FONTANA, CA – Michael McGinnis dedicated his life to protecting others as a firefighter and then empowering the next generation of public servants to do the same, playing an instrumental role in developing Fontana High School’s Fire, Medical and Emergency Response pathway as its fire technology and career technical education (CTE) instructor.
The Fontana Unified School District Board of Education ensured the legacy of McGinnis, who died in 2021, will not be forgotten when they unanimously voted at a recent meeting to rename Fontana High’s Fire Technology and Emergency Services classroom to McGinnis Station 815.
“Thank you for your consideration and your vote in honoring my husband’s legacy,” said Karina McGinnis, Michael’s wife, through tears while surrounded by her daughters Liliana, MacKenzie and Brooklyn during the Oct. 4 Board meeting.
Michael McGinnis was remembered for how he inspired Fontana High students to pursue careers in public service. He 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 police volunteer with the Fontana Police Department.
“It is with great joy and admiration that we honor this exceptional individual, whose dedication and love for teaching has left a mark in our community,” Board of Education Vice President Adam Perez said. “The impact Mr. McGinnis had on so many lives will forever be remembered and cherished.”
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 to McGinnis Station 815. Staff then formed a facilities naming committee – filled with former students, staff members and a community member – and met on April 18 to finalize the recommended name.
The McGinnis Scholarship Foundation was also founded to award deserving senior public service cadets in Fontana High’s Fire Technology, Emergency Medical Technician and Law Enforcement CTE pathways with scholarships.
“Michael McGinnis was dedicated to improving not only the Fontana High community but the city and county at large,” Superintendent Miki R. Inbody said. “He was a passionate instructor whose leadership and accomplishments have helped make Fontana High a beacon of excellence in our District, community and region.”
FUSD_MCGINNIS: Fontana Unified’s Board of Education voted to rename Fontana High School’s Fire Technology and Emergency Services classroom to McGinnis Station 815 during a recent meeting. The new name honors the impact of Fontana High Fire Technology and Career Technical Education Instructor Michael McGinnis, who died in 2021. Front row from left to right: Fontana High CTE Law Enforcement Instructor Jeannifer Heredia joins the family of McGinnis: eldest daughter Liliana, wife Karina and daughters MacKenzie and Brooklyn are pictured with the Board and Superintendent Miki R. Inbody (far right).