SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – Bonita High School students are diving into the world of video production through their partnership with LVTV-3 and the University of La Verne to produce Local Lens, a magazine show that highlights interesting people, stories and events in the community.

Video II teacher Paul Eichen has been partnering with LVTV station manager Ken Pucci over the past several years to help students with various Bonita High projects, including filming at sports games and graduations. This year, Eichen and Pucci brought the idea of Local Lens to students as a project they could complete for their Purpose-Driven, Active, Career Exploration (PACE) graduation requirement.

“The big idea was that students would get to work in a TV production environment using a different set of gear than what I have in my program,” Eichen said. “My hope is that they can apply those skills to my class this fall and continue building on what they have learned.”

Local Lens is a student-produced show from start to finish – including writing, reporting, directing and editing. LVTV-3 agreed to a two-show partnership in which they would provide mentorship and guidance to students throughout the production of the show.

The first episode of Local Lens featured the La Verne Historical Society, local artists, summer entertainment opportunities and more. The second episode featured spotlights on a local martial arts academy that caters to students with special needs, a local punk rock band made up of Bonita High School alumni and the progress of the Metro “A” Line.

Bonita High seniors Andrew Rolon and Ethan Santiago served as on-camera hosts for Local Lens and led interviews in the field. Both students felt that working on the show helped them with their social skills and gave them a better perspective on people and events in La Verne and other local communities.

“Working on Local Lens helped us connect with interesting people in our community. It gave us a better feeling of what is going on in our own backyard,” Rolon said. “It was kind of nerve-wracking being in front of the camera, but having our team there working with us allowed us to have fun on the set and out in the field.”

Bonita senior Nadia Cole-Gutiérrez served as a producer on Local Lens, handling a number of tasks that included writing, editing, preparing the daily call sheet and making sure the production stayed organized. She appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with ULV and work with its state-of-the-art equipment in a professional environment.

“I prefer to stay behind-the-scenes,” Cole-Gutiérrez said. “It was a great opportunity to spend time with my classmates and also get a glimpse of college life.”

The production of the show fulfilled the first component of Bonita High’s PACE project, which tasked students with working in an industry of their choice during the summer between their junior and senior year. The second phase of the project involves students writing an eight-page paper about the hours they spent in the industry. The project concludes with students delivering a presentation to a panel of judges at the end of the school year about their overall experience.

“The PACE project is so important for our students because it gives them an early look into what their passions are and helps them decide whether they want to make them into a career,” Bonita High School Principal Kenny Ritchie said. “It gives them an opportunity to find out what the job they’re interested in is really like and gives them a leg up in the industry.”


BUSD_LOCAL_LENS1: Bonita High School students Joseph Estrella and Ethan Santiago anchor the second segment of Local Lens, a video magazine, a project completed in partnership with the University of La Verne to fulfill Bonita’s Purpose-Driven, Active, Career Exploration (PACE) graduation requirement.

BUSD_LOCAL_LENS2: Bonita High School Video II students partnered with the University of La Verne over the summer to produce Local Lens, a video magazine spotlighting people and activities in the La Verne area, Students created the segments themselves and shared duties such as writing, filming, editing and hosting the program, which can be seen on YouTube.