Petitioners want to honor DRHS beloved first principal


An online petition that garnered nearly 1,000 supporters in its first week is getting some community attention and raising discussion on naming the Desert Ridge High School auditorium after founding principal Dan Coombs.

Started by Desert Ridge High School band member Jordan Thrall, the petition is intended to honor Mr. Coombs who impacted many students during his tenure and who was a big supporter of the performing arts programs at Desert Ridge.

Himself a musician and clarinet player who would sometimes play with the students, Coombs was founding principal of Desert Ridge High School in 2002 and was instrumental in building strong relationships within the community. After more than a decade of leading the school, Coombs returned to his roots teaching this last fall.

Comments on the petition at were very positive toward the former administrator known by many as “Captain Coombs”, with numerous former and current students as well as faculty members extolling Mr. Coombs’ virtues, which included the fact that he could “pull off Vans,” wear skinny jeans, and connect with students.

“Dan Coombs changed my life,” wrote Malia Jenkins. “He taught me what it means to be a leader.”

“Dan Coombs started not only a tradition of excellence, but an expectation of excellence as well,” wrote Tim Unroe.

 “He was particularly supportive of the performing arts department, so naming the auditorium after him is a fantastic way of paying tribute to our founding principal,” wrote Nathaniel Jensen.

You can sign the petition and add to the discussion at