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.