|Lorne Jenkins High School|
|State Championships||1973-1980 Reach|
|National Championships||1973 Reach|
Lorne Jenkins High School is a former school in Barrhead, AB. In 1999, it was amalgamated into Barrhead Composite High School.
Reach for the Top
Lorne Jenkins had a brief but very successful tenure in Reach for the Top when it aired on CBC. The team came into existence in the early 1970s when new teacher Ken Kowalski made an announcement on the intercom and found the meeting room packed with students. Kowalski later converted a classroom to resemble a TV studio set, and offered a Reach credit course at the school where students studied, practiced, and wrote quiz questions.
The 1973 team won the Reach national championship in Ottawa, defeating a Quebec team in the final. The school would qualify for nationals a further seven consecutive times, waning after coach Kowalski entered provincial politics. The strong run on Reach gave them the accolade of "the series' most successful competitors" in the Canadian Encyclopedia (however, the article incorrectly states that Lorne Jenkins won twice and that Reach was based on College Bowl, among other things).
Kowalski claims that the team's success in the 1970s propelled him to an election victory in 1979, which has led to him being the currently longest-sitting MLA in Alberta and Speaker of the legislature. The site of the nationals finals moved permanently to Edmonton under his term.
The team from Lorne Jenkins did not reappear after Reach was re-introduced in 1989, and there is no indication of a team from Barrhead Composite.