Local teacher Charmaine Banther and friend Robbie Kreitz, a teacher in the Dublin Unified School District, hope to be among the two dozen contestants on the next season of popular reality game show The Amazing Race.
The two recently auditioned for the show, which will begin filming its next season in May or June, according to the show’s casting website. If selected, the duo will race around the globe for a million dollars. But if they win, they won’t keep a penny for themselves.
“We just want to win for the kids,” said Banther, a math and computer science teacher at James Logan High School for 25 years.
Banther, 45, and Kreitz, 38, have pledged to split the winnings — $500,000 each — between and in the Dublin Unified School District, where Kreitz has taught special education for 13 years.
“We’re doing something new and something good for the show,” said Banther, who is also the president of the New Haven Teachers Association.
The two have created a Facebook fan page, Teacher Leaders Amazing Race Bid, to rally support. They hope to be called in for interviews in March.
The educators got the idea to try out for the show in October when they attended a teaching conference in Monterrey. While trying to get back to their hotel one night, they got lost and turned a short drive into a 45-minute journey.
“And we laughed hysterically the whole time,” Banther said.
To get ready for the show and make sure they “didn’t kill each other,” Banther and Kreitz traveled to Germany in December, where they shot their audition video.
“We proved to ourselves that we could do this,” Banther said. “It’s hard because we’re both strong independent women … but we’re going to set our egos aside for our kids.”
“We’re different because she (Kreitz) thinks things through and I wear my heart on my sleeve,” Banther added. “She thinks we might lose because I’ll see a hungry kid or a cat on the road and stop.”
The Amazing Race features a number of physical and mental challenges at various locations around the world. Banther and Kreitz already have a rough game plan: Kreitz will do all the weird food challenges and Banther will climb ledges or do anything involving heights.
They’re also getting in shape with help of Kreitz’s sister, who is a personal trainer.
“We’ve been warned that we'd better win, or else our mothers will be embarrassed,” Banther said.
Over the weekend, Banther and Kreitz attended a California Teachers Association meeting in Los Angeles. They said teachers from throughout the state are supporting them.
“Every teacher I’ve talked to down here wants to help because it helps all of us,” Banther said. “It just brings the budget crisis to the forefronts again.”