Brooklyn, New York
  • Colin O’Grady an English teacher at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Jay Singleton, a Social Studies and Government teacher at Wilson Memorial High School in Fishersville, Virginia

Another suburban Chicago educator ruled the Teachers Tournament in 2012. Oak Park’s Fenwick High School world history teacher Colby Burnett beat out the brainy competition and added $250,000 to his pot of winnings the following year after winning the Tournament of Champions.

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