The Backstory of East: Halo-lolo halo-lo-lo Hey!
East High school is a community filled with pride. Our clocktower is clear evidence of East tradition. As you walk around the small room black and white pictures stare at you, sweaters hang collecting dust on a coat hanger and footballs sit on tables covered with names. As you sit in that dark room with a yellowed yearbook sitting before you, curiosity may take over and cause you to ask, what happened to the cute football player, or the girl dissecting a frog. Sometimes East students forget about the thousands of people who have stepped through the hallways of this historical building. We are one of many. We have all walked past the iconic East Hall of Fame and wondered will we someday be on that wall.
Khadija Haynes is an East graduate of 1976, she is a proud East Angel who never gives up the chance to brag about where she graduated. She went to undergraduate at Colorado Women's College for Arts. She is co-founder of Colorado Black Arts Movement (CBAM) and served as the Chief of Staff for the majority senate leader; she also served on many boards including the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Board, Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; and Colorado Black Women for Political Action. She informed me that during her time at East she participated in theater and speech and debate both of which rival schools feared. And was head girl of her grade leading multiple traditions and planning senior prom. When asked what she loves about East she responded saying, “East is great because of the different students, there is a ton of diversity.” A statement that holds true today, there are so many different students within the building all of which contribute to the success of the school. Ryann Short, an East Graduate of 1993 ( best known for being head coach for the girls soccer team) added on to Haynes, explaining that East offers so much, “there is something for everybody they can find a club or group of students or class that meets their interests.”
Every person in the East has the ability to find something or someone that they can connect with. This being one of the benefits of having such a diverse school with over 60 clubs, 29 sport teams, and 2,555 students. Short was an avid member of student council, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and con law (in which they went to nationals taking second place) -he must have had a difficult high school experience- yet, he says that each pushed him to success later in life. East is a community where each student plays an important part which creates a vibrant culture. That is expressed through countless East traditions including painting the parking spots, senior sunrise and-of course- signing the E. Each alumni had a personal favorite, Haynes, while laughing told me about the walkout day where they ate on the South lawn and the homecoming floats where each grade competed against one another. Both traditions are no longer seen in the East, should we bring them back? Short had different favorites, including pep rallies, and painting the pump house for senior prank. Each of these traditions was an exciting moment in each of their high school experiences. Traditions are what make the school even more special, each expanding East spirit. Each student has a different favorite tradition and will look back at it after they leave high school.
The allmini stated that if they could go back and speak with their high school self they would offer this advice, and they recommended that East students now follow it. e. Haynes offered up two pieces of advice first, “hang out with different people, I have learned so much from different people.” and second “Don’t be so sure where you are going that you miss opportunities.” Short’s answer “Keep in contact with people and hold onto your relationships in the East and strengthen them even after you leave.” All good advice for juniors and seniors who are ready to take the first step into the real world. Both alumni though from different time periods and with different perspectives love East. After high school they created magnificent lives and hopefully it calms the nerves of the upperclassmen as they realize that they will accomplish their dreams, and maybe one day wind up in the East Hall of Fame and their yearbook stored up in the clocktower for future students to examine.