SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) – Wheel of Fortune viewers noticed a major absence from the game show this week – Vanna White was missing, and now we know why.
The TV leading lady had to miss a day of filming in August during which several episodes of the show were taped because she was sick with COVID-19.
But Wheel was able to find a suitable replacement for Teachers Week – Bridgette Donald-Blue, the 2023 California Teacher of the Year.
Donald-Blue, an educator for three decades, teaches at Coliseum Street Elementary in South Los Angeles.
Math may be her subject, but she proved she’s a natural with words when she turned to the puzzle board.
“When I got the call to be on Wheel of Fortune for Teachers Week, I was incredibly excited,” said Donald-Blue. “It was a great opportunity to champion the cause of education, the work that teachers do every day.”
As California Teacher of the Year, she wants to teach a special lesson to students around the world.
“They often get in their own way when it comes to success, so I want them to take risks and understand that they are so intelligent and more capable than they realize,” Donald-Blue said.
Now, as she juggles the classroom and her new taste of Hollywood, Donald-Blue is just enjoying the ride.
“I remember watching ‘Wheel of Fortune’ with my great-grandmother when the contestants were still looking for prizes,” she said. “Having the opportunity to see how the show is put together and being at the puzzle board was just incredible.”
White, who has missed the show only three times in the last 41 years, is expected to return to air next week.