Fontana Unified School District welcomed students back to campuses filled with upbeat music, cheerful decorations and smiling faces on Aug. 3, ushering in a new school year focused on empowering students to achieve their full potential.

Fontana A.B. Miller High School celebrated the first day of school bright and early with a Senior Sunrise event for the Class of 2023. ASB leaders, many wearing cowboy hats, handed out donuts and juice to seniors while a DJ played music.

Miller senior Luis Sainz was one of the first to arrive on campus. Sainz, an ASB and Link Crew leader and a member of the Miller track and cross country teams, said he is eager to get the school year off to a good start.

“I’m looking forward to finishing high school, getting good grades and making the most out of my time here,” Sainz said. “I’d like to see more students get involved in extra-curricular activities. My goal is to make school as fun as possible so that we can all come together.”

For Dr. Barbara Kelley, the first day of school marked a milestone in her career. After 27 years at Miller, serving as band director, ASB director and assistant principal, Kelley is the high school’s new principal. Kelley joins six other Fontana Unified administrators promoted into new positions this year, continuing the district’s longstanding practice of developing its educators into experienced leaders with deep ties to the community.

“It’s overwhelming. This is my home, and I love all of my students here. I can’t express how appreciative I am of the support I have received from my colleagues,” said Kelley, who spent her first day greeting students and answering questions. “Our mission this year at A.B. Miller is to think outside of the box. I want A.B. Miller to be the best school in the Inland Empire, and I am excited to take on that challenge.”

As high school seniors celebrated their final first day of school, FUSD elementary schools welcomed the district’s youngest learners with fanfare as they began their educational journeys in 2022-23.

School pride was on full display at Tokay Elementary School, where Student Council members waved red pompoms and greeted their peers as they entered the campus. Families commemorated the first day of school with photos of their students, taken against themed backdrops and alongside the school’s tiger mascot.

The spirited welcome back to campus marked the return to a more traditional academic year for FUSD after navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years.

The district will continue to follow local and state COVID-19 guidelines, as well as following mitigation strategies that include thorough cleaning regimens and making masks, at-home test kits and vaccination opportunities available to students and employees.

“We are thrilled to welcome our students, teachers and staff back for the 2022-23 school year, which we hope will bring a sense of normalcy to our District community and inspire new levels of success for our students,” acting superintendent Dr. Monica Makiewicz said. “Fontana Unified School District remains committed to providing safe, nurturing learning environments where our students can thrive academically and socially, and we cannot wait to see what exciting opportunities and achievements await us.”

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