Rio Rancho High School
|Rio Rancho High School|
|Type||Public high school|
|Color(s)||Navy Blue, Hunter Green and White|
|Athletics conference||NMAA, 1-6A|
- 1 Introduction
- 2 History
- 3 Academics
- 4 Athletics
- 5 Activities
Rio Rancho High School (RRHS) is a public senior high school located in west central Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Opening in 1997 as part of the Rio Rancho Public Schools district, it is fed by Lincoln and Eagle Ridge middle schools. The current enrollment stands at 2461 (2015-16).
In 1995, Intel Corporation was considering a plant expansion, and approached Sandoval County about the possibility of issuing Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) to finance the project. As part of this request, Intel was willing to provide Sandoval County with funds for local projects benefiting the local area. One of the area’s biggest needs was for a high school to serve Rio Rancho. This led to conversations among Sandoval County, Intel, the City of Rio Rancho, and the school district about the possibility of Intel building a high school for Rio Rancho.
The result of these discussions was a unique community/business partnership. The Sandoval County Commission approved the issuance of $8 billion in industrial revenue bonds permitting Intel Corporation to finance plant improvements. In return, Intel built the $30 million high school facility — the city’s first — and leased it for one dollar per year to the Rio Rancho Public Schools. Because Intel had recently completed plant construction work in Rio Rancho, it had resources to manage the construction project in place. Rio Rancho High was built as a “design-build” project by the private sector.
Intel built the core facility: four of the five academy buildings, a gym and the performing arts center. The district was responsible for providing furnishings, technology, and equipment. The district subsequently completed the current Humanities Academy building, as well as all of the athletics facilities and other improvements. A Rio Rancho 2007 bond issue added a drama classroom/”black box” theater facility and field house facilities for soccer, track, and cross country to the Rio Rancho High campus. 
In 2008 due to overcrowding at Rio Rancho High school, the Rio Rancho Public Schools district built the V. Sue Cleveland High School, which opened in August 2009. During that year incoming 9th through 11th grade students who resided south of Northern Blvd. attended Rio Rancho High School, and all residing north of Northern Blvd. began to attend V. Sue Cleveland High School. The senior class of 2010 continued to attend Rio Rancho High School regardless of where they resided in Rio Rancho.
President Barack Obama hosted a Town Hall meeting at the high school on May 14, 2009 regarding the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 or Credit CARD Act of 2009.
- Rio Rancho High School was used as filming location for the TV show Breaking Bad, being portrayed in the show as J. P. Wynne High School.
- Chris Williams - wide receiver who played in the CFL and the NFL
- Tim Madigan - golfer who played on the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Canada and Web.com Tour
- Ashley Rhoades - Honorable mention All-American for the University of New Mexico and Cibola High School head volleyball coach
The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) replaced the No Child Left Behind Act and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) testing with a new school grading formula, which took effect for the 2010-11 school years. The grade is calculated using many forms of testing, and includes graduation rates.
|School Year||Grade from NMPED|
|Ethnicity||RRHS Avg||State Avg|
|Caucasian (not hispanic)||34%||25%|
|Hispanic (of any race)||57%||61%|
|American Indian/Alaskan Native||4%||10%|
|Two or more races||3%||1%|
Rio Rancho High School offers Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) , is a college preparation program designed by a teacher in the San Diego school system 30 years ago. The program is for students who want to improve their lives through the educational process - both in high school and in college. AVID curriculum implements strategies to help the student keep organized, take quality notes in class and provide bi-weekly tutorial sessions (study groups) with the intent to support the student in progressing through high school in a successful fashion to ensure college admission.
RRHS employes the project-based aspects of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum which gives students a chance to apply what they know, identify a problem, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning, rather than be passive recipients of information in a question-and-answer, right-or-wrong learning environment. PLTW’s premier high school program, Pathway To Engineering™, is a four-year course of study integrated into the students’ core curriculum. The combination of traditional math and science courses with innovative Pathway To Engineering courses prepares students for college majors in engineering and E/T fields and offers them the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.
The Rio Rancho Robotics Club prepares and participates in annual RoboRAVE International competitions. This program aims to make robotics accessible to any kid, anywhere with the goals of having fun while learning, sharing and teamwork. RoboRAVE's motto is “Today’s Play, Tomorrow’s Pay.” Teams of students must design, assemble and program robotic kits to accomplish specific tasks.
RRHS offers culinary classes utilizing the ProStart program which is a health and wellness, nutrition science program with the intent to provide Rio Rancho High School students with the integrated knowledge, skills, and practices required (for careers) in food production and services. This course was developed for students interested in going into the restaurant or hospitality and lodging fields. The course combines culinary and management skills, and includes guest speakers and field trips in the industry. Students develop culinary skills in nutrition, breakfast foods such as crepes, pancakes, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, vinegar's and salsas, garnishes, fruits and vegetables. Students learn about menu developing, cost planning and inventory control for running their own restaurant.
