State High Alum to Appear on “Jeopardy!”


State High Alum Kendra Westerhaus standing next to host Ken Jennings (left). Image credit to Sony Pictures.

Elena Wright, Opinion Editor

State High Alum, Kendra Westerhaus, will appear on the hit trivia TV show, “Jeopardy!” Monday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. First airing in 1984, the TV game show is currently on its 39th season.

Westerhaus, who graduated from State High in 2000, got her Ph.D. from Idaho State University in 2012 in clinical psychology. Before that, she worked for a year in SCASD as a paraprofessional in the Special Education department.

Westerhaus currently works as a psychologist at a pediatric clinic in Idaho and participates in weekly group “DJ Trivia”.

When asked about her love for trivia, Westerhaus explained: “it’s exciting to answer questions in a variety of areas and just like tap into that knowledge… it’s one of those things I’ve always enjoyed.”

Having fond memories of watching “Jeopardy!” at her grandparents’ house, becoming a contestant herself was always a dream.

“I’ve always loved Jeopardy. I’ve always wanted to be on it,” Westerhaus said.

In her senior year, Westerhaus joined the State High Knowledge Masters (a competitive trivia team) alongside her younger brother as an activity they could do together.

“We both were really interested in trivia and loved it,” Westerhaus said about her time as a part of the Knowledge Masters.

In addition to her experience on the team, Westerhaus’ time at State High has served well her in her trivia endeavors. Specifically, Westerhaus’ AP US History class has helped her recall important historical facts.

“I’m not like a person who loves studying history but my history classes from State High, like, pop in my brain,” Westerhaus stated.

As far as her experience on the show, Westerhaus described the environment as an encouraging and welcoming environment.

“Everyone was really nice to each other even though you knew it could be your competition,” Westerhaus said.

According to Westerhaus, the “Jeopardy!” staff was great at building the contestants up and making sure it was a positive experience for all involved. She commented, “the team worked really hard at getting the best performance out of everyone.”

For Westerhaus, being on “Jeopardy!” was a dream come true. “As someone who has wanted to be on ‘Jeopardy!’ for a long time, it was just like so cool to be there,” Westerhaus explained.

To see how Westerhaus does on the game show, viewers will need to tune in on Monday when it will air locally on ABC 23-WATM.

Students hoping to get involved with competitive trivia at State High can get involved with State High Quiz Bowl. Contact Sheila Abruzzo and Kerry O’Melia for more information.