Ms. Sandra L. Harbert, affectionately known as “Sandy,” has served, and continues to serve, as a passionate booster and advocate for East High School. Most of her entire educational career was devoted to the goal of being there for East High School students, their parents, the East High faculty, and the eastside community. In addition, her passion for East High was to make East High School the best school in the then School District 60.
Ms. Harbert’s roots at East High go back to her days as a student at East High, where she spent all of her high school years and graduated with the Class of 1965. She was a cheerleader at East for the three years she was a student. Upon graduating from Southern Colorado State College (now Colorado State University-Pueblo), in 1969 with a bachelor of arts degree in secondary education, Ms. Harbert began her teaching career as an English instructor at Keating Junior High School. She took time off to raise her two children, Jeff and Jody, then returned to classroom teaching at Risley Middle School as a language arts and reading teacher.
The fall of 1975 at East High School was Ms. Harbert’s next teaching assignment, a dream come true-- to teach at her alma mater. She continued at East High as an English teacher for five years, where she was also the cheer leading sponsor. Although Ms. Harbert spent the next 13 years as an English teacher at Centennial High School, she raised her son and her daughter as East High Eagles. Both graduated from East High School. During her years as an East High parent, however, Ms. Harbert was active in the East High Booster Club. She was also the “Team Mother” for the East High gymnastics team from 1987 to 1990, bringing flowers to each home meet for every East High gymnast. She spearheaded the drive to secure funds to buy new warm-ups for the team.
During Ms. Harbert’s teaching career, she took time out to earn a master of arts degree in education administration at the University of Wyoming. This career strategy prepared her to be appointed as the first female administrator at East High, where she assumed the role of Assistant Principal the fall of 1995. She served in that role until retirement in 2004, although, after retirement, Ms. Harbert was occasionally called to serve as an Assistant Principal at East High when the District needed her. Ms. Harbert did return to teach English the following school year.
Dedication and passion for East High Eagles always made the students and the eastside community her highest priority. She gave freely of her time and talents to make East High excellent in all areas of academics and athletics. Her work day hours never ended at 3:00 p.m. Her honesty, integrity, and strong character were and continue to be respected by students, staff, and parents.
The administrative team at East High was effective because of Ms. Harbert’s strong work ethic and leadership in several areas beyond the traditional role of an assistant principal. She provided herculean leadership in coordinating East High’s seven-year North Central Accreditation Evaluation, which resulted in high marks for East’s academic, athletic, and activities programs. She worked with the East High Bond Committee by coordinating several seriously needed capital improvement projects, including renovation of the media center. In addition, she worked tirelessly with the Booster Club to improve all athletic and activity programs.
Since Ms. Harbert’s retirement in 2004, she has continued her dedication, passion, and service to East High as an active member of the Pueblo East High Alumni Association. She has served as board member, secretary, and vice-president, prior to assuming the presidency of the Pueblo East High Alumni Association in 2009.
When East High School celebrated its 50th Anniversary activities, Ms. Harbert played a key role in orchestrating the opening and furnishing of the new East High Heritage Hall on the same day of the 50th Anniversary celebration. She acquired a suitable safe to be used as a time capsule. She coordinated and assured that all available memorabilia were professionally displayed. Finally, she presided over, and was master of ceremonies, for the formal 50th Anniversary Ceremony, which brought together past principals and other former dignitaries.