Vans Custom Culture Art Competition
Rio Rancho High School was named Grand Champion of the Fifth Annual Custom Culture Art and Design Competition, a national high school art competition in which 2,000 selected schools receive four pairs of blank Vans shoes to use as a canvas, to be designed according to four different themes: Art, Music, Action Sports and 'Local Flavor'. Once a school's designs are completed, they go through a voting process to narrow down the top 50 entries. Further voting by the public narrows the selection to the top 5 that go on to compete in the final event. These schools artists are flown out to celebrate their artwork and have noted judges vote on the grand prize winning submission.
At the final event held on June 10, 2014 at New York City's Industria Superstudio, celebrity judges MKTO, Steve Caballero, Matt Shultz, Kemal Harris, Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto selected the winning custom shoe designs. Vans presented Rio Rancho High School with the grand-prize $50,000 donation to support its art program. The winning shoe design was also produced and sold in select Vans and Journeys retail stores, and online at Vans.com and Journeys.com.
RRHS artists also won the Vans contest national finals in 2010 and 2012. In 2010 the grand prize was $10,000; by 2012 it had increased to $50,000. In 2012, RRHS also won an additional $5,000 in the Journeys Local Attitude competition for the best design reflecting a community's local flavor.
The Rio Rancho High School Dance Department established in 1997 is one of the few full time public school dance programs of its kind in New Mexico. The RRHS Dance Department offers five levels of instruction, starting with level 1 beginning and ending with Master Dance Company, a performance based company that performs three times a year in the RRHS Performing Arts Center (PAC). Dance techniques are offered in ballet, jazz, lyrical/Contemporary, modern, hip-hop, choreography and performance.
Rio Rancho High School competes in the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA), as a class 6A school in District 1. In addition to Rio Rancho High School, the schools in district 1-6A include: Cibola High School, Volcano Vista High School, V. Sue Cleveland High School and Piedra Vista High School.
Rio Rancho State Athletic Championships
Rio Rancho High School has captured 45 State Championships.
|Fall||Cross Country, Boys||2||2014, 2013||2020, 2016, 2015, 2010||2012, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005|
|Cross Country, Girls||3||2020, 2016, 2008||2017, 2015, 2014, 2009|
|Volleyball||6||2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002||2014, 2008, 2004, 2001||2000|
|Winter||Basketball, Boys||2||2016, 2007|
|Spirit/Dance/Drill||2012, 2011, 2010, 2000, 1999|
|Spirit/Cheer||6||2019, 2016, 2011, 2010, 2001, 2000||2021, 2015, 2009, 2005||2017, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2007, 1999|
|Swimming and Diving, Boys||2009||2014, 2013|
|Swimming and Diving, Girls||2007|
|Wrestling||14||2019, 2018, 2015, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, *2004, 2004, *2003, 2003||2017, 2016, 2006, 2002||2020, 2013, 2012, *2002|
|Spring||Baseball, Boys||3||2013, 2009, 2007||2016, 2010|
|Golf, Boys||2||2007, 2005||2006||2009, 2004|
|Golf, Girls||2013, 2012||2018|
|Softball||3||2019, 2015, 2014, 2003||2010||2002, 2001|
|Track and Field, Boys||2015, 2008, 2004||2014, 2005|
|Track and Field, Girls||2010, 2009, 2001|
(State tournament consolation games are no longer played for Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Baseball or Softball)
(*Year) - indicates Dual Meet State Champions also
Rio Rancho High School has captured 1 individual State title through the 2020/2021 season.
All-State honors are granted for a top 10 finish in class at the New Mexico State Cross Country Championships.
The New Mexico High School Coaches Association (NMHSCA) produces All-State Teams for New Mexico high school football. Prior to the year 2008 the "'All-State Teams" were picked by the Associated Press.
The New Mexico High School Coaches Association (NMHSCA) produces All-State Teams for New Mexico high school soccer.
The New Mexico High School Coaches Association (NMHSCA) produces All-State Teams for New Mexico high school volleyball.
The New Mexico High School Coaches Association (NMHSCA) produces All-State Teams for New Mexico high school basketball. 
Swimming and Diving
Rio Rancho High School has captured 3 individual State titles through the 2019/2020 season.
Rio Rancho High School has captured 70 individual State titles through the 2019/2020 season.
Rio Rancho High School has captured 2 individual State titles through the 2018/2019 season.
The New Mexico High School Coaches Association (NMHSCA) produces All-State Teams for New Mexico high school softball.
