SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – Bonita Unified School District celebrated achievements in academics, athletics, arts and activities – and honored the students, staff and community partners who have supported these successes – during the 2022 State of the District luncheon, held April 12 at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center.

During the event, Superintendent Carl Coles reflected on the District’s successes over the last year – including CIF championships, award-winning arts programs, Chaparral-Vista High School’s recognition as a 2021 Model Continuation High School, the District’s No. 1 ranking on the California Reading Coalition’s California Reading Report Card and the expansion of the District’s career technical education (CTE) program.

“Education is full-circle, and our students sitting in the classrooms today will have the responsibility to safeguard our future,” Coles said. “They will become our elected officials, scientists, researchers, business owners, and more. When you think about it, it’s a pretty big task, but Bonita Unified is up for that challenge. This school district is a place for every single student; it’s a place for scholarship, a place for student-athletes, for performers…this is a place where students get to turn their passion into action, and advocacy into change.”

Coles also outlined the District’s goals for the coming years, which include the launch of a universal transitional kindergarten program in 2022-23 that is open to all four-year-old children, as well as a recommitment to closing achievement gaps and pursuing proficiency levels of 80 percent in English language arts and 70 percent in math, using the 2021-22 state standardized test results as its baseline.

Coles also acknowledged the academic and social-emotional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Bonita Unified students, and outlined the District’s endemic strategy to support student success.

The strategy includes robust summer school offerings for 2022 and 2023; providing at least 15 additional intervention sections at the secondary schools and 10 additional intervention teachers at the elementary schools through 2024; increasing the staff of mental health counselors; addressing student behavioral needs through two behavioral interventionists; expanding CTE pathways at all high schools; expanding school age care services for unduplicated TK-6 students; and more.

Student talents were also on full display throughout the event. Attendees were treated to the musical stylings of the San Dimas High School Jazz Band and the Bonita High School Chamber Singers as they enjoyed hors d’oeurves prepared and served by Bonita and San Dimas culinary students. San Dimas High School’s digimedia students showcased their skills in video and sound recording as they filmed the event.

The spirit of celebration continued as Bonita Unified School District recognized employees and community partners for their service to BUSD students and staff, bestowing them with the District’s highest honor: the Bonita Purpose Award.

Representatives from the La Verne/San Dimas Educational Foundation, the San Dimas Masonic Lodge, the La Verne Historical Society and the San Dimas Rotary Club were honored with the award. Chris Ann Horsley, the District’s Senior Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction who will retire at the end of the 2021-22 year, was also honored with the award.

Bonita Unified also recognized nine high school students who committed to enlist in the military after graduation, student-athletes who won CIF championships, and the District’s mental health staff by presenting them with challenge coins.

“In the past three years BUSD has expanded trade skill pathways, implemented a robust and effective mental health program, received a best workplace award three years in a row, and ranked No. 1 in reading education,” Bonita Unified Board of Education President Derek Bahmanou said. “Thank you to all of our teachers, staff and community partners for their support, dedication and effort. We sincerely appreciate all of the amazing work you have done to help our students achieve at such a high level.”


BUSD_SOTD_1: Bonita High School Chamber Singers impressed the crowd with rousing renditions of classics such as “Pure Imagination” during Bonita Unified’s State of the District luncheon, held at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center.

BUSD_SOTD_2: Bonita Unified seniors who intend to join the armed forces after graduation were presented with challenge coins during the State of the District luncheon on April 12.

BUSD_SOTD_3: San Dimas High School student Alexa Garcia performs a lively rendition of “Europa” as part of the San Dimas High Jazz Band during the State of the District luncheon on April 12.