Matthew Bunch, B.S.C. '09

'Cane middle school teacher takes trivia talent to the grand stage

It’s not uncommon to aspire to be a contestant on Jeopardy!, but the dedication and follow through that it takes to get there is. Matthew Bunch has been a Jeopardy! fanatic for as long as he can remember, watching alongside his grandmother every night.

Now, Bunch, a 2009 graduate of the School of Communication, made an appearance as one of 15 contestants in the Jeopardy! Teachers Tournament on May 7.

The experience, he says, was everything he always dreamed it would be. Although some of the details are confidential, Bunch did share that the opportunity to be amongst fellow teachers in the special taping was extraordinary. “They called us their VIT’s,” said Bunch. “Very Important Teachers.”

Bunch said that the Jeopardy! team celebrated the importance of education and the profession of teaching every step of the way, providing full accommodations to make the experience inspring and inclusive. “All of us there, learning from my peers, it was truly awesome.”

Michael & Carolina Bunch

Bunch, an avid history buff, teaches civics and world history at AcadeMir Charter School Middle in Kendall. His ability to communicate his deep understanding of “how things work” is what he takes pride in most as a successful teacher.

Through laughter, Bunch shared that his students sent him on his way with a full vote of confidence. “They said, 'But Mister, you know everything! You'll dominate the competition!’ I had to let them know that all of these teachers competing on the show know everything.”

Bunch and his wife, Caroline, A.B. '09, met on campus at the Stanford-Hecht Residence Hall as first-year students. Fast-forward to 2016: the couple held their wedding reception at the Newman Alumni Center and captured their wedding photos around campus. 'Cane connections run deep; along with many of their friends from the University, they are avid Hurricane sports fans and football season ticket holders.

Bunch has a passion for sports journalism and spent time as the chief editor of The Hurricane while he was studying at the U. He stays busy in the journalism field; when he's not in the classroom, he's a part-time online producer for the Miami Herald.