Track and Field
Rio Rancho High School has captured 38 individual State titles through the 2018/2019 season
(*Event) - indicates a State Record also
In 2004 Brandon McKinney set the current New Mexico state discus record with a throw of 183' 9"
In 2014 Nicole Pendley set the current New Mexico state Javelin record with a throw of 142' 0"
In 2014 the team of Danica Gallegos, Leilani Baker, Sasha Hickox and Molly Klein set the current New Mexico state 1600 Sprint Medley record with a time of 4:07.74
Rio Rancho High School Athletics Hall of Fame
In 2014 the inaugural inductees to the Rio Rancho High School Athletics Hall of Fame were selected, immortalizing the best of Rio Rancho's athletic programs.
|Hall of Fame|
|2019||Chris Newsome (Athlete)||Member of the 2007 State Basketball Champions, played three season at New Mexico Highlands and played international for the Meralco Bolts of the Philippines Basketball Assoc.|
|Anthony Haase (Athlete)||Member of the 2007 State Baseball Champions, played two seasons at Cochise Junior College and drafted by the Texas Rangers played two seasons for the Arizona Rangers.|
|Ashley Rhoades (Athlete)||Member of the 2007 State Volleyball Champions, played three seasons at the University of New Mexico. Coached at La Cueva, Eastern New Mexico University and Cibola.|
|Larry Chavez (Coach)||Rio Rancho's first cross country and boys track coach from 1997-2006.|
|Melissa Loiacono-Lee (Coach)||Athletic trainer at RRHS from 1998-2013, devising the NMAA's Sports Medicine State Challenge which her RRHS student trainers won 13 times in 14 years.|
|Gary Herron (Contributor)||Sports reporter for the Rio Rancho Observer covering RRHS sports from 2002 to 2019.|
|2018||Matt Ortega (Athlete)||4X State Wrestling Champion, was a NHSCA Senior National Champion and won the Reno Tournament of Champions. Wrestled three seasons for Indiana University.|
|Vicente Varela (Athlete)||4X State Wrestling Champion, wrestling two seasons for Arizona State University and two seasons for Hofstra University.|
|Tim Madigan (Athlete)||2007 Boys State Golf Champion. Played four seasons at New Mexico State University. Played 4 seasons on the Web.com Tour and events on the PGA Tour.|
|Dennis Friedland (Coach)||3X State Champion and 2X Dual State Champion Wrestling Coach|
|Martha Griego (Contributor)||A longtime RRHS booster and a longtime dedicated volunteer.|
|2017||Michael Love (Athlete)||Played three football seasons at running back going on to play for the University of New Mexico. Rio Rancho High Schools first male athlete Gatorade Player of the Year.|
|Sal Puentes (Athlete)||Played basketball and baseball. His number 3 jersey is retired and the annual Rio Rancho Sal Puentes Baseball Tournament is named in his honor.|
|Gale Trip (Athlete)||Played volleyball, basketball and track. 3X All-State volleyball player and a key component of two Rams State Championships. Played for the University of New Mexico.|
|Christine Carson (Coach)||Danced for three years with the RhythAMetteS as as student at RRHS, later becoming the coach staying in the top ten for most of her tenure.|
|Ken Todd (Contributor)||Long time Rio Rancho facilities manager.|
|2016||Nathaniel Augustson (Athlete)||State Wrestling Champion, wrestling two seasons for Ohio State University.|
|Krystle Jim (Athlete)||Played four basketball seasons, and at three colleges, including Duquesne University.|
|Genevieve Kelly (Athlete)||Played five softball seasons, went on to pitch for Colorado State University.|
|Brio Rode (Athlete)||Played five basketball seasons. All-time scoring leader and holds the single-game scoring record. Played at three colleges, including Cal-Berkeley.|
|Chris Williams (Athlete)||Three sport standout, setting current football records. Played for New Mexico State University, the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the NFL's Chicago Bears.|
|Jason Nickal (Coach)||4X State Champion Wrestling Coach|
|Alan Kenneth (Contributor)||PA announcer for Rio Rancho soccer and basketball games.|
|2015||Brittany Burtner (Athlete)||First Rio Rancho Gatorade Player of the Year (Softball 2001)|
|Stephanie Hightower (Athlete)||Varsity letters in five different sports, attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.|
|Brandon McKinney (Athlete)||Set the current State discus record and was Rio Rancho's first D1 football recruit playing for New Mexico State University.|
|Brian Pitts (Athlete)||2X State Wrestling Champion. Attended Adams State University where he was a 2X collegiate All-American.|
|Jennifer Boyden (Coach)||2000 State Champion Cheer Coach|
|Bob McIntyre (Coach)||6x Girls Basketball State semifinals / 7 District titles|
|Gary Hveem (Contributor)||Rio Rancho High School's first Athletic Director.|
|2014||Danyel Longmire (Athlete)||1997 Girls Cross Country State Champion. Ran four years for Northwest College, WA.|
|Trent Rommann (Athlete)||2001 Boys State Golf Champion.|
|Toby Manzanares (Coach)||6X State Champion Volleyball Coach|
|Ron Murphy (Coach)||3X State Champion Baseball Coach|
|Paul Kohman (Coach)||2X State Champion Softball Coach|
|Uwe Balzis (Coach)||2007 State Champion Girls Soccer Coach|
|Tony Otero (Contributor)||Rio Rancho Dairy Queen owner and booster.|
Rio Rancho High School offers a variety of interscholastic activities also sponsored by the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) in cooperation with other outside organizations to enhance the high school experience.
