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How Fontana Schools Got Their Names

The District is currently building and designing a large number of new schools, which will be opening within the next 1 to 5 years.  During the planning stages, new schools are identified by number and then given an official name at an appropriate time.  Many of the elementary and middle schools in Fontana have been named by a historic practice of using geographic area -  the street or nearby cross street on which the school is located, an area of the city, or after the city itself.  However, in some cases it is not possible to use street names for schools either because the street name has already been used or because it would not be an appropriate school name.  More recently, schools have been named in honor of persons who have contributed greatly to the Fontana community and/or the nation as a whole.

In 2004, the FUSD Board of Education adopted a policy to guide the district in naming schools and other facilities.  This policy includes the formation of an advisory committee to recommend school names.  The committee is comprised of representatives from PTA, Fontana Teachers Association, United Steelworkers of America, Fontana Management Association, and Fontana Organization of Retired School Employees, as well as two members representing the community at large.

Here are how some of FUSD's schools got their names:

FUSD School Named After Streets:

Alder Middle
Almeria Middle
Almond Elementary
Beech Avenue Elementary
Canyon Crest Elementary
Chaparral Elementary
Citrus Elementary
Citrus High
Cypress Elementary
Date Elementary
Hemlock Elementary
Juniper Elementary
Live Oak Elementary
Locust Elementary
Mango Elementary
North Tamarind Elementary
Oak Park Elementary
Oleander Elementary
Palmetto Elementary
Poplar Elementary
Randall Pepper Elementary
Redwood Elementary
Sequoia Middle
Shadow Hills Elementary
South Tamarind Elementary
Summit High
Tokay Elementary
West Randall Elementary

FUSD Schools Named After the City or an Area Within the City:

Fontana High
Fontana Middle
Jurupa Hills Middle
Jurupa Hills High
Sierra Lakes Elementary
Southridge Middle

FUSD Schools Named After Distinguished Citizens:

Azariel Blanchard Miller

A.B. Miller High School
Azariel Blanchard Miller (1878-1941) is credited as the founder of the city of Fontana.  In 1905, he brought 200 head of horse, mules, plows, scrapers and tents into the area and began transforming 17,000 acres of sand, sage brush and rock into a great citrus fruit, poultry and live stock farm.

Dorothy Grant

Dorothy Grant Elementary School
Dorothy Grant worked for the Fontana Unified School District for over 26 years, both in the cafeteria at Alder Jr. High School and later as the matron for the Girls' PE Department at Fontana High School.  She has been a committed community activist, helping to establish the North Fontana Head Start Center, the Senior Noon Meal Program, and the County Food Giveaway Program for low income families and seniors at the Jessie Turner Center.  Read more about Ms. Grant.

Eric Birch

Eric Birch High School
Eric Birch (1923-1980) was Fontana High School's first science teacher back when it was still part of Chaffey Union School District.  His classes were held on a school bus until the buildings were completed.  At Fohi, he served as Department Chairman, Counselor, Assistant Principal, and Principal, as well as Principal of Fontana Adult School.  Mr. Birch became Superintendent in 1972 and served in that capacity until his death in 1980.  During his tenure as Superintendent, he saw the completion of the "Data Processing Wing" at the District Office and Virginia Primrose School for the Severely Handicapped.  Read more about Mr. Birch in an excerpt of "History of Fontana - A Resource Guide for Teachers" published in 1979.

Harry S Truman

Harry S Truman Middle School
Harry S Truman (1884-1972) was the 33rd President of the United States.  He served as Vice President for only 82 days when President Franklin D. Roosevelt died.  As President, Truman made some of the most crucial decisions in history.  During his first two months in office, he oversaw the ending of the war in Europe.  Soon after V-E Day, the war against Japan had reached its final stage and he ordered atomic bombs dropped on cities devoted to war work, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Japanese surrender quickly followed.  This first year of Truman's presidency also saw the founding of the United Nations and the development of an increasingly strained and confrontational relationship with the Soviet Union.  Read more about Mr. Truman.

Henry J. Kaiser

Henry J. Kaiser High School
Henry John Kaiser (1882-1967) was an American industrialist who became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding.  He is best known for constructing the Hoover Dam and Grand Coulee Dam.  He built the Kaiser Steel Mill in Fontana during World War II and it was the main source of income for the city's residents until the mill's closure in the early 1980s.  Henry Kaiser is also noted for advancing medicine with the development and construction of several hospitals, medical centers and medical schools. Read more about Mr. Kaiser.

Kathy Binks

Kathy Binks Elementary School
Kathy Binks has been an influential proponent of education in Fontana for the past four decades.  She has served on the FUSD Board of Education for the past 20 years.  A long-time supporter of the PTA in Fontana, she has served with the organization at North Tamarind, Juniper and Tokay Elementary Schools and Alder Middle School.  For the past 39 years, Kathy and her husband, Dean, have operated an Ettie Lee Home, helping hundreds of boys.  Read more about Mrs. Binks in an article from the Fontana Herald News.

Ted J. Porter

Ted J. Porter Elementary School
Ted J. Porter (1897-1994) was Fontana's first Mayor.  He began his many years of service to the city of Fontana first as a City Council Member in 1958 and then when he was appointed Mayor by the City Council in 1964.  In 1970, he was elected Mayor in the city's first mayoral election.  Read more about Mr. Porter in an article from the Fontana Herald News.

Virginia Primrose

Virginia Primrose Elementary School
Virginia Primrose (1912-1983) was the first teacher at Slover Point II, Fontana's school for severely handicapped students, and went on to become its Vice Principal and Principal.  Under her leadership, the school began a team teaching program and included vocational training, arts and crafts, sensory-motor training, music, dance and functional academics in the curriculum.  She helped start the Fontana Rehabilitation Workshop to assist students would have employment after graduation.  She also began one of the first camps for special education students.  Just before her retirement in 1972, the district named the new school facility for severely handicapped students in her honor.

Dr. D. Wayne Ruble

Wayne Ruble Middle School
Dr. D. Wayne Ruble recently completed his fifth term as a member of FUSD's Board of Education.  He was a special education teacher and administrator for 27 years before his retirement from the district.  The Board of Education voted to name the school after Dr. Ruble to honor his four decades of service to the students, school employees and the community of Fontana.  Read more about Dr. Ruble.


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