George Rogers Clark High School chorus teacher Kris Olson’s appearance Wednesday night on the national TV quiz show “Jeopardy!” represented years of focus, he said.
“I have watched Jeopardy all my life,” he told the Herald-Leader. “I watched it as a child with my family. Every single night. I still remember the first question I knew that my parents didn’t: ‘He is the only person to serve as chief justice after serving as president ... Who is William Howard Taft?’”
Olson said he loved trivia and board games and played on the academic team through school. He never wanted to be on the Jeopardy Teen Tournament because he wanted to be on the adult version some day, he said.
Starting in college, about 13 years ago, he began taking the annual online test every year.
Olson was invited this year to the next step, which is taking the in-person test. After passing that, he was invited to do an audition over Zoom last summer.
“I got the call this February and taped my show on March 31,” he said.
In the show that aired Wednesday, he walked away with the second place prize of $2,000.
“It’s truly been a case of sticking with something that was important to me,” Olson said.
In addition to being the choir teacher at the high school in Clark County, he also teaches guitar, AP Music Theory, and a gifted music class.
“Mr. Olson is a thoughtful, dedicated, and challenging teacher with a wonderful sense of humor,” said Clark County Schools Superintendent Molly McComas. “His investment in his programs creates incredibly talented students.”