The Board of Directors of the Chaffey High School Alumni Association announces that Niki Brown Rapattoni, Class of 1958, has been selected as the 2020 Tiger of the Year. Niki was nominated by her classmates Carolyn Barnard Pryor ’58 and 2016 Tiger of the Year and Robert Williams, Ph.D., ’58 and 2014 Tiger of the Year.
During her years at Chaffey, Niki was a member of the Scholarship Society for all four years; was ASB Treasurer and served on the Fasti staff her senior year and was basketball homecoming queen in 1958. During this time, she worked for Frank Stiffler Photography in Ontario – the official photographer for CHS senior pictures. Niki continued her education at Chaffey College and the University of Southern California where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene at USC’s School of Dentistry.
Niki’s early career (13 years) was as a dental hygienist. She and her husband Andy ’57 and 2010 Tiger of the Year started Rapattoni Corporation in 1970. The company, which is still in existence, provides an array of integrated products and services for real estate associations and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) organizations. Niki was named to the Top 25 Most Influential Women in Real Estate Leadership by the Active Rain Real Estate Network. Following the death of Andy in 2015, Niki assumed the position of CEO and Chairman of the Board of Rapattoni Corporation.
Niki and Andy were high school sweethearts, meeting because of their mutual interest in theater arts. This added another shared dimension to their lives. Beginning in 1980. they donated time, teaching, equipment and supplies to local theater groups, schools and churches. In 2012, they created the Rapattoni Drama Scholarship, awarded annually to an outstanding senior drama student at CHS. They also created the Ralph Rapattoni Watercolor Scholarship at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California in memory of Andy’s brother and provide funding for a memorial scholarship at Pasadena Art Institute.
On her own, Niki is an accomplished ice skater. From 1976 to 1986, she and her skating partner Tony Tovar competed in adult ice dance. Based on their ice dance routine, the US Figure Skating Association opened the first-ever national event for adult skaters and added the category for future events. Niki and Tony did most of their own choreography, and Niki made most of the costumes. Niki founded an adult precision ice skating team called The Fabulous Forties that competed and skated nationally and were three times national champions. She served on the board of directors for the Santa Monica Figure Skating Club for ten years, during which time she organized a show to send Olympic skaters Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner to the 1982 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games.
Other community activities include serving as a volunteer for the Children’s Service Auxiliary of Ventura County and participating in the organization’s annual drive for children’s clothing, toys and other needs of program participants. In 2013, Niki and her three grandsons (10-year old twins and a 5-year old) collaborated on a children’s book called Fur-Faced Friends. Niki is currently working on her memoir for her family.
Because the Class of 2020 Baccalaureate Service was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Niki was unable to deliver an inspirational message to the CHS Class of 2020. In its place, Niki provided a video which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRbJm73e_9I
Niki joins these other distinguished alumni in the Tiger Hall of Fame: Howard Tipton ’54; Robert Shaw ’33; Betty Davenport Ford ’42; Joseph Wambaugh ’54; Howard P. Allen ’44; H. Jack Meany ‘41’ John S. Graettinger, M.D. ’39; Ernest Payne ’25; Harold “Tony” Zenz ’28; Robert Lyn Nelson ’73; Kobe Shoji, Ph.D. ’38; Samuel P. Crowe ’53; Hobart “Hobie” Alter ‘51’ John Svenson ’42; Anthony Munoz ’76; Alan Paul Haskvitz ’60; Margaret Sanders Stewart ’39; Henry Bumstead ’33; John Dean, Ph.D. ’44; Glenn Goldsmith ’46; Jim Brulte ’74; Philo Biane ’28; Robert Graber ’31; Gary Ovitt ’65; James McVicker, Jr. ’70; Clyde Francisco ’45, Rear Admiral James Davidson ’56, Bruce Grube, Ph.D.’60, Richard Jones, Ph.D. ’51, Ed Berryman ’38, Leonard Mather, Ed.D. ’35, Don Morris, Ed.D. ’48, Patricia Sawyer Benner, Ph.D. ’60, Andy Rapattoni ’57, Col. David Forden ’66, Gary Byrne, Ph.D. ’60, Sue Olinger Ovitt ’65; Robert Williams, Ph.D. ’58; Thomas Moore, M.D. ’65, and Carolyn Barnard Pryor, Ph.D. ’58, Nancy DeDiemar Jones ’63, Phyllis White Bogard ’57 and Michael D. Moneta, M.D. ’74.
