Graduate of East Lake Academy Competes on 'Teen Jeopardy'

A graduate of East Lake Academy, Isabella Pagano, competed on November's 'Teen Jeopardy,' taking home second place.
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Chicago - Illinois - US

CHICAGO - Nov. 21, 2018 - PRLog -- Most Americans have dreamed about appearing on an episode of Jeopardy. A typical family pastime is to watch the show and see who knows the answers to the infamously difficult trivia questions presented by the show's host, Alex Trebek. For Isabella Pagano that dream became a reality when she appeared on the classic, long-running game show.

Isabella Grew Up on Jeopardy

Isabella Pagano is a freshman in high school and recent graduate of East Lake Academy – a private Catholic school for children through pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. The young woman grew up watching Jeopardy with her parents. As a child, she knew she'd try to enter the teen-version of the contest as soon as she were old enough.

How Teens Qualify

To be considered for a contestant on Teen Jeopardy, students must take an online test. This test is given to over eight thousand hopefuls. The top 250 scorers are then flown out to Washington, D.C., where they take another test to prove they did their own tests during the first round.

Once testing scores have been confirmed, the remaining teenagers participate in Game Play, which is essentially a live audition of what would occur on the show. Participants are spoken to, ring the buzzer, and answer questions presented to them. Of those up to 250 teenagers, a small portion are chosen to actually participate in the competition. Pagano was notified she would be allowed to participate in the tournament at the end of July.

November 8th Episode

The episode where Isabella Pagano appears aired on November 8th, 2018 at 3:30 pm on Channel 7 ABC-TV. The complete tournament aired from November 7th to the 20th. Pagano placed second among her round, which is a significant achievement.

When asked how she felt during the initial tests and the competition itself, Pagano said: "I felt good about my answers on both tests, but you never know how other people are going to score… It was sometimes scary, because you just don't know what's going to happen."

Remaining Calm

Through everything, Pagano remained pretty calm – especially for a freshman, which meant she was one of the youngest show contestants. Her key to staying calm? Isabella said she just reminded herself to be happy for the opportunity to appear on the show and that, if she did not make it, she could always try again next year.

Isabella also offered a little insight as to what Jeopardy is really like behind the scenes. "The show is a lot more produced than it looks on TV, and there was a lot going on behind the scenes. Alex [Trebek] sometimes messes up a clue, so during the commercial breaks he does voice overs and rerecords a bunch of them… They also turn the contestants around from all the scores because they may have something pop up on accident the producers don't want us to see."

On a final note, Pagano mentioned that – while Jeopardy was a lot of fun – it was significantly more challenging than school. This, she states, has given her the confidence to move forward in her studies this year.

About the Company: East Lake Academy is a premier provider of faith-based private education in the Chicago area. The Roman Catholic school serves children from preschool through 8th Grade and focuses on instilling children with both a spiritual and academic foundation that will serve them well throughout their lives. It is located near I94 and Route 176 on the west side of Lake Forest, and through the support and encouragement of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the curriculum and opportunities continue to expand with every passing year. For more information please visit

East Lake Academy
Location:Chicago - Illinois - United States
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