Sonja Melton, a 1957 graduate from Central High School, became a District 60 educator, Pueblo Central gymnastic coach, Parks and Recreation gymnastic coordinator instructor, an original founder of PAWS For Life Animal Shelter and Central Hall of Honor.
Since graduating from Central with the class of 1957, Sonja Melton has contributed significantly to her alma mater, community, athletes and love for saving and protecting animals.
She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado and in the fall of 1961 she began her career in education at Keating Junior High School. In 1963, she returned to Central High School as a teacher.
Sonja started the girls' gymnastic program at Central High School in 1969. One year after starting the program at Central, she developed, coordinated and instructed the Pueblo Parks and Recreation City-Wide Gymnastic program. This program was instrumental in providing a year-round gymnastic club for many young gymnasts in the local community. Sonja also coordinated a summer school gymnastic class for District 60 students.
In 1972 while she was teaching and coaching, she found time to become one of the original founders of PAWS for Life. (PAWS is a no kill shelter providing a safe haven for unwanted animals.) She encouraged her students to design posters, help at the shelter and help raising funds for the animal shelter. In 2011 and 2012, Sonja was responsible for the artwork and photos for the PAWS calendars. She also designed the newspaper advertisements and posters for several fundraising activities.
All of Sonja's hard work, dedication and vision for her Central gymnasts finally paid off with numerous City and District-wide championships. In 1978 and 1980, the Wildcat gymnasts placed 2nd in state. However, it was the year of 1979, when Sonja and her team brought home the first girls Gymnastic State Championship to Central High School. She also received the "Colorado Coach of Champions" award.
Miss Melton retired from coaching in 1981. She continued teaching gymnastics and art until 1983. In 1984 she continued her career in education, teaching art at Pitts Middle School and Centennial High School. In 1996, Sonja officially retired from District 60. In her retirement, she worked at CSU-Pueblo, as a cooperating teacher for student teachers. She also taught government on a part-time basis at PCC and art at EL Centro del Quinto Sol.
Sonja Melton embodies the definition of a "True Blue Central Wildcat." She is a strong woman with vision, conviction, dedication and perseverance. Her life and contributions to education, coaching, city-wide gymnastics programs, and through founding an organization that showcases her fellow "Wildcats", typifies her leadership and passion to Central High School and the community of Pueblo.