LA VERNE/SAN DIMAS – Bonita Unified School District celebrated the Class of 2021 with spirited and emotional in-person graduation ceremonies for San Dimas, Bonita and Chaparral high schools that featured laughs and tears, inspirational music, and fireworks. Family members cheered as the graduates received their diplomas, turned their tassels, and sang their alma mater for the final time.

The San Dimas High commencement ceremony was held June 8 at San Dimas High football stadium, while Chaparral and Bonita held ceremonies at the Bonita High football stadium on June 9 and 10, respectively.

San Dimas High graduate Molly Gonzales brought her guitar and entertained the guests, singing the hit song “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane.

“Our ability to find our passions and use them to motivate us to succeed in life shows something I think very few other classes have – grit, an ability to adapt to and thrive in any situation,” San Dimas High School Valedictorian Richard Maroun said. “The countless challenges we have overcome in our lives serve as a testament to our perseverance.”

Maroun, who graduated with a 4.6 GPA, will attend the University of San Diego and study pre-med. Salutatorian Amy Xin, who earned a 4.5 GPA, will attend UCLA and study psychology.

The Bonita High Chamber Singers took the stage to sing the Bill Withers classic, “Lean on Me,” with a solo by graduating senior Jake Arenas.

“In life there’s a lot of change and nothing is predictable. The trials of adulthood will be exhausting but these changes in our life are for the best,” Bonita High Valedictorian Avinash Chauhan said. “Giving 100 percent does not guarantee success, but it does guarantee satisfaction. Some days we don’t want to leave our bed, and that’s okay. Embrace the chaos, get out of bed, and let’s change the world.”

Chauhan graduated with a 4.57 GPA and will attend USC, with a major in quantitative biology. Salutatorian Yeonu An, who earned a 4.67 GPA, will attend UC Berkeley and study bioengineering.

Chaparral High graduates were recognized with personalized notes about their high school journey, which were read aloud when they received their diplomas.

“Most of us have fallen, but sitting here, we also know that we have what it takes to pick ourselves up; we are stronger than we were before,” Chaparral High Student of the Year Destiny Gryder said. “We are leaving high school with the confidence and internal strength to do anything we put our minds to.”

More than 310 seniors made up the San Dimas High School Class of 2021. Bonita High School graduated more than 460 students, and Chaparral-Vista celebrated more than 36 graduates.

“We are so excited to be able to congratulate and celebrate with our graduates in-person. After such a challenging and uncertain year, being able to see their faces and watch them walk that stage is an incredible feeling,” Board of Education President Chuck Coyne said. “Congratulations to the Class of 2021 on all you have accomplished during your time here at BUSD, and for rising to the challenge of an unprecedented year.”

All three graduations were held outdoors, with fixed seating to accommodate attendees at a safe distance.

“Our seniors have persevered and exemplified the core values of Bonita Unified throughout this pandemic, committing themselves to equity, mastery and focus on results. Our District is proud to be able to give the Class of 2021 an in-person celebration for all of their hard work and fortitude during these challenging times,” Superintendent Carl Coles said. “Congratulates to the Bonita Unified Class of 2021, we are incredibly proud of your accomplishment and look forward to seeing you live your purpose in college, career and beyond.”


6.14.21_BUSD_GRAD1: San Dimas High School Class of 2021 graduates celebrate during a commencement ceremony held June 8 at the San Dimas High football stadium. Family members cheered as more than 310 seniors gathered for the final time and received their diplomas during the socially distanced ceremony.

6.14.21_BUSD_GRAD2: Bonita High School Class of 2021 pose underneath the Bonita Bearcat as they prepare for their commencement ceremony held June 10 at the Bonita High football stadium. More than 460 Bonita seniors received diplomas amid cheers from family members during the socially distanced ceremony.

6.14.21_BUSD_GRAD3: Chaparral High School Class of 2021 graduates celebrate during a commencement ceremony held June 9 at the Bonita High School football stadium. Graduates wrote personalized notes about their high school journey, which were read aloud as they received their diplomas. Family members cheered during a socially distanced ceremony.