FONTANA, CA – Almeria Middle School Principal Kim Bente will retire at the end of the 2020-21 year after 25 years of service in the District, all at the same campus. Henry J. Kaiser High School Assistant Principal Felix Jones will serve as Almeria Middle School’s principal in 2021-22, bringing nearly 20 years of education experience to the role.
Bente began her career in 1984, but the inspiration to become an educator struck much sooner. She was in just seventh grade when she decided on her career path, inspired by positive experiences with her own teachers.
Bente came to Almeria Middle School in 1995 and has worked there ever since, serving as a seventh- and eighth-grade math and science teacher, ASB adviser, AVID coordinator, science department chair and more. She became assistant principal in 2005 and took the helm as Almeria’s principal in 2016.
“It’s very rare to spend your entire career at one school, and even more so to serve as a teacher and administrator at the same site, but I have been very lucky,” Bente said. “I love this school community and it has been my privilege to serve them for the last 25 years. Almeria is a special place and our students are wonderful.”
Bente was honored as the 2021 Middle Grades Principal of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 12 Board of Directors, recognizing her excellence in leadership.
Jones is a proud Fontana Unified alumnus and longtime resident. Prior to his career in education, Jones served a plane captain in the U.S. Navy for four years. He returned to Fontana Unified as an educator in 2002, working as a special education teacher for nine years, and then as a math intervention teacher on assignment for four years.
He then served as the coordinator of school transformation for the Partnership of Los Angeles Schools, helping identify instructional opportunities and build capacity in those areas to improve student achievement, before returning to Fontana Unified in 2018 as the assistant principal of instruction at Kaiser High School.
“I am super excited to take the baton and work with the Almeria staff to provide our students with high-quality learning experiences supported by a strong community that is deeply invested in our students,” Jones said. “Almeria is a good school with a lot to offer, and I am looking forward to building on those aspects and helping propel us to new heights.”