On a fateful day in the summer of 1965, before Bonnie’s first grade year, the young Vaughan Family: mom, dad, and four little kids, found themselves moving from lush Seattle to Oildale after Standard Oil transferred Mr. Vaughan’s job.
Bonnie’s athletic talent was obvious during her years attending Highland Elementary and Standard Jr. High. She still holds the long jump record at both schools and her coach at Standard remembers one track meet when Bonnie anchored the boys relay team for a big come from behind victory. She was NOR ‘Queen of the Court’ for her basketball skills and was a fierce competitor in the NOR softball program.
Bonnie came to North High in 1973, the same year Title IX went into effect. North’s administration selected Bonnie as the student representative for the school’s Title IX advisory committee.
As a freshman on North’s first ever girls’ track team, Bonnie set a long jump mark of 17’6”. All these years later, she still holds this record even though a knee issue ended her jumping career when she was a junior. Bonnie also competed in the low hurdles, the 220, 440, and various relay teams. Her long jump coach, Bill Bimat, was a huge inspiration for Bonnie all through high school and beyond. And with Coach Gary Kuster’s motivation, Bonnie became an accomplished hurdler and quarter miler.
Bonnie went out for volleyball her sophomore year and was voted “Most Improved Player” and named 2nd Team All-League. As a junior, she made 1st Team All-League and was voted MVP. Bonnie was 1st Team All-League again her senior year and was voted her team’s “Most Inspirational Player.” All these athletic accomplishments helped earn her the “Sam Lynn Award” as the school’s outstanding senior female athlete. Bonnie was also elected ASB Vice-President.
To help pay for college, Bonnie worked her high school weekends in the kitchen at North Kern Golf Course and, as a result, took up a life-long love for golf.
After high school, Bonnie went back north to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. She walked on to the UW volleyball team and earned a starting spot. After graduation Bonnie worked at the Washington Attorney General’s office, then in TV news at Seattle’s CBS affiliate until winning a round trip ticket to Finland and spending much of the next three years traveling through Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia. Bonnie returned to Seattle to earn a teaching credential and a master’s degree then taught elementary school for 12 years.
Pursuing a passion for kayaking, Bonnie moved to an island in southern Chile and became the English teacher for the children of the island’s subsistence farming families. She came back to the States with a new calling to teach English as a second language. After earning an ESL certificate in 2004, Bonnie moved back to Oildale and now teaches grateful immigrants from all over the world at the Kern High School District’s Adult ESL program.
In 2010 Bonnie married the North High classmate who sat in the desk next to her every time he had the chance.