A lot of us spend so much time with co-workers that they feel like family. That’s especially true for the teaching staff at J.V. Clark School in Mayo, which is what made them the perfect team for the CBC game show Family Feud.
“Because we live in a small town, your colleagues become your friends. You see each other all the time, at the store and at work,” says Brett Stauffer, a Grade 6/7 teacher at the school. “We felt like a family in [that] sense […] we have a good kind of chemistry with each other.”
Stauffer says he thinks that dynamic is part of what led J.V. Clark to be one of eight school teams selected from 300 applicants for Teachers’ Week on Family Feud, which launches its fifth season on Sept. 18.
It’s a stroke of luck they even applied, says Stauffer. An email from the show was sent out to all the schools in the Yukon. Stauffer says Joann Aird, the school’s administrative assistant, pushed the staff at J.V. Clark to apply. He says it was only due to Aird’s insistence that staff set aside a few hours on the last day of school to complete the application that ultimately landed them an interview for the show.
That’s where Stauffer thinks they really shone.
“[The show was] fascinated by the unique environment that we have in a small town,” he says. “Every school is different, but there’s some similarities among most. You could probably have similar stories to ours happen in any urban setting.”
What you don’t have is students eating moose meat they harvested the week before. Or classes made up of one student. You don’t keep kids inside when the weather dips below -30 C. You don’t have a vice-principal with a local creek named after her. And you don’t have to cancel recess because there’s a bear on the playground.
“It was a wide, weird spread of experiences, and they thought we were an interesting team,” he says.
A day or two after that interview, Stauffer says the school got word they’d be flown to Toronto in August for a taping. That episode will air at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20. The Mayo team features Stauffer and vice-principal Tara McCauley, teachers Amy Noseworthy and Caroline Hasse, and educational assistant Stikia Reid.
Stauffer says they stayed in Toronto from Aug. 12 to 16. The taping of their episode took place on Aug. 13.
Amy Kenny, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Yukon News