0

Berkmar teacher to compete on "Jeopardy!"

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Christopher Pae teaches a history class on Thursday morning. Pae, a teacher at Berkmar High School, will be featured on "Jeopardy!," which begins airing Nov. 7.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Christopher Pae teaches a history class on Thursday morning. Pae, a teacher at Berkmar High School, will be featured on "Jeopardy!," which begins airing Nov. 7.

photo

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Berkmar High School teacher Christopher Pae teaches on Thursday morning in front of a white board with the date and time of his "Jeopardy!" appearance.

photo

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Signs decorate Christopher Pae's Berkmar High School classroom with words of encouragement for his appearance on "Jeopardy!," which will begin airing Nov. 7.

photo

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Berkmar High School teacher Christopher Pae works with students Tyler Rae, left, and Kayla Spring, right, during class on Thursday morning.

LILBURN -- Name a popular Berkmar teacher competing next month on one of America's most famous game shows.

Give up?

The correct response: "Who is Christopher Pae?"

The 32-year-old history teacher said going on "Jeopardy!" has been one of his lifelong dreams. He can hardly believe he'll be on television in early November to compete in the show's Teachers Tournament.

Pae said he studied hard for the tournament -- which begins airing Nov. 7 -- ever since he found out he was going to be one of 15 educators across the country featured.

"It's been a dream of mine to be on the show," Pae said. "I've been in disbelief ever since I found out."

Pae learned he would be featured on "Jeopardy!" a few months back after completing an online 50-question test. He then attended an audition in Washington D.C. weeks later in which he competed on a mock game show.

While the actual game show doesn't air until November, it was taped about a week ago. According to Pae, he's not allowed to divulge the results of the show. "You'll have to watch," he said.

Students in his classroom, including 15-year-old Omar Gray, said they plan to watch their teacher on TV.

Gray is confident Pae can win.

"He knows pretty much everything about everything," Gray said. "There's never been a question I've asked that he couldn't answer."

The student said that Pae at first "was very secretive about it," but told them about it recently.

Gray said that few are more deserving of the honor than his teacher.

"It's my first year with him, and he's just amazing," Gray said. "I enjoy the fact that he gets the material down, but he makes it as fun as possible. There's never a dull moment in his class."

Gray feels Pae's charisma will carry over well onto the game show. "He's just a fun person," he said.

According to a news release, "the country's brightest educators have been selected to compete" during a two-week tournament at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles.

"Teachers play such an important role encouraging and motivating our students to reach their full potential," said "Jeopardy!" Executive Producer Harry Friedman. "This tournament gives them a chance to shine and reminds us how imperative good educators are in shaping the future of our children."

The winner of the competition will receive $100,000 and a guaranteed spot in the "Jeopardy!" Tournament of Champions. The second-place winner will earn a minimum of $50,000 and third place $25,000. Semifinalists receive $10,000, and contestants eliminated in the first round receive $5,000. In addition, each teacher will receive a Classroom "Jeopardy!" unit for their school courtesy of Educational Insights, maker of Classroom "Jeopardy!"

Pae said "it will be fun" regardless of whether he wins or not. "I'm pretty happy. It's going to be a life-changing experience."