Kennesaw State instructor to appear on popular game show

KENNESAW, Ga.  (May 4, 2015) —  Appearing on “Jeopardy!” has been a…

Georgia (May 4, 2015)

KENNESAW, Ga.  (May 4, 2015) —  Appearing on “Jeopardy!” has been a dream for Mary Green, an instructor in University Studies at Kennesaw State.  After nearly a decade of auditioning for the show, she’ll make her TV debut on May 8.

Each year, more than 100,000 applicants test online for a chance to be on the ever-popular national game show. Only a few thousand make it to the regional auditions, and about 400 each year are invited to the in-studio taping in Los Angeles.

Green flew to California in late February.

“They tape all of the week’s shows in one day,” Green said. “All of the contestants, about 15 of us, had to stay at the same hotel and they shuttled us over to the studios in the morning. No one talked to each other.”

Green has a knack for knowing facts about a variety of subjects, and had been taking the free online test for “Jeopardy!” for years.

“They want people who have strong general knowledge,” said Green, a Milton resident. “I’m a fine arts type person.”

An avid reader, Green said her favorite subjects are writing, literature and the arts. Prior to the taping, her husband and two sons – one an aspiring opera singer -- helped her prepare for the game show, teaching her classical music, sports and geography.

It is Green’s 33-year career as an educator and administrator that likely helped her land on “Jeopardy!”. Green worked in K-12 education for both Gwinnett and Cherokee counties, retiring in 2008 from Woodstock High School, a school she opened as an assistant principal 12 years earlier.  She also worked as assistant principal at Norcross High School for 10 years.

Green joined Kennesaw State University in 2009, teaching online and traditional courses in leadership studies and composition.  She is a 1972 graduate of Kennesaw Junior College and earned bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees in education from the University of Georgia.

“With all of my years in educational leadership, Kennesaw State seemed like a logical fit for me,” Green said about joining KSU’s University College.  “I like that students want to be here.  High school students don’t always see the value of education.

“While some college students haven’t yet wrapped their head around what it takes to be successful in college, I teach learning support courses that are geared to help students develop college writing skills.”

Green was selected for “Jeopardy’s” regional auditions in Huntsville, Alabama in May 2013. More than 18 months passed before she received a call from a “Jeopardy!” contestant coordinator with the news that she had been selected to appear on the show.

The show’s producer asked her questions about her affiliation with Sony Pictures Television, who owns both “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.” During the entire process, Green was impressed with the game show’s desire to be legitimate in every way, unlike the American quiz show scandals in the 1950s, where producers rigged the outcome.

Prior to her arrival, a contestant coordinator worked with Green to suggest clothing choices, and professional makeup and hair artists helped the contestants before their on-air appearance.

Green met Alex Trebek, the host of “Jeopardy!” for 31 years, and learned about the show’s announcer, Johnny Gilbert, who is 91.  She also learned about the show’s “clue crew,” consisting of three roving correspondents who travel all over the world in search of new facts to include on the show.

Unfortunately, she won’t be able to share the outcome of the show until after it airs on Friday, May 8.

-- Tiffany Capuano



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit