Alex, I’ll take perks of a Catholic education for $500

Aaron Lambert

Answer: School where Jeopardy contestant Stephanie Sumulong teaches middle school social studies. Question: What is St. John the Evangelist Catholic School in Loveland?

Correct!

On Tuesday, Dec. 3, Sumulong appeared as a contestant on Jeopardy, the beloved quiz show hosted by Alex Trebek. Though she only played for two nights, she won her first night with total earnings of $12,399.

Sumulong has been watching Jeopardy since she was very young and was excited to get the chance to be a contestant.

“I love quiz shows and games. I’ve been watching Jeopardy since I was about eight years old,” she told the Denver Catholic. “I always competed with my dad until I went to college and then found some Jeopardy fans to watch with. Currently my husband and I watch the show every night; we DVR it so we never miss it!”
In preparation to compete on the show, Sumulong practiced two weeks before her taping on the phrasing of questions.

“I wanted to make sure I wasn’t blurting out the answers like I do at home,” she said.

Additionally, she read children’s books on subjects she doesn’t feel comfortable with, such as poetry, physics and Shakespeare.

“They have basic facts that you can tuck away for some answers,” she said.

When it came time to compete on the show, she wasn’t nervous at all.

“I was extremely excited and ready to play,” Sumulong said. “I’ve been wanting to be on the show for 20 years and had even tried out once before in 2008. I felt confident in what I knew and that I had a chance to win.”

Besides teaching at St. John the Evangelist, Sumulong also grew up going to Catholic schools.

“I’m the proud product of a (mostly) Catholic school education,” Sumulong said. “I have had some excellent teachers, including nuns and brothers, along the way and they deserve much credit.”

And sure enough, all of Sumulong’s practicing and preparation paid off that first night on the show.

“I was a little upset that I couldn’t come up with the correct final answer, but when I saw the scores and realized I had won, I was pumped!” Sumulong said. “I felt like my persistence and love of learning paid off.”

Now, Sumulong is known as a celebrity to the 2nd graders at St. John the Evangelist. But more importantly, she hopes that her experience on Jeopardy encourages others to chase their dreams.

“Even if it might seem silly to others, it’s you dream and it’s worth the hard work!” she said.

COMING UP: Late-term abortion ban reaches signature goal

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Late-term abortion ban reaches signature goal

Volunteers gathered nearly 50,000 signatures for Initiative 120 within two-week cure period

Aaron Lambert

In a final push, supporters of the initiative seeking to prohibit abortions after 22 weeks in the state of Colorado have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

During a two-week cure period granted after falling short of required signatures to get Initiative 120 on the ballot, over 400 volunteers worked diligently and collected over 48,000 signatures by May 28, nearly three times the amount sought during the cure period. The Due Date Too Late campaign spearheaded the charge to gather signatures with support from Catholic Charities’ Respect Life Office and other pro-life communities across the state.

“I am overjoyed to hear that so many Coloradans have signed the petition to successfully place Initiative 120 on the November ballot,” said Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, who expressed his support for the initiative early on. “Protecting children in the womb is an essential part of building a society that treats all life, no matter its age or ability, as sacred. God has given each person a dignity that comes from being made in his image and likeness, and the degree to which our laws reflect that will be the degree to which we experience true freedom and happiness.”

Initiative 120 would prohibit abortion in Colorado after 22 weeks, with an exception for the life of the mother. According to a recent Gallup poll, 74% of Americans believe that there should be limitations on late term abortion. Due Date Too Late submitted the bulk of the needed petition signatures in March but fell short 10,000 signatures after review by the Secretary of State. The cure period began on May 15, with Due Date Too Late needing to collect those 10,000 additional verified signatures of registered Colorado voters during the 15-day cure period to meet the 124,632 threshold and qualify for the November ballot.

“We are thrilled to take this next step towards protecting lives in Colorado by exceeding our goal of signatures we are turning into the Secretary of State,” said Lauren Castillo, spokesperson for the Due Date Too Late campaign. “We are thankful to have this opportunity to work together with communities across the entire state of Colorado. The hundreds of volunteers we have who are so passionate about ending late-term abortion are helping to make this a reality.”

Due Date Too Late will be turning in the notarized packets containing almost 50,000 signatures on May 29 at 2 p.m. to the office of the Secretary of State to assure that the ballot initiative will meet the statutory threshold.

The field collection effort by Due Date Too Late went forward amid a recent executive order by Gov. Jared Polis regarding how petition signatures may be collected. Under Gov. Polis’ order, he declared that ballot initiatives could gather signatures electronically in response to the coronavirus pandemic; however, Initiative 120 was the only ballot initiative that wasn’t allowed to collect signatures electronically because it was in a cure period.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story stated over 30,000 signatures were being turned in, based on the information that was available at the time of publication. The actual number is closer to 50,000. The story has been updated to reflect this fact.