Rio Rancho State Activities Championships
Rio Rancho High School has captured 18 State Championships.
|Athletic Training Challenge||5||2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009|
|Bowling||7||2020, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2009, 2008||2015, 2012, 2010||2017, 2013|
|Chess||2014||2017, 2016, 2013|
|JROTC - Championship Results||2018, 2017||2019, 2016|
|-- JROTC - Unit Inspection||2019|
|-- JROTC - Overall Drill||2016|
|-- JROTC - Male Color Guard|
|-- JROTC - Female Color Guard||2019|
|-- JROTC - Armed Drill||2016|
|-- JROTC - Unarmed Drill||2017||2019|
|-- JROTC - Armed Inspection||2016|
|-- JROTC - Physical Fitness||2015||2016, 2014|
|-- JROTC - Male Physical Fitness||2017|
|-- JROTC - Female Physical Fitness||2019||2017|
|-- JROTC - Sporter Rifle||2015, 2014||2013|
|eSports - Championship Results||1||2019|
|-- eSports - League of Legend||2019|
|-- eSports - Rocket League||2019|
|-- eSports - SMITE|
Athletic Training Challenge
The Athletic Training Challenge was started by the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) in conjunction with the New Mexico Athletic Trainer's Association (NMATA) to recognize Athletic Training as a sanctioned activity within New Mexico Schools.
DECA Marketing Education
DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. At the 2013 State Conference Rio Rancho High School was awarded the 1st place Chapter Banner.
Rio Rancho High School's Marching Band competes annually in the Zia Marching Band Fiesta which is essentially the New Mexico state championship, as well as a prestigious regional event for marching bands. There were 32 bands in competition in four size divisions.
Rio Rancho High School has captured 1 Grand Championship
|Zia Marching Band Fiesta|
|Activity||Number||Grand Champions||1st Runner-up||2nd Runner-up||3rd Runner-up|
|Marching Band||1||2004||2007, 2000||2008, 2006, 2005, 2003||2018, 2015, 2009, 2001, 1999, 1998|
High School rugby in New Mexico is governed by New Mexico Youth Rugby (NMYR), a registered non-profit and all volunteer sports organization dedicated to the development of youth and high school rugby for both boys and girls in New Mexico. Rio Rancho High School has captured 2 State Championships.
|Rugby, Boys (15's)||1||2016|
|Rugby, Girls (7's)||1||2016|
High School hockey in New Mexico is governed by the Land of Enchantment USA Hockey Affiliate (LOEAHA) and operated by the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League (NMIIHL) which is comprised of eleven teams, including representatives from Colorado and Texas. The high school hockey season runs from October to March.
LOEAHA has established the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League (NMIIHL) and State Playoff to determine the State’s representative to the USA Hockey High School Playoff. Each year LOEAHA and the NMIIHL, along with the qualifying team, will evaluate the viability of sending a State High School Champion to USA Hockey Post Season Play.
The Rio Rancho High School / V. Sue Cleveland High School team has captured 3 State Championships.
|Ice Hockey||3||2006, 2007, 2008|
- Rio Rancho Public Schools.
- National Center for Education Statistics.
- Rio Rancho Observer - January 4, 2009.
- Breaking Bad locations - J. P. Wynne High School.
- Fright Night (2011) locations.
- Canadian Football League (NFL).
- National Football League (NFL).
- Professional Golfers Association (PGA).
- NM Public Education Department.
- Public School Review.
- Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).
- Project Lead The Way (PLTW).
- RoboRAVE International.
- New Mexico High School Coaches Association - Football All-State Teams.
- New Mexico High School Coaches Association - All-State Soccer Teams.
- New Mexico High School Coaches Association - Volleyball All-State Teams.
- New Mexico High School Coaches Association - All-State Boys Basketball Teams.
- New Mexico High School Coaches Association - All-State Girls Basketball Teams.
- New Mexico High School Coaches Association - All-State Softball.
- New Mexico Activities Association - Activities.
- New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League.