SAN DIMAS/LA VERNE – Bonita Unified has been recognized as the San Gabriel Valley’s Favorite School District and San Dimas High School was voted Favorite Public High School in the Inland Valley, according to the Southern California News Group’s 2023 Readers Choice Awards, reflecting the District’s commitment to providing positive and nurturing environments that allow its students to achieve at the highest levels.

This is the second consecutive year Bonita Unified has been recognized in the annual readers’ poll, which is a joint venture between members of the news group, including the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Pasadena Star News and the Whittier Daily News. Votes were tallied from ballots that ran in the group’s newspapers and corresponding website during March and April.

The 2022-23 school year brought many accolades and memorable moments throughout Bonita Unified, beginning with the golden anniversary of the Smudge Pot in September, a cherished football rivalry between Bonita and San Dimas high schools that began in 1972. To mark the occasion, the District welcomed back nearly two dozen former Bearcats and Saints players and coaches, who came to reminisce and cheer on their alma maters.

Shull Elementary School was honored as a National Blue Ribbon School for the second time and Oak Mesa Elementary School was named a 2023 California Distinguished School for the fourth time, both recognizing the schools’ educational excellence. The District’s inclusive preschool program – known as Building Lifelong Academic Skills Together (BLAST) – was identified as an exemplary program by the California Early Childhood Special Education Network, a state-funded project that aims to address and eliminate barriers to successful transition, assessment and access to educational programming for California’s youngest children with disabilities.

Director of Educational Technology Kris Boneman was named the California IT in Education (CITE) 2022 Educational Leader of the Year, while Bonita High School saw students receive prestigious Edison and National Merit scholarships for the first time in school history. Two dozen Bonita and San Dimas high school students were recognized with National Recognition awards from the College Board, an honor given to underrepresented students for academic excellence.

Additionally, six Bonita Unified students were selected to perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade, and Chaparral/Vista High School student chefs wowed its competition by capturing first place in the Bonita PTA Council Chili Cook-Off. Lone Hill Middle School’s student-led dance team captured the hearts of their classmates, while the Ramona Middle School Drama Society provided opportunities to students looking to become thespians.

“We are honored to receive the award this year, as it reflects our ongoing commitment to providing the Bonita Unified community with the high-quality education they have come to expect year after year,” Superintendent Matt Wien said. “Congratulations to all of our students, teachers and staff on this well-deserved recognition.”

San Dimas High had a stellar school year that saw its culinary arts and sports medicine pathways participate in national competitions, with its ProStart Restaurant Management students taking third place for a fictitious fast-casual restaurant called “Cheat Day” at the ProStart Nationals, held in Washington, D.C. in May.

The College Board recognized the school with its AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for its work in establishing equal gender representation in STEM, while its Associated Student Body was honored by the California Association of Student Leaders with its Outstanding Leadership Program award for inspiring students to become ethical, responsible and servant-minded leaders.

San Dimas High athletics won 23 team and individual CIF Southern Section awards during the 2022-23 school year, while its cheer team was crowned CIF-SS Division 2A champions, and its cheer pros team won a state championship in tumbling.

“San Dimas High is honored to be listed among the top institutions in the Inland Valley. Thank you to the readers who voted us as their favorite school,” Principal Scott Sparks said. “This is another big win for our students and staff. When you come to our campus you can immediately feel the Saints spirit in the classrooms and hallways, which is a testament to the great work being done here.”


BUSD_READERSCHOICE1: San Dimas High School Class of 2023 graduates walk arm in arm during the school’s commencement ceremony. San Dimas High was voted the Inland Valley’s Favorite Public High School in the Southern California News Group’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards.

BUSD_READERSCHOICE2: Transitional kindergarten students at La Verne Heights Elementary engage in hands-on lessons during the 2022-23 school year. Bonita Unified School District was voted the San Gabriel Valley’s Favorite School District in the Southern California News Group’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards, reflecting the District’s positive and nurturing environments that empower students to achieve at the highest levels.