Dear KSL Teacher Feature Review Committee,
In 1998, Ric Thompson started teaching applied technologies for Nebo School District; his area of expertise was carpentry. In addition to his responsibilities of teaching students carpentry, he was responsible for building a house each year that his students worked on throughout the school year and later sold. He was also hired as Payson High School wrestling coach. His love for wrestling was contagious and in his first year as wrestling coach, Payson High won their first ever State 3A wrestling championship. His team had five first place region champs, one second, and 4 third place finishers. Two years later he moved on to Jordan School District working for the Jordan applied technologies program where his responsibilities are the same. His love for kids has continued as he helped coach wrestling at Lehi High School. His own son became a three time state champion wrestler and in his sophomore year was in the top five wrestlers in the nation for high schoolers.
After a series of cancer related deaths to family members, Huntsman Institute tested Ric and other siblings concluding that he has P53, which is genetic mutation that causes cancer. During the genetic testing, Ric’s youngest daughter, Alex age 7, was diagnosed with brain cancer and towards the end of her illness his oldest daughter, Meagan age 22, was also diagnosed with brain cancer. Even with the passing of his two daughters Ric continued to help the wrestling program at Lehi High and maintained his responsibilities at Jordan Applied Tech. In June, 2007 Ric was also diagnosed with a brain cancer. In December of 2007 he was told that he has 6 months to 18 months to live. With that news most people would leave their jobs to spend time with family; However, Ric continues to work. A fellow electrical teacher said Ric is a great teacher and is often seen putting the students in wrestling holds. Just before Christmas (2007) the teacher said Ric must not be feeling well because he is not as playful with the students has he has been in the past.
The school district requested that Ric now take some time to be home with his family, Ric’s reply was that didn’t want to quit, he wanted to stay and work with the students as long as he can. His students might not become carpenters as life long career, but his character, dedication, commitment, and love for live are far greater character traits he developed in his students than any technical trade he teaches them.
Ric has always been my greatest teacher as a father, husband, and great younger brother. There is no doubt that Ric sometime in the near future he will continue to teach whatever the Lord has in store…….
Thanks for everything I Love you,
your brother Randy.