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Numbers paint picture of new school

Amanda Holt Miller

Naidine Chavez, a freshman at Rifle High School, looks forward to being part of the first graduating class at Coal Ridge High School.She wasn’t always certain she wanted to leave Rifle, but the decision to change schools was aided by her parents’ promise that she’ll only be driving to school next year if the school she’s driving to is Coal Ridge.”I live in New Castle,” Chavez said. “They don’t want me to drive all the way to Rifle.” Of course, that’s not the only reason she’s leaving, she said. “I’m kind of ready to go away from here,” Chavez said. And she said she’s looking forward to taking advantage of the new technology at Coal Ridge.Chavez is one of about 60 ninth-graders from Rifle High School who will be sophomores and the oldest students at Coal Ridge next year, said Coal Ridge principal Jeanie Humble.Humble said Coal Ridge will open in the fall with about 210 students. Thirty of the 150 incoming freshmen and only six of the 60 10th-graders will come from the Rifle attendance area.There will be 181 sophomores at Rifle High School next year; 30 of those students have chosen to stay at Rifle even though they live in the Coal Ridge attendance area.”We expected that, certainly, because they’re already at Rifle High School,” Humble said. “They’ve already got ownership.”Evan Muldoon, a freshman at Rifle, is one of those students who lives in the Coal Ridge attendance area but has decided to stay put. He plays soccer and basketball.”If it weren’t for sports, I would probably go to Coal Ridge,” said Muldoon, who’s from New Castle. “It’ll be easy – all those new teachers.”Humble said there aren’t likely to be that many new teachers. There are 15 total positions, and Humble expects that teachers transferring within the district will fill more than half of those.Muldoon said he’s chosen to stay at Rifle so he can play soccer. Humble said boys soccer is the only sport still up in the air. “We’ve got 12 kids who want it,” Humble said. “If we have 15, we’ll have a team.”Humble said Coal Ridge students will play mostly varsity sports against division 2A schools, most of which have fewer than 500 students.”In the sports we selected, we think our students will be really competitive,” Humble said.


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