East High School (Pueblo, Colorado)
|East High School|
|9 MacNeil Rd.
Pueblo, Colorado, United States
|School district||Pueblo City Schools|
|Faculty||85 (45 Certified Teachers)|
|Number of students||1040 (10-11)|
|Athletics conference||4A - South Central League|
|Average ACT scores||18.2|
|Feeder schools||Heaton Middle School, Risley Middle School|
For decades, Central and Centennial were the only public high schools in Pueblo, with Centennial claiming all those students living north of the Arkansas River and Central taking those who lived south of the river. But with the post-World War II boom that hit Pueblo in the 1950s, growth spread to the southwest and to the northeast portions of the city, bringing with it new neighborhoods and a slew of students that crowded into existing schools. The student population in the city increased from 18,288 in 1950 to 28,914 in 1959.
That increase led to one of the city's most extensive school-building programs that saw 16 new schools built, and a host of others were remodeled during the mid-to-late-1950s to accommodate the growth. On September 1, 1959, South and East high schools opened their doors to a new era and a fresh rivalry in Pueblo's tradition-steeped high school environment. Plans for building the new high schools began in 1956, but actual construction didn't begin until the summer of 1957. South and East, named for the locations in the city where they were located, were built to serve the growing Sunset Park and Belmont neighborhoods.
On the school's opening day, East principal Emil Paripovich welcomed 1,090 students to the new school, including a class of 350 ninth-graders from Risley Middle School. In an article that appeared in The Pueblo Chieftain, Paripovich said the students and 51 faculty members were proud to be a part of the new school.
"The effect of the new building on school spirit has been remarkable, and there has been no vandalism," Paripovich said. "We remind the pupils this is their building and they should take care of it ... and they are."
Mel Spence, who taught and coached at East before he succeeded Paripovich as principal in 1968, said it was exciting to be a part of a new school and to help develop new traditions. "The spirit of the school was tremendous, and I think Emil had a lot to do with that," he said. "Most of the students came from Centennial, but when they got to East, this was their school, and they took a lot of pride in it. Just starting out, we didn't have a lot of material things, but we did have spirit and pride."
Spence, who coached football and wrestling, said it was a challenge but also exciting to be able to build a new program in such a strong high school sports community. "It was tough, because when the students came from Centennial, we didn't get one letterman for football," he said. "Central had taken second in state, and 19 of their 21 lettermen went to South. South ended up beating us 48-6. We scored in the last minute of the game and you'd have thought we won the game." Spence said two years later, East beat South in the annual clash between the two hometown rivals.
A little more than three weeks after opening, School District 60 hosted a citywide dedication of the two schools and open-house sessions at each building. U.S. Commissioner of Education Lawrence Derthick was the keynote speaker for the dedication ceremony held at Pueblo Public Schools Stadium, now Dutch Clark Stadium. At the dedication ceremony, Derthick praised Pueblo officials for their support and dedication to public schools as the city continued to grow.
"Here in Pueblo, you had the vision to look and plan ahead to keep your schools in pace with expansion in your city," he said. "As I know more about your wonderful new buildings, it is difficult to find words which adequately express the admiration I feel as a lifelong teacher." "Your plan to take care of classroom needs over the next decade is a shining example of what can be done when citizens in a community really care about their schools."
With all the pomp and celebrations surrounding the schools' openings completed in the first month, students and faculty at South and East began to focus on building clubs and organizations, programs and traditions, many of which remain today.
The identical buildings, of both East and South High designed by architect Walter DeMordaunt, were built by local contractors and included state-of-the-art, energy-efficient features for that era. Whitlock Construction was the general contractor for South, and H.W. Houston Construction was the contractor for East.
The two schools mirror each other in many ways. Each cost approximately $2 million, had 40 classrooms, 500-seat gymnasiums, a cafeteria, an auditorium with seating for 1,200 and several other miscellaneous classrooms. Those miscellaneous rooms included a band and orchestra room, wood and metal shops, graphic arts, a cooking room and a library.
The east and west sides of the buildings were created with a sawtooth design to allow for more natural light, but less direct light, into the building. Each building also had more than 200 skylights on the roof, which was expected to save an estimated $750 a year in energy costs. The skylights were later removed because they broke easily and required constant, costly repairs. Each school also had a unique, enclosed courtyard and a single second-story classroom. Each also had a paved parking lot, a football field and a track, tennis courts, a softball area and a standard baseball field. 
Extracurricular activities 
East High School offers a wide variety of athletic programs for students. The school has only one team state title to its name, which was won by the school's Ladies cross country team in 1978. There have been several individuals who have won state titles while representing the school in sports such as wrestling, track & field and tennis.
The school also possesses many different student clubs and organizations, which include the following as of the 2010-2011 school year:
Student Clubs/Organizations 
- Annual Staff
- Band & Orchestra
- DECA - Distributive Education Clubs of America
- FBLA - Future Business Leaders of America
- Fellowship of Christian Eagles
- Flags and Rifles
- Foreign Language Club
- FCCLA - Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
- GEAR UP
- Golden Theatre (Drama Club)
- Key Club
- MESA - Math Engineering Science Achievement
- National Honor Society
- Speech & Debate
- Spirit Leaders
- Student Council
East High School also has many traditions throughout the year.
- Homecoming Festivities
- Cannon Week
- Mr. December Dance
- Winter Sports Dance
- Junior-Senior Prom
To select the schools' mascots, local officials turned to the national sports scene for help. With the Philadelphia Eagles and the Baltimore Colts among the top teams in the National Football League at the time, the Eagles and Colts were chosen as mascots. A coin toss was conducted to determine that East would become the gold-and-white Eagles and South would be the black-and-white Colts. The East High Eagle mascot is currently referred to as "Tuffy the Eagle" by students and faculty.
Notable alumni 
- "2008-09 School Profile and 2007-08 Accountability Report" (PDF).
- Amos, James. "Business awards announced: Gagliano's Italian Market, Dan DeRose are honored by Pueblo Chamber of Commerce." McClatchy - Tribune Business News. April 20, 2007. Available on ProQuest, Document ID 459373999. "Dan DeRose was named the chamber's Charles W. Crew Business Leader of the Year at Thursday's ceremony. Slyhoff recounted DeRose's football past, which started with playing at East High School, then the University of Colorado, Southern Colorado University, the Pueblo Crusaders (which he started), the Denver Broncos (trying out as a free agent), a replacement player with the New York Giants and currently attempting to bring football back to Colorado State University at Pueblo."