1993 St. Joseph's

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The 1992-93 team from St. Joseph's High School in Renfrew, Ontario won the Reach for the Top national championship.

With only 180 students, it was one of the smallest public schools to win a national championship. One member, Julie McHale, joined the team as an alternative to serving a detention for chewing gum. Despite the small size, the school had qualified for provincials four times previously.

At provincials, the team lost to Pat Beecham-coached Martingrove for the Ontario title. This also shut out David Thorsley from making 5 nationals appearances during his time at Saunders. It was the first time since the CBC era that an eastern Ontario team qualified for nationals. At Nationals in London, St. Joseph's defeated Sackville in the quarterfinal, Martingrove in the semifinal, and William E. Hay in the final, winning the first title for the school and town. Renfrew, with only 8000 residents, went out to welcome the team upon their return.

John Colterman went on to re-establish a quizbowl team at Queen's, and currently coaches a Reach team in Burlington.

Members: John Colterman, Julie McHale, B.J. McMahon, David Timm, Jamie VanderBerg

Reach for the Top Champion
Preceded by
Succeeded by


  • "Renfrew school students to Reach For The Top" in The Ottawa Citizen, May 13, 1993, page B2.
  • "Renfrew high schoolers tops" in The Ottawa Citizen, May 17, 1993, page B2.
  • "Nation's best teens at trivia revel in hometown adulation" by Brian Cross in The Ottawa Citizen, May 20, 1993, page B1.