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Attorney Ruben Salazar Hosts Reception for New Fontana High School Principal, Sergio Flores

In October of 2005, a racially motivated riot marred the otherwise peaceful environment and reputation of Fontana High School (FOHI). One month after the riots, the Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) promptly and wisely hired Sergio Flores as FOHI’s new Principal. Flores is bi-lingual and, like many FOHI students, comes from a family in which he and his siblings was the first to go to college, and in which his parents emigrated from Mexico and struggled financially.

On February 16, 2007, a reception was held for the new Principal of FOHI. The event was hosted by the Law Offices of Ruben Salazar, and sponsored by U.S. Congressman Joe Baca and the Educational Task Force for the Inland Empire Latino Coalition. Over 40 people attended the event, which took place at “Plaza De La Raza,” Mr. Salazar’s beautiful commercial complex in downtown Fontana.

Present were the humbled honoree, Principal Sergio Flores, Congressional Representative Sam Garcia, the organizer of the event, Attorney Ruben Salazar, the local Latino lawyer and businessman who hosted the event, Rialto Councilman Joe Baca, Jr., Jane D. Smith, FUSD Superintendent, Dr. Arlene Piazza and Laura Abernathy Mancha, Board Members of FUSD, Dr. Barbara Flores and Dr. Maria V. Balderrama, Professors at California State University San Bernardino, Garciano Gomez, Publisher of the Inland Empire Hispanic News, along with a host of other Latino educators, business people, and citizenry.

At the reception, Sam Garcia, representing Congressman Baca’s Inland Empire Latino Coalition, honored the handsome Principal Flores with a plaque of recognition. Educational issues discussed included creating special programs for the mostly low-income, English-challenged Latino student population, and hiring more Hispanic teachers and counselors. Fontana High School has almost 4,500 enrolled students in 2005, over 80% of which are Latino. Yet, FOHI has only 2 counselors and less than 10 teachers of Latino heritage. Principal Flores vowed to help motivate the young Hispanic males and to continue to hold workshops on how to help low income students devise a four-year plan to help get students into college.

For his part, Attorney Salazar offered to the educational task force his building as a venue for future events, saying, “Mi Casa Es Su Casa.” He also pledged to Principal Flores to volunteer his personal time to give free youth motivational speeches on Cinco De Mayo or September 16 holidays, in order to act as a positive role model and perhaps help inspire students to aspire for and set educational and business goals.

The Law Offices of Ruben Salazar also announced it will be conducting an educational workshop to help students with college preparation and financial aid issues. It is to be held in conjunction with a Community Services Day, which also features a Health Fair and a “Legalization Day”; scheduled to take place after the new Immigration Bill passes this year.

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