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South Forsyth Middle teacher featured on ‘Jeopardy!’
Tracey Hollabaugh
South Forsyth Middle School math teacher Tracey Hollabaugh competed on “Jeopardy!” on Thursday. - photo by For the FCN

This South Forsyth Middle School math teacher was recently featured on the hit syndicated television quiz show, “Jeopardy!”

The correct answer: Who is Tracey Hollabaugh?

This week, Hollabaugh, a math and science teacher at South Forsyth Middle School was featured on the popular game show. Thursday night, Hollabaugh and two other contestants took the stage, met Alex Trebek and took a shot at taking home the jackpot.  

She said the road to getting on to the show and on the air has been a yearlong process of tests and interviews designed to make sure that she would be a good candidate. When show producers finally called her, almost a year after she was placed in the final pool of candidates, she almost didn’t answer. 

“They called me when I was in the car and it was a day where I had gotten a whole bunch of calls from telemarketers,” Hollabaugh said with a laugh. After getting several calls from a number in California that she didn’t recognize, Hollabaugh finally picked up her phone and realized what the calls were. 

“I picked up and said, ‘What do you want!’ and the guy said ‘Tracey don’t hang up, you want this phone call. This is Glen from Jeopardy,’” she said, still chuckling at the memory. 

From that point, she said things were a blur of paperwork and other formalities as she was flown out to participate in the show.  The hardest part for her, she said, was getting used to answering in the form of a question and using the signature “Jeopardy!” buzzer. 

“The morning before the show, I was getting very frustrated because I could not get the timing of the buzzer down,” she said.

After hours of practice, she finally got her technique down and was able to answer when the time came.

“It’s really funny because I can’t remember what categories there were, other than there was one category that was called “sports traditions.” When I saw it I said, “oh no,” because I am not a sports person,” she said. “But it was very cool to see how it all works, and to get to meet Alex. I just had a great, fun time.” 

Hollabaugh said she thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“I told my students that I had two goals in mind: one was to have fun, and one was to not look like a total idiot, and I achieved them,” she said.