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Dr. Tom Rivera Multi-Purpose Room to be Dedicated at Colton High School

By Anna P. Duff
Local Writer
10/12/2022 at 02:04 PM

The Colton Joint Unified School district will celebrate a special event on Oct. 18 dedicating Colton High School’s new Multi-Purpose Room to Dr. Tom Rivera, a tireless advocate who was ever faithful to the youth and community of the Colton Joint Unified School District and the Inland Empire. 

The event will include tributes to Rivera, an unveiling of signage dedicating the building to him, and student performances. The community is invited to join the celebration. 

The Colton Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously in April to name the new Colton High School MPR after Dr. Tom M. Rivera. “Dr. Tom '' was raised in Colton and attended Colton schools, Valley College, California State University Los Angeles, University of California Riverside, and UCLA, where he received his doctorate in education. He enhanced student lives through his 49 years in education, including U. S. Peace Corps Service, teaching elementary school, serving as a counselor at San Bernardino Valley College, and serving as an administrator for 40 years at California State University, San Bernardino.

His commitment to social justice, education, and pride in heritage led him to co-found the Inland Empire Future Leaders Program, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) chapter, and serve as co-researcher on the South Colton Oral History Project. His leadership opened doors for the Tzu Chi and Pure Land foundations to establish food banks and health clinics in our area. 

“It is with great honor and appreciation that the Colton Joint Unified School District and this community come together to memorialize Dr. Tom Rivera for his dedication to our youth and for the many lives he touched during his 49-year career in education,” CJUSD Board President Bertha Flores said. “I am personally humbled and honored to have known and worked with such an amazing man who was such an inspiration to everyone who knew him.”

Colton High School's cafeteria/MPR is a 17,650 square-foot, single-story steel framed building completed earlier this year. The new building includes an 8,850 SF dining area, a 2,200 SF of serving area, an indoor stage, a snack bar, a staff lounge with a dedicated restroom, a full prep kitchen with walk-in freezers and refrigerator, an outdoor stage that faces new colored concrete paved courtyard and seating below the solar shade shelters. The $11M project was funded by Measure G, developer fees, and state facilities program funds.

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Location: Colton High School, 777 W Valley Blvd, MPR building (park in the lot on 3rd Street)

Speakers: Bertha Flores, CJUSD Board President; Reyes, San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees; Eloise Reyes, California State Assembly Majority Leader


RSVP for media and dignitaries: Katie Orloff, Communications Director,, (909) 580-6503

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