At Coal Ridge High School, we believe that every student can achieve success by focusing on reading, writing, and communicating in every class, every day. This rigorous approach toward every subject has created classrooms where students are always working towards achieving the very best. With a strong group of diverse students and teachers, Coal Ridge High School offers a variety of learning pathways to engage, nurture, and challenge each student individually. CRHS also believes that a student's high school opportunities are not purely focused in the classroom but within their participation in extracurricular activities and experiences. As a school, CRHS concentrates on the development of our future through our students as they learn, grow, and develop a plan for tomorrow. We are all individuals, but we come together and are TITAN strong!


Doors have opened Joseph Thompson.

“It really does just give me lots of options school wise,” he said of receiving the Daniels Scholarship. “I thought that was really awesome, that I can kind of make a decision based solely on where I want to go, instead of how much it costs to where I want to go.”

Thompson, who moved to New Castle when he was 8 years old, went to Kathryn Senor Elementary School and later Riverside Middle School.

Coal Ridge senior Joseph Thompson does homework in his bedroom in New Castle.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

At Coal Ridge, he’s already developed interests for space exploration, astronomy, aeronautics and his ultimate passion — electronics.

“I like doing lots of things that involve electronics,” he said. “I run my own DJ business and I DJ, and that involves lots of electronics. The speakers are electronics, the lights are electronics, the mixers are all electronic, so I think that would be really awesome to be able to work on the circuits in the DJ gear.”

Don’t forget a love for AP calculus.

“We just covered infinite series and it was really fun,” Thompson said. “I just think it’s really amazing you can use these roundabout ways to model functions. They’re really difficult and they made my head melt a couple times.”

When he’s not in school, you can catch him officiating soccer games, hiking his favorite spots in southern Utah and or spending his winters skiing Colorado high country.

Thompson, who’s leaning toward attending Colorado State University in the fall, looked back on his high school career.

“I’d say it’s been really transformative, I think I’ve grown a lot,” he said. “I didn’t have a business at the beginning of high school.”

Achieving something like that takes planning.

“It’s really figuring out what you want as an individual and figuring out what you’re doing, how well that is fulfilling that, and eliminating things that can really create space where you kind of flourish and grow,” Thompson said.

His mother, Gina, a math teacher at Coal Ridge, spoke of her son’s dedication.

“He has been such a hard worker,” she said. “Academically, of course, he puts all the work in to get great grades. And with his different pursuits, with his saxophone and his DJing, it’s been really inspiring to us. We’ve been really surprised by how self-motivated he’s been.”

Some mornings, Gina can hear her son practicing his instruments at 4:30 a.m.

“He’s been a gift. He’s been such a great person,” she said. “It’s exciting to see everything come together for him right now.”