By Sarah Berjan
Since 1966, students and teachers have come and gone through the gates of Bonita Vista High School. Their individualities have shaped how Bonita Vista is today.
“When I attended [Bonita Vista High School], there was definitely less diversity. I believe there was about 50 percent of Caucasian students, 40 percent of Hispanic decent and maybe five percent of Asian descent. I would say there was about two percent African American students and minority groups who made up the 1 percent. The student body is much more diverse now, ” Biology teacher, Keith DeWalt said.
BVH Alumni, Keith DeWalt was a member of the senior class of 1996. Shortly after graduating San Diego State University, DeWalt accepted an opening as a Biology teacher.
“When I first started in 2003, it was like survival. As a new teacher, you just kind of wanted to get through. I am trying to make my class more interesting by assigning more labs and making learning hands on. I want my curriculum to be suitable for everybody, educational, relevant and fun,” DeWalt said.
There are a handful of BVH alumni who are working for the school, according to DeWalt- one of them being United States History teacher, Candice DeVore. Now being staff members of their home school, they were able to witness how the school changed.
“A few of [my former teachers] retired but some of them were in the earlier parts of their career. Mr. Helle was my IB English teacher, and I had Mr. Ohlendorf for chemistry,” DeVore said. “I taught the younger siblings of the [people] I graduated with. It is just a normal part of being a young teacher, especially in the school that you had graduated from and the community that you grew up in.”
One of the major changes being the way students interacted with each other. Cellular phones were not used primary form of communication, according to DeVore. Instead, students utilized notes to deliver messages to one another. She claims to have collected binders filled with notes she received while attending BVH.
“Interactions with people now can be a bit superficial but I can’t [deny] that superficiality didn’t exist back in the day either,” DeVore said. “Bonita has changed but I would say that I ever want to change it back to anything. As I grow older, my memory [feels] more nostalgic and that is something that is always a danger. The only difference is the way that students relate to each other changed, simply because of the technology that evolved,” DeVore said.
Other teachers like health teacher, Shannon Bruce witnessed how BVH changed through student interactions. Teaching “life,” as Bruce often calls her curriculum, enabled her to interact with students with the subject that everyone will encounter.
“I am in touch with about a thousand of my former students and I will probably be in touch with a thousand more. Some of them are having children and some of them are getting married. Unfortunately, some have passed away. It is so interesting to see that evolution of people,” Bruce said.