• Academics
  • Leadership
  • School News
I’ll Take Amazing Teacher for $1,000!

Ever since grade school, IWA’s Young Leaders Program Director Eric Kerr-Heraly has had a knack for trivia. Growing up, he and his mother were devoted fans of Jeopardy. While Alex Trebek grilled contestants they would gleefully play along, shouting answers–framed as questions–at their living room TV.

Fast forward to adulthood, and Eric continued to be a big fan, following the game show with his wife, Lauran, who encouraged him to audition to be a contestant. In 2008, he drove to Dallas for auditions, but didn’t receive a callback, and in 2019, he tried out when the producers came to The Galleria to find contestants–but again, he didn’t hear back.

Once Covid-19 hit the country, Jeopardy transitioned to online auditions. Eric decided that the third time might be a charm–and it was! After taking an online test, he was contacted for a Zoom audition while he and his family were vacationing in Paris. Doux succes! “The fact that I auditioned in my Airbnb in Paris probably made me stand out,” he says with a laugh.

Three weeks after that Zoom audition, producers scheduled him to compete at the show’s Culver City studio the week before Thanksgiving. He, Lauran, and daughter Daphne drove to Los Angeles for the taping and the adventure of a lifetime. Eric describes the whole experience as “Surreal.” What was the new host Ken Jennings like? “He was friendly, encouraging, and funny!” 

For now, that’s about all Eric can tell us about his Jeopardy competition. (Jeopardy rules require results to be confidential until after the broadcast.) The show airs January 20, on Houston’s Channel 13 at 11:30 a.m. The IWA community plans to cheer him on at an all-school watch party in the Auditorium. Stay tuned for the results!

Photos courtesy of Jeopardy Productions Inc.