Teaching Profession

Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament: Get Caught Up Before Tonight’s Finale

By Stacey Decker — May 13, 2016 1 min read

Guest post by Stacey Decker

The Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament, a two-week competition featuring 15 teachers, ends tonight and the competition is heating up.

Three finalists remain:


  • Kaberi Chakrabarty, a veteran educator from Sator Sanchez Elementary School in Joliet, Ill., who teaches English-language learners.
  • Jill Gilbert, a 4th-year teacher from Central Academy Magnet School in Des Moines, Iowa, who hails from a family of teachers.
  • Jason Sterlacci, a 6th grade English teacher at Burnet Middle School in Union, N.J., who wants to use his winnings to highlight his students’ creative writing.

Those finalists were whittled down from the group of teacher-contestants who travelled to Washington, D.C., to film the tournament.

Here’s what they had to say about the experience:

The teachers’ trip included a visit to the White House. And among the highlights of the tournament so far was an appearance by former teacher—and current second lady—Jill Biden, who delivered a Final Jeopardy clue earlier this week.

The winner of the tournament, which is sponsored by Famer’s Insurance, gets $100,000 and a spot in the show’s Tournament of Champions.

But all the teacher-contestants go home with some dough (at least $2,500). The runner-up and second runner-up from tonight’s episode will get $50,000 and $25,000 respectively (or their total of their winnings, whichever is higher).

The winner will be the contestant who has the highest total after tonight’s finale. (Check your local listings for air time and channel information.)

So where do the finalists stand going into the final episode?

Chakrabarty has $4,600, Gilbert has $10,000, and Sterlacci has $22,601. Sterlacci’s lead is the result of his being the only one to correctly answer this tough Final Jeopardy question:

“After the secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011, this became the largest country in Africa by area.”

*Insert Final Jeopardy Jingle*

The answer: “What Is Algeria?”

If you got that right, maybe you should consider applying for the next Teachers Tournament.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.