The Fontana Unified Board of Education selected longtime educator Juan M. LÃ³pez to serve as the districtâs interim superintendent, effective Sept. 6, during the Aug. 10 board meeting.
Per the board-approved contract, LÃ³pez will serve as the districtâs top official through Jan. 13, 2023, providing leadership as the board conducts a search for a permanent superintendent, the district said in a news release.
He will succeed Dr. Monica Makiewicz, FUSD’s associate superintendent of teaching and learning, who was appointed acting superintendent following the retirement of Randal Bassett.
âI am honored to serve as the interim superintendent for Fontana Unified School District,â LÃ³pez said. âThe key to a districtâs success starts with a leadership team that is dedicated to working for the greater good of all children, and I look forward to joining this Districtâs team and supporting its mission of empowering every student to unlock their full potential.â
LÃ³pez, who grew up in East Los Angeles as the youngest son of immigrant parents, said he personally experienced the difficulty of succeeding in school while confronting the challenges faced by second-language learners.
His upbringing shaped his career path, which led him to work in education for 42 years â during which he has served as an instructional aide, teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent of human resources, and superintendent at school districts throughout Southern California.
Since retiring in 2015, LÃ³pez has dedicated his time to supporting school districts through the transition period that follows a superintendentâs departure, serving as interim superintendent for Coachella Valley Unified, Redlands Unified, Westminster School District, Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program and West Covina Unified School District.
LÃ³pez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a masterâs degree in urban education/school administration, both from Cal State Los Angeles.