SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – Two Bonita Unified elementary schools began the 2022-23 school year with new principals, one of a series of administrative promotions and new hires that include two new assistant principals at Bonita High School, a new assistant superintendent of business services, and new senior directors of fiscal services and educational services.

The promotions include Nicole Grant as La Verne Heights Elementary School principal, Joshua Richards as Bonita High assistant principal, Sonia Eckley as the assistant superintendent of business services and Dr. Jaymi Abusham as senior director of educational services. New to Bonita Unified are Gerard Granade as Ekstrand Elementary School principal, Rene Gonzalez as Bonita High assistant principal and Jazmin Ortega as senior director of fiscal services.

“We are pleased to announce our latest administrative changes, which support Bonita Unified’s core values of equity, mastery and focus on results,” Interim Superintendent Matt Wien said. “We are very proud to see Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Eckley and Mr. Richards take on new challenges within the District, and wholeheartedly welcome our new administrators with open arms. We look forward to another great year of serving our students and Bonita Unified.”

Nicole Grant has been with Bonita Unified for 19 years, most recently as third-grade teacher and grade-level lead at Shull Elementary School. Grant has also served as president of the Bonita Unified School District Teacher Association since 2009. Grant has two sons who are attending local colleges and a daughter who is a junior at Bonita High School.

Joshua Richards has been with Bonita Unified since 2018, serving as a science and WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) teacher at Lone Hill Middle School. Richards also has experience as a biology teacher. Over summer break Richards served as the District’s Assistant Summer School Coordinator. Richards is married with two children, who both attend La Verne Heights Elementary School.

Sonia Eckley has served as Bonita Unified’s senior director of fiscal services since 2017. Prior to that, she spent 16 years in leadership and administrative roles in neighboring school districts. Eckley is a certified public accountant and has worked in the private sector. She is married with two daughters and two sons, one who currently attends San Dimas High School, and one who is a recent graduate of San Dimas High School. Eckley’s daughter is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst working for Bonita Unified.

Jaymi Abusham has served as La Verne Heights Elementary principal for the past three years and has 27 years of experience as an administrator, teacher and reading specialist. Prior to joining Bonita Unified, Abusham served as an elementary school principal for eight years and most recently was program chair for educational studies for the University of La Verne.
Abusham enjoys hiking, biking and enjoying the outdoors with her husband.

Granade served as principal of Richland Elementary School in Los Angeles. An avid mountain biker, Granade is familiar with the Bonita Unified community, regularly biking around Marshall Canyon and Bonelli Park. He is married with two daughters.

Jazmin Ortega served as the director of fiscal services for San Gabriel Unified School District for the past three years. Previously, Ortega worked in the private sector as a senior associate at an auditing firm that served local agencies and nonprofit organizations. Ortega enjoys going on hikes and watching football and soccer with her husband and family.

Rene Gonzalez has worked for 26 years as a teacher and administrator, most recently as an assistant principal at Upland High School. Gonzalez has also served as an administrator and Spanish teacher for Glendora High School. She is married with three children, who participate in a variety of sports. Gonzalez loves to travel and read books on rainy days.

“Bonita Unified is excited to welcome new leaders to our District and to elevate some of our talented educators and staff into new administrative positions,” Board of Education President Chuck Coyne said. “As always, our focus is on student achievement and providing the highest quality educators to guide them on their journey to become lifelong learners.”