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Highland High School is a high school in Salt Lake City, in the U.S. state of Utah, that opened in 1956 and has a student body of 1,546. It is located at 2166 South 1700 East, next to Sugar House Park, and is part of the Salt Lake City School District. The current principal is Chris Jenson. In the past (year unknown) Newsweek ranked it as the #575 high school in the country.[2]

Highland High School
2166 South 1700 East


United States
School districtSalt Lake City School District
PrincipalChris Jenson
Faculty72 (76 including half-time staff)
Enrollment1,682 (2016-17)[1]
Team nameRams
RivalEast High School


Salt Lake School for the Performing ArtsEdit

During the 2006–2007 school year, Highland began hosting a school known as the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts (SPA). It offers programs in music, digital media, theater, tech, and dance, as well as 3500 to 4000 seat auditorium. However, the balcony seats have been made into science labs and rooms. Enrollment is expected to reach its maximum of 400 within thirteen years.[3] Starting in August 2011, SPA classes were held in a separate building, the former Rosslyn Heights elementary school building, with the students being bussed to Highland for their core classes.

Rugby teamEdit

Highland High School is noted for its rugby union team. Under coach Larry Gelwix, who started the team in 1976 and continued coaching until retirement in 2011, they compiled a phenomenal 418–10 record. It won the national high school championship in 20 of the 27 years under his reign (beginning with the championship's creation in 1985) and in that time span never placed lower than third, which it has achieved just once. It is also the only team to have participated in every national rugby championship.[4] In 1998, Highland participated in the first World Schools Rugby Championship held in Harare, Zimbabwe. They were the only team from the Western Hemisphere included and placed 3rd out of 12 teams. Many successful football players have passed through this program, perhaps none more notable than current Detroit Lions defensive lineman Haloti Ngata.[5]

Following Gelwixes' retirement, the team went on hiatus for one year. In the spring of 2013, Mark Numbers, a Highland High School alumnus and former head coach of the University of Utah men's rugby team, became the team's head coach. Different from its former history, the rugby team at Highland now draws its players only from the Highland student body. As youth rugby in the United States continues to shift from national, club‐based competition to state‐based, single‐school competition, Highland Rugby has adopted the single‐school model.

The movie Forever Strong, filmed locally and released in 2008, was based on the accomplishments of the Highland rugby team.

Noted alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Highland High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Salt Lake City School District - Highland High School page.
  3. ^ Erickson, Tiffany (2006) Salt Lake board OKs charter school hybrid for next fall, Deseret Morning News
  4. ^ Highland nails down another national title. Deseret News, May 16, 2009.
  5. ^ Rugby: Gelwix leaves lasting impact on the sport. Salt Lake Tribune. Rawlings, Andrew. June 1, 2011.
  6. ^ "Brasileiro promete revolucionar o futebol em Miami". O Estados de S. Paulo.

Coordinates: 40°43′25″N 111°50′37″W / 40.72361°N 111.84361°W / 40.72361; -111.84361 (Highland High School)