After more than forty years of teaching, educating, and mentoring, Dave Masterson, Chaffey High School Department Chair for the Visual and Performing Arts, retired on May 22, 2020. Dave began his career in 1984 teaching English and Dramatic Arts at Ontario High School. He moved to Rancho Cucamonga HS in 1993 and to CHS in 1996. Under his leadership, the Chaffey Theatre Program has been recognized nationally by USA Weekend Magazine as the best high school theatre program in the country, and in 2019 won the state’s leading educational honor of the Golden Bell Drama Award from the California School Board Association.
Over the course of 25 seasons, Masterson produced 45 theatrical shows and played to over 300,000 people – a milestone for any theatre and especially for a high school. He credits the involvement of faculty members, principals, administrators, and school board members (who often appear on stage with student actors) as contributing to the program’s success. CHS Principal Christina Martinez and Chaffey Joint Unified High School District (CJUHSD) Superintendent Mat Holton praised Dave’s work ethic, attention to detail in his productions, and leadership example for students and fellow teachers.
Masterson stated, “This has been more than a job. This has been a dream come true to work with the fine people of the CJUHSD, to have had outstanding production teams, to be surrounded by talented young people eager to master the art of acting, and to produce musicals in the beautiful GWS Auditorium.”
Niki Rapattoni ’58, 2020 Tiger of the Year, and donor since 2012 of the annual Rapattoni CHS Drama Scholarship said, “My late husband Andy ’57 and 2010 Tiger of the Year and I were students at Chaffey High School in the ‘50s. When we saw the work that Dave was producing we knew we had to be part of it by offering an annual scholarship to a graduating senior. With the respect and love he has garnered it is very hard to say goodbye to Dave and we hope he will continue to influence the coming productions with his spirit and support.”
In honor of his retirement, Masterson was surprised by a “Drive by Celebration” at his home on May 7, 2020.
Chaffey High School 2020 graduating senior, Zohary Gonzalez, has won the Rapattoni Drama Scholarship; the awardee will receive a $1,500-dollar scholarship for Outstanding Performance and Dedication in Chaffey High School Theatre. Due to the suspension of school for Covid-19 concerns, the award was presented online by the Principal of Chaffey High School, Christina Martinez, via a Power Point presentation.
According to Dave Masterson, Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department and recently retired, longtime Director of CHS Drama, “Zohary was selected for this recognition due to her scholarship, theatrical talent, commitment and dedication to the productions at Chaffey High School.” Zohary ranks in the top 25% of her senior class at Chaffey High School and has a 3.17 grade point average.
Dave continued by recalling, “Zohary’s first role for us at Chaffey Theatre Company was in the Fall of 2016, in the ensemble, as a townsperson in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. (12,200 patrons) She followed that show as an enchanted object and townsperson in the Spring of 2017 in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, (14,400 patrons); as a junior in 2018, Zohary portrayed Emily Hobbs, a lead in the Christmas retelling of the film classic Elf Jr. The Musical (5021 patrons) staged in smaller Merton E. Hill Auditorium, while Gardiner W. Spring Auditorium was being renovated. Miss Gonzalez’ 2019 Spring role included a star turn as Marcy Park in the hilarious The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. (4802 patrons). Lastly, in a shortened school year, in the Fall of 2019, but in a fabulously restored newly opened Gardiner W Spring Auditorium, she portrayed Mertina, a Mersister in Disney’s The Little Mermaid (15,035 patrons).”
Obtaining the rank of Thespian in Chaffey’s International Thespian Society Troupe 5535, Miss Gonzalez is a well-seasoned performer, having entertained over 51,000 patrons of Chaffey Theatre since first stepping onto her alma mater’s stage.
This is the 9th annual scholarship provided by Niki Brown Rapattoni, CHS class of 1958 and her husband, the late Andy Rapattoni, CHS class of 1957.
