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Three Fontana Unified Administrators Advance to New Leadership Positions

 Terry Abernathy, Eduardo Gomez, and Melissa Weber

A commitment to student achievement and professional development distinguishes three Fontana Unified administrators who are advancing to new positions within the District.

Kaiser High School Principal Terry Abernathy has been named Fontana Unified’s new Director of Secondary Education, Redwood Elementary School Principal Eduardo Gomez will become Administrator of Dual Language Immersion and Global Competencies, and A.B. Miller High School Assistant Principal Melissa Weber will move to Alder Middle School as its new principal.

“We are thrilled to see these extraordinary educators take on new leadership positions. Their dedication to craft and enthusiasm for learning personifies Fontana’s core values of providing equity in education,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “Congratulations to our administrators on their well-deserved advancements. They are inspirations to their peers and role models for their community.”

Abernathy joined Fontana Unified in 2006 as principal of Tokay Elementary School after several distinguished years as a teacher and administrator for the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, where he was honored as Teacher of the Year in 2000.

Quickly establishing himself as an instructional leader, Abernathy moved to Kaiser in 2009. Focusing on college and career readiness, Abernathy sought to expand Kaiser student participation in Advanced Placement (AP) instruction. Since 2009, Kaiser’s AP course offerings have increased from 14 to 22 classes, and the school averages over 1,000 students a year who have taken at least one AP course.

Kaiser was recognized by the College Board in 2012 for increasing AP among traditionally underserved students and awarded a STEM grant to allow the school to offer additional AP math and science courses. Additionally, since 2009 Kaiser’s graduation rate has risen to 97.3% from 88% and completion of courses required for admission at UC/CSU has increased to 62% from 25%.

“Kaiser’s successes are all due to the great team of teachers, staff and administrators who collaborate for the students and parents we serve,” Abernathy said. “Although I will miss my colleagues and watching my students develop into future leaders, I am very much looking forward to working at the District level with a new team and helping Fontana navigate a course for the future.”

Gomez grew up in Fontana, graduating from A.B. Miller High School in 1996. He has been principal at Redwood Elementary since 2011, focusing on developing a college-going culture, building positive character, and instilling a love of reading. In 2019, Gomez established Redwood’s Spanish Dual Language Immersion program, the second such DLI program in the District.

“I have spent my career as an educator striving to be a difference-maker in my community, and to educate and prepare our youth for their future,” Gomez said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to guide and expand the District’s dual language immersion program and develop strategies that will help our students succeed in a global society.”

A former middle and high school English Language Arts teacher and National Board-Certified teacher, Weber has been at A.B. Miller since 2018, most recently serving as Assistant Principal of Discipline. Originally from Oklahoma, she moved to California with her husband, a Fontana native, and their two children in 2015.

Weber believes that education is about lifelong learning and providing equitable opportunities for all students so that they can be independent learners, critical thinkers, team players and world changers.

“As a former middle school teacher, I am thrilled to bring my skills as an educational leader to Alder,” Weber said. “I appreciate the opportunity to take this leadership position and look forward to collaborating and continuing the work to take Alder Middle to new heights. Go Falcons!”