Four Fontana Unified School District high school students have distinguished themselves as some of the best high school musicians across Southern California, earning spots in Pasadena City College’s 2024 Tournament of Roses Honor Band. Henry J. Kaiser High School senior David Mireles (marching snare drum), sophomore Liliana Lobo (euphonium) and Jurupa Hills High School senior Antonio De La Torre (baritone sax) and sophomore Diego Muro (clarinet) all qualified to march with the Tournament of Roses Honor Band in the 135th edition of the iconic Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.
Fontana Unified to Dedicate Unity Garden at Randall Pepper Elementary in Honor of O’Day Short Family
Fontana Unified School District will host a dedication ceremony of the O’Day Short Family Unity Garden to commemorate the lives of O’Day, Helen, Carol Ann and Barry Short. The unity garden will also serve as a symbol of an ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by Randall Pepper Elementary School and the greater Fontana Unified community. The Short family is remembered for breaking Fontana’s color barrier in 1945. All four members of the African-American family died after their house burst into flames on Dec. 16, 1945. The Short family purchased and began building a home on a vacant, five-acre lot at Randall Avenue and Pepper Avenue in Fontana at a time when African-Americans were forbidden to live south of Baseline Avenue. The Short family received threats of violence and offers from the Chamber of Commerce to buy back the property before their house was set ablaze. An arson investigator hired by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) determined the fire was deliberately set from the exterior, according to a 2016 article from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Randall Pepper Elementary School was later built on the site in 1950.
Fontana Unified Students’ Dreams Comes True with Upcoming Summit High Madrigal Choir Performance at Prestigious Festival
Students Summit High School’s Madrigal Choir will put on the performance of a lifetime, letting their voices shine at the prestigious California Music Educators Association’s (CMEA) All-State Honor Festival and drawing the curtain on a two-year-long dream turned reality. The All-State Honor Festival, which will be hosted at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center on April 26, 2024, is an exclusive opportunity, with the CMEA choosing only six or seven high school choirs to perform from the entire state. Only schools that received a superior rating from a festival the previous year were eligible to apply.