Hudson Valley Teacher Wins ‘Jeopardy!’ Teachers Tournament


Hudson Valley Teacher Wins ‘Jeopardy!’ Teachers Tournament

Francois Barcomb, a Hendrick Hudson High School physics teacher from New Paltz, won the “Jeopardy!” Teachers Tournament Friday, claiming a $100,000 grand prize and a spot in the next Tournament of Champions.

Conor Quinn, a high school world history teacher from Albany, placed second and earned $50,000, while Sara DelVillano, a middle school instrumental music teacher from Lanham, Maryland, came in third and took home $25,000, according to a spokeswoman for the program.

Barcomb, who earned a bachelor of science degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a masters and doctorate in physics from SUNY Albany, credits his own education with giving him the tools he needed to best the 14 other educators he faced during the Teachers Tournament.

From left, Alex Trebek and Francois Barcomb. Photo credit: Carol Kaelson/Photographer.

“My students kept asking me if I was getting nervous,” Barcomb said, in a prepared statement. “What they don’t realize is that I had done a lot of highly rigorous and nerve-wracking things in my career, especially in the Navy and when I earned my Ph.D.

“Defending your thesis is very similar to answering random questions on TV,” he said.

The $100,000 grand prize, which Barcomb described as “unreal,” will go, in part, to a college fund for his 9-year-old daughter.

“It is a lot of money, and to win it while being treated so well by the show made me feel very fortunate,” Barcomb said. “The Tournament of Champions will require a lot of luck and skill to play with some very experienced players. It will be an honor to represent the teachers at that tournament; I hope I do not let them down.”

This year’s edition of the Teachers Tournament was presented by Amazon Alexa, which was on-hand to assist host Alex Trebek throughout the tournament, a spokeswoman said.

To learn more about the Teachers Tournament, visit

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Published at Fri, 17 May 2019 23:26:15 +0000