You could say Dave Monti bleeds blue and white. He did his student teaching at Riverside-Brookfield High School, and now he can boast of 32 years there, teaching chemistry, general science, physical science and biology. He created a zoology class that provided students the ability to work with the Brookfield Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, the forest preserve.

Monti also served for eight years as a wrestling coach, a sport he had done in high school with his father as his coach.  

Dave Monti

Now his passion is chess, and he serves as sponsor and coach of the Chess Club. In addition to wrestling, Monti’s dad taught him chess, which he has been playing since he was 4 years old.  

While at one time there had been a Chess Club at RBHS, it had been gone for some time when Monti reinstated it. Since then, Monti has been coach and they have qualified players for state 17 straight years. Monti says he sees parallels between wrestling and chess and brings those lessons to his chess students.  

The Chess Club meets weekly, with Monti setting up the competition schedule using a list of members from the Chess Club Association. This year RBHS’ team finished 101st out of 129 teams at the IHSA Chess State Finals, which wrapped up Feb. 11. During the seven-round tournament, the Bulldogs won twice, lost four times and earned a draw.

RBHS players at the state tournament included Jack Baird, David Gugliciello, Karl Demegillo, John Frieh, Quentin Rohner, Adrian Sanchez, Nathaniel Smolarek, David Vacca, Dylan Zec and Mateo Gonzalez.

Demegillo, a senior, was victorious in five of his seven matches to lead RBHS. Gugliciello, a sophomore, and Sanchez, a senior, each won four matches.

This year’s team winner was Stevenson High School. One of the RBHS team highlights was winning first place for a school of their size in 2016.  Monti and his team enjoyed their experience at the Civic Center in Peoria.  

Monti is also president of the Riverside Brookfield Education Foundation and of  the school’s Alumni Achievement Award Foundation Committee. He has also worked with the Aaron Semenske Scholarship Program and has coached Little League in Brookfield.  He is married to Brenda, a reading specialist, and are parents of Aaron and Alyssa.

It’s never too late to thank a teacher. Remember, they used to be a student before and know what it’s like. So, thank you, Dave Monti.