2020 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
The Alumni Foundation selected three individuals to be inducted into its 2020 Hall of Fame class including Sam C. Brown Jr, ’55, Constance Miketa, ’57, and John Musso, ’64.
Sam C. Brown, Jr is Pueblo born and raised. Sam married his high school sweetheart, JoMarie Schiro in 1957. They have 4 children: Sam (Butch) Brown III, Kim Brown, Scott Brown, and Rene’ Brown; 9 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He was a member of Pueblo County High School’s first graduating class in 1955. Sam used his education along with an enormous amount of drive and hard work to operate several successful businesses, most of them in Pueblo. In 1966 at the age of 29, he began Mountain States Sheet Metal, dba MSSM Corp, with his partner Art Gonzales. In 1980, Sam bought out his partner and continued to operate his successful construction business performing work throughout the continental US and performing fabrication projects throughout the world. Today this firm is operated by 3 of his 4 children and specializes in the power generation industry and mission critical projects. Sam’s success in the construction business, with projects from coast to coast, led him to purchase a plane in 1987 for his company’s use and ultimately launching another business. In 1994, Sam started La Stella chartered jet service, purchasing jets and teaming with Travelaire, to provide services and personnel. For 26 years Sam, along-side the DeVencenty’s, operated this chartered jet business. In 1987, Sam also became involved with PB&T (Pueblo Bank & Trust), Pueblo’s oldest and well-known community bank. As a Director, Sam served in many roles at the bank including Loan Committee Director, Chairman of the Board, and Holding Corp Director. Sam’s guidance on PB&T boards continued for more than 30 years. Sam’s roots in ag lead him back to farming. In 1997 he built hydroponic greenhouses and opened, with his wife JoMarie, Peppe’s Gourmet Market on Hwy 50 to provide local grown farm fresh produce year- round. Today Shane Milberger still farms the Brown family farms and operates Milberger Farms in Peppe’s Gourmet Market. Sam also owned a casino in Blackhawk and numerous commercial real estate ventures throughout Colorado to name a few.
Sam’s success in business is mimicked by his desire to help others succeed thru his generous philanthropic support. The Sam Brown family’s support of Ag is showcased annually, at the Colorado State Fair Jr. Livestock Sale where he believes in assisting 4-H and FFA youth afford a college education with funds from the sale of their livestock. Sam Brown and family have invested more than $2,000,000 in support of 4H and FFA youth at various Colorado Jr Livestock sales since 1966. Another cause near and dear to Sam’s heart, that he generously supports, is medical research at the Mayo Clinic. Sam and JoMarie were recently named Mayo Clinic Principal Benefactors for philanthropic support in excess of $1,000,000.
Sam is living proof of the American Dream that with a high school diploma and desire to work hard anything is possible.
Constance Miketa graduated from Pueblo County High School in 1957. She then went to Colorado State. College in Greeley, Colorado, graduating from there in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Education and a minor in Physics. She later received a master’s degree in computers education.
In 1961 she began teaching at Central High Schoolin Pueblo District 60. Afterher marriage she moved to Alamosa and taught in District RE 11 J. After the birth of her first child she began working in School District 70 and continued there through the births of two more children. As math department chairman she worked with a colleague to bring computer programming to the math curriculum at Pueblo County High. She was instrumental along with four others to bring the cutting-edge School Within a School, CHOICE, to Pueblo County High School. Connie was a recipient of the Colorado Council of Math for Outstanding Secondary Math Teacher for District V in 1991, Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 1994, the Colorado State Board of Education Presidential Award for Secondary Mathematics in 1994 and Outstanding Woman, Woman’s History Week, representing Zonta in 1998. She retired from Pueblo County High after 31 years in June of 1998.
Connie was married to Robert Miketa in 1962 and was widowed in 1999. She then remained active, by joining Assistance League of Pueblo, and substituted at a long-term sub at Pueblo West High School teaching math. Connie then began working with the Teacher in Residence Program at CSU Pueblo where she mentored teachers in both District 60 and 70, who were working to their teaching license.
Connie is most proud of raising three children all with college degrees; daughter Terrianne is a vice president at Northrop Grumman, Tina is chief strategy officer for Health Colorado and Rob is a professional chef and estate manager in New York City.
John Musso was born and raised on the mesa, he graduated from Pueblo County High School in 1964, and attended SCSC where he earned his bachelor’s degree to become a teacher and later attended Western State College where he earned a master’s degree and Principal Licensure.
John was hired in 1969 as a 3rd grade teacher at North Mesa Elementary School and 3 years later became the principal where he remained until he retired in 2002 after 33 years in education. He spent many long hours making his school the best it could possibly be. His love for all of “his kids” has been reflected over and over again throughout the years from countless stories that we have heard about the impact he had on people. He always referred to the students as “his kids” and the teachers were “his teachers” and North Mesa was “his school”.
He often talked about being the quarter back during his own high school days at County High and it was something he was so proud to be a part of. Later he could often be found at County High sporting events supporting his own children and grandchildren and everyone in between. He was usually sitting in the alumni section in the County High gym cheering for basketball games or in the Stadium watching his former students or supporting his son-in-law as he coached for Hornet football. He spent countless hours cheering on his County Hornets, and he was so proud to be a part of the Hornet legacy.
He made a lasting impression on district 70; he was instrumental in implementing the counseling program, gifted and talented program, and the peer mentor program to just name a few of his accomplishments during his career. However, beyond those accolades, his most important contribution is how many people’s lives he profoundly touched through his time in education.
Even after his retirement he remained employed by District 70 working as a consultant for English Language students and Gifted and Talented. Over his extensive career in education John impacted countless lives of students, parents and fellow educators.
© 2020 by Pueblo County High School Alumni Foundation.
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