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Northeast Times | December 14, 2018

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KISD: Jeopardy! Champ, Khs Teacher Featured In Book Of Answers

KISD: Jeopardy! Champ, Khs Teacher Featured In Book Of Answers

Keller High School U.S. History teacher David Clemmons is already well known for winning the 2017 Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament, and his experience is now featured in The Jeopardy! Book of Answers: 35th Anniversary.

The book devotes an entire chapter to the Teachers Tournament, and includes not only a recap of Clemmons’ final two games during the tournament, but a story about his family – his parents, his wife, his daughters, and even his Keller High family.

David Clemmons with Jeopardy! Book Clemmons’ chapter reveals how his KHS family stood by him through the entire process – teachers borrowed buzzers and competed against him to help him prepare, students kept score and ran the computers, co-workers collected money to purchase him a shirt that would complement the colors of the Jeopardy! set, and they even bought him a matching tie.

Being on Jeopardy! and winning the $100,000 Teachers Tournament prize was incredible in and of itself, but Clemmons said the best part has been the relationships he has built since the spring of 2017.

“Since the show, I have made connections on each coast – in Seattle, Washington, and Acadia National Park in Maine – and one more in Cancun, Mexico,” Clemmons said.

In August 2017, the show re-aired, and when a friend’s daughter, who was working in Seattle was watching with her friends, mentioned she knew the contestant on Jeopardy! they all turned and said, “You know David?!”
On the final show, he was asked about a teacher who made an impact in his life and he responded with the name Susan Keefe, his favorite professor at Duke University. He had learned she passed away a few years before and wrote a letter to the family about the impression she made on him.

Since the show, both Keefe’s brother and sister have reached out to Clemmons. The brother has now invited Clemmons to stay with them if he is ever to visit Acadia National Park, or at least stop by for a slice of blueberry pie. Clemmons was also able to meet Keefe’s sister when she happened to be traveling to Fort Worth for a conference, and the two were able to share hours of stories about their beloved sister and professor. As for the letter, the Keefe’s siblings have told Clemmons that it will become a family heirloom.

When Clemmons’ wife and daughter took a trip to Cancun, they were relaxing on the beach and another couple sat down near their area. They started talking and, in the conversation, they were asked where they were from. After responding with, “Keller, Texas,” the couple asked, “Do you know that teacher who won Jeopardy!?” Clemmons’ daughter proudly replied, “That’s my dad!”
Through everything, Clemmons says he is just so thankful to everyone who played a part in his experience.

“My mother taught me to live with an attitude of gratitude and to lift others up,” Clemmons said. “I’m so grateful for the way my family, both at home and at Keller High, supported me during the whole process – practicing with me before I went and hosting watch parties for each round. I just felt like I was floating on a cloud with all that support. I know this is something I didn’t do by myself; people were in my corner.”

So what comes after being a Jeopardy! winner and having a book written about you? Clemmons still stays in touch with the fellow teachers he met through the Tournament. In fact, they have a trip planned to head to Las Vegas together in the spring for Geek Bowl. When he went on Jeopardy!, Clemmons never dreamed that these would be the stories to follow, but is sure delighted that they did.

Clemmons added, “Because when it comes down to it, it’s all about the role we play in each other’s lives.”