“Here is the host of Jeopardy!…Alex Trebek.”
Rachel Niegleberg has been waiting nearly 10 years for her chance to hear those words in person.
“I’ve been auditioning for almost a decade, taking the online tests, going to the regional auditions which is a really fun time so it was a hobby of mine and finally getting to fulfill that dream, it was very affirming,” Niegleburg said.
Rachel, a Special Education Teacher in Watkins Glen was recently chosen to compete in the Jeopardy Teacher’s Tournament. She shares how she kept it together during the taping knowing millions would be watching Tuesday night.
“It was a totally great experience. Everyone who works there was really friendly and made us feel very calm and they kept it light and fun like a game show should be, at the same time you could definitely feel that this is a life goal coming true and if you focus too much on how many people are watching you won’t do well in your game,” Niegleburg said.
The competition was tough, and although Rachel can’t give away too much before tonight’s airing of the show, she says it’s a definite must watch.
“People should tune in for the whole teacher’s tournament, there were some really great games. I got to watch quite a few of them, very high levels of competition and a lot of very smart people on the stage,” Niegleburg said.
Win or lose, Rachel says what meant the most to her was being able to represent Watkins Glen School District on such a large scale.
“It’s a small school in a small area and it’s nice to see that our academics are important on a National stage,” Niegleburg said.
And an added bonus, contestants in the teacher’s tournament are given a $2,500 grant. Rachel plans to use that money to give back to the students that will be cheering her on tonight.
“I’m hoping to use that for more sensory and adaptive equipment for our students with disabilities,” Niegleburg said.
The teacher’s tournament runs until May 18th.
You can watch Rachel tonight, May 8th, right here on WETM-TV at 7pm.