SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – With the majestic presence of the San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop, Bonita Unified School District celebrated its Class of 2022 graduates with commencement ceremonies that honored the academic achievements, camaraderie and resilience of more than 800 students.
The ceremonies highlighted the myriad accomplishments of the Class of 2022, and put the spotlight on the graduates who will continue their education at institutions such as UCLA, USC, Duke University and Otis College of Art and Design, as well as those who have enlisted in U.S. Armed Forces or will enter the professional world.
“Every year, our graduates demonstrate what it means to be a Bonita Unified student by reaching new levels of achievement and exemplifying our core values of equity, mastery and a focus on results,” Bonita Unified Superintendent Carl Coles said. “Congratulations to the Class of 2022 on your incredible accomplishments. All of us in Bonita Unified look forward to seeing you live your purpose in college, career and beyond.”
Chaparral High School kicked off the week of celebrations on June 6 at the Bonita Center for the Arts, where families, friends, teachers and staff cheered, applauded and shed a few tears as 41 graduates accepted their diplomas.
Throughout the emotionally charged ceremony, the continuation school graduates expressed their gratitude to their families and friends, as well as Chaparral’s teachers, staff and administrators, for their unwavering support as they overcame personal and academic challenges on their paths to graduation. In turn, District administrators and Chaparral staff commended the Class of 2022 for their resilience and presented awards and scholarships for excellence in academics, outstanding citizenship, perseverance and more.
“Now I’m pretty sure starting at this school wasn’t an easy shift for any of you…it definitely wasn’t for me,” said Erykah Bishop, Chaparral’s Student of the Year, in a heartfelt address to her peers. “I never thought I’d be here today making this speech in front of all of you, about to accept my diploma and start the rest of my life. But getting to join a family like this one, filled with people that love and support you and never make you feel like you can’t succeed, [is] one of the biggest reasons why I’m up here today.”
Bishop will continue her education at Utah Technical University, where she will major in criminology; she also plans to pursue a doctorate and live her purpose of providing mental health support to the incarcerated.
San Dimas High School honored a highly accomplished class of approximately 280 graduates on June 6 at Saints Stadium during a spirited ceremony featuring musical performances, mid-speech selfies with the entire class, and streamers cascading through the air as graduates turned their tassels.
San Dimas High School’s accomplished senior class was led by valedictorian Rahul Mohan, with a 4.56 GPA, and salutatorian Alexa Garcia, with a 4.51 GPA. Mohan and Garcia delivered speeches that showcased the school’s excellence in academics, athletics, arts and activities, singled out teachers and staff for their positive impact, and provided advice for the future.
“As we leave Saints Stadium today, remember that we are given a new power: the ability to shape our future and make a difference in society,” Garcia said to her peers. “Pursue your passions and fight for what you love; don’t try to simply ‘get by’ in life. We’ve become more resilient and we’re ready to tackle whatever life throws us. Just imagine the impact that the San Dimas High School Class of 2022 can have on the world if we strive to reach our personal goals of success.”
Mohan and Garcia will pursue higher education at rival universities in the fall; Mohan will attend UCLA, while Garcia is headed to USC.
Bonita High School’s Class of 2022, proudly wearing their Bearcat colors of green and white, gleefully accepted their diplomas on June 9 while waving to friends and family. Approximately 417 graduates joined the Bonita High Chamber Singers in singing their alma mater one final time, while fireworks and streamer cannons filled Glenn Davis Stadium after the students tossed their caps into the air.
Bonita High saluted its top scholars, including valedictorian Akash Chauhan, who graduated with a 4.52 GPA and will attend UCLA, where he will major in computational and systems biology as he pursues a career as a doctor. In his speech, Chauhan praised his classmates’ resilience as they encountered obstacles that reshaped their high school experience.
“Trust me, COVID-19 affected the Class of 2022 the most,” Chauhan said. “But we got through it, and we figured it out. Because that’s what the Class of 2022 does – we figure it out. We figured out how to get past the global pandemic, we figured out how to make it here to graduation, and when that next big obstacle comes tumbling towards us, I promise you, we will inevitably figure it out once again.”
Chauhan is joined at the top of Bonita High School’s Class of 2022 by salutatorian Sam Liu, who graduated with a 4.5 GPA and will attend Purdue University to major in computer science and work toward a career as a software engineer.
“We are incredibly proud of the Class of 2022 for making the most of an unconventional high school experience and remaining focused on the goals,” Board of Education President Derek Bahmanou said. “The best is yet to come for our graduates, and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.”
BUSD_GRAD1: San Dimas High School Class of 2022 graduates capture the moment as streamers flutter through the air during the June 6 commencement ceremony.
BUSD_GRAD2: A Bonita High School graduate strides to her seat with excitement after receiving her diploma during a June 9 commencement ceremony.
BUSD_GRAD3: Chaparral High School graduate Sergio Correa is adorned with celebratory leis and surrounded by family after the school’s commencement ceremony on June 6.