FONTANA, CA – Nearly 200 Fontana Unified District administrators envisioned ways to strengthen the District’s culture of innovation and build upon current educational opportunities during the second annual Leadership Institute, July 15-17.

The team-building event, themed “The Amazing Space Race,” tasked District leaders with completing missions related to 15 of Fontana Unified’s career technical education pathways. The purpose, Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said, was to spark innovative thinking by turning educators into students.

“For students to be able to lead in a changing world, they must be able to create a new reality,” Bassett said. “We need to rethink education by looking at where the world is heading, building upon our current educational practices and ensuring students can thrive in an ever-changing professional future.”

District leaders learned how to operate forklift and backhoe simulators in Citrus High’s construction pathway, toasted s’mores in DIY solar ovens in Kaiser High’s renewable energy program, practiced wheel alignment in Summit High’s automotive tech pathway and piloted a Cessna 172 in a flight simulator at A.B. Miller High School.

They also learned to code and program sophisticated robotic arms in Summit High’s new mechatronics program, brushed up on their public safety skills in Fontana High’s Certified Nursing Assistant, fire technology and emergency medical response pathways, and wrote and produced news segments in TV production studios at Jurupa Hills, A.B. Miller and Summit high schools.

The activities brought leaders from all educational levels together with District administrators, bolstering communication and collaboration skills, inspiring new instructional ideas and fostering a culture of creativity.

“This was an eye-opening experience because it allowed us educators to experience what our students are learning and to see the opportunities available to them in high school,” Dorothy Grant Innovations Academy Principal Nikia Owens said. “I think it will inspire us to strive for even greater success and provide the best educational experience possible.”


FUSD_LEADERS1: A Fontana Unified administrator pilots a Cessna 172 in a Redbird flight simulator at A.B. Miller High School during the District’s annual Leadership Institute.

FUSD_LEADERS2: Fontana Unified administrators learn to operate a forklift simulator at Citrus High School, which offers a construction pathway, during the Leadership Institute held July 15-17.