The two of them met in the Gardiner W Spring Auditorium in 1956 while attending their senior play. The high school sweethearts were married 57 years and are avid supporters of the CHS Alumni Association and Chaffey Theatre. (Andy was the 2010 CHS Alumni Tiger of the Year and spoke at that years’ Baccalaureate ceremony and Niki was slated to be this years’ 2020 Tiger.) When asked about the scholarship, co-benefactor Niki replied, “We are thrilled to once again provide this scholarship to Zohary Gonzalez, a deserving CHS graduating student who has excelled in Drama and plans to continue her pursuit in the Performing Arts with a vocal emphasis at The Young Americans College of Performing Arts.
Masterson declared, “The Rapattonis walked these grounds in the ‘50s, and began a lifetime of dedication and determination to support great causes and have continued ‘paying it forward.’ Zohary is a most deserving recipient of this annual scholarship and I know she will repay it forward just as her benefactors have.”
Zohary is the daughter of proud mother Pilar Gonzalez of Ontario.
Previous winners were: 2012-Gabriel Navarro; 2013-Vincent LaVigna; 2014-Jade Winter White; 2015-Jonathan Guevara; 2016-Adam Granados; 2017-Anthony Nelson; 2018-Ashley Flores; 2019-Jasmine Padilla; 2020-Zohary Gonzalez
CHS has a new principal — its 18th in the school’s 107-year history and the third woman in the position. Before being named principal, Christina Martinez served CHS first as assistant principal of achievement, and most recently as assistant principal of instruction. She was named principal in June 2018. Christina replaces Dr. George Matamala, who served from 2015 to 2018. George stepped down in June for personal reasons and is now vice-principal of Valley View High School.
Previous principals of CHS include Jefferson Taylor, who served from 1901, when the City of Ontario formed a school district to establish Ontario High School as the successor to the defunct Chaffey College of Agriculture, to 1911 when Ontario HS was renamed Chaffey HS to accommodate the wishes of Upland students who were scheduled to begin attending.
Merton E. Hill served from 1911-1931 as both CHS principal and superintendent of the Chaffey Union High School District. Merton E. Hill Auditorium in Tower Hall is named in his honor.
Gardiner W. Spring served from 1931 to 1931 before being named superintendent of the Chaffey Union High School District. He oversaw reconstruction of CHS campus buildings following the 1932 Long Beach earthquake. The main auditorium on campus is named in his honor.
Ernest W. Fischer is the longest-serving principal (1932-1950). He was followed by Ernest A. Payne (1950-1967), a 1922 graduate of CHS and 1985 CHSAA Tiger of the Year. Payne Field for baseball and soccer are named in his honor.
Cleo D. Martin served from 1967-1972 and was followed by Dr. Fred C. Adams (1972-1984. Dr. Adams founded CHSAA in 1974. Other principals include Dr. David O. Stine (1984-1988); Karen B. Dunn (1988-1990), the first female principal; Dr. Barry W. Cadwallader (1990-1993) who left CHS to become superintendent of CHJUSD; Dr. Glen C. England (1993-199a7); Jim Brodie (1997-2001; Dennis O’Connell (2001-2005); Dr. Tim Ward (2005-2009); Thomas O. Mitchell (2009-2012); Dawn Buboltz (2012-2015), and Dr George Matamala (2015-2018).
If you live locally and like the direction CHSAA is taking, you are invited to get in on the action by becoming a volunteer. You can choose how active you want to be and what projects interest you – we’ve very flexible!
We’ll keep posting opportunities for volunteers as they become available.
Built in 1932 at Fifth Street and Euclid Avenue, Tower Hall is the oldest building on the Chaffey campus and is built in Mission Revival style. The tower rises an estimated 120 feet and contains a clock face on all four sides and chimes.
CHS alumni remember that the clock and chimes were operating in the 1960s, but at some time – perhaps in the 1980s – stopped functioning. Attempts over the years to fix the clocks and chimes were unsuccessful until June 2016 when the clock and chime assembly was replaced with a new, digital model.
The clock now keeps accurate time on all four faces, and Westminster chimes ring every hour from 7 am to 6 pm.
The CHS Alumni Association has an inventory of Fastis from nearly every class.
These are in addition to the archival copies kept by the Alumni Association. We are particularly well stocked from the 1970s forward.
The cost is now $35 per Fasti which includes shipping.