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Fontana Unified High School Dedicates Campus Fire Station in Memory of Beloved Instructor

Current Fontana High Fire Technology and Emergency Services Career Technical Education Director George Rojas

FONTANA, CA – Fontana High School ensured the legacy of Michael McGinnis, founder of the school’s Fire Technology Career Technical Education (CTE) pathway, will forever burn bright as it dedicated its campus fire station in his honor, officially naming it McGinnis Station 815 during an April 17 ceremony.

Fontana High’s campus fire station is a hub of hands-on learning where students enrolled in the school’s Fire Technology and Emergency Services CTE pathways explore careers in firefighting or emergency medical industries. It is a living tribute to McGinnis, who died in 2021 and is remembered for how he inspired Fontana High students to pursue careers in public service.

“McGinnis was a dreamer and Fontana High’s Fire Technology program is where it is today thanks to his vision and leadership,” said FOHI Assistant Principal Marissa Beitler after the station welcomed a retired fire engine in January thanks to a joint donation by the San Bernardino County Fire Department and Fontana Rotary Club. “He was driven, persistent, and relentless in ensuring our students have everything they need to succeed, and his memory will live on forever at McGinnis Station 815.”

Members of Michael McGinnis’ family celebrate the dedication of Fontana High School’s campus fire station

McGinnis came to Fontana High after a career as a firefighter, with stops at Compton Fire Department, CalFire, and Riverside County Fire Department. He also helped develop Chaffey College’s Fire Technology Program and served as vice chair commissioner of the Fontana Parks, Community, and Human Services Commission, and as a volunteer with the Fontana Police Department.

The McGinnis Scholarship Foundation was also created to award deserving senior public service cadets in Fontana High’s Fire Technology, Emergency Medical Services, and Law Enforcement CTE pathways with scholarships.

Fontana High School’s campus fire station is a hub of hands-on learning where students enrolled in the school’s Fire Technolo

The Fontana Unified School District Board of Education approved renaming the station in McGinnis’ memory in October 2023. In accordance with Board policy, Fontana High staff collected and presented a petition with more than 500 signatures to the Board of Education to rename the classroom.

"Fontana High’s McGinnis Station 815 will forever be a beacon of inspiration, a testament to the unwavering dedication of one man who inspired countless students to reach for a brighter future,” Superintendent Miki R. Inbody said. “Michael McGinnis’ spirit will live on through this station, with every lesson learned and every life touched, making this more than just a building but a legacy of passion, of service, and of the profound impact one individual can have on an entire community.”