Ronald E. Bright, the beloved Castle High School drama teacher who inspired thousands of students to learn — and to love — Broadway-style theater, died Tuesday at the age of 81.
Bright’s three children — Clarke Bright, Jodi Bright Stein, and Michael Bright — issued a statement Tuesday announcing his death, while asking for privacy.
“On behalf of the Ronald E. Bright family, we are saddened to report that our father, Ronald E. Bright, has passed away today,” the children said. “On behalf of his entire ‘ohana, we kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time. We appreciate your understanding.”
Services are pending.
More recently, Bright continued to direct Broadway-style shows at the Paliku Theater on the campus of Windward Community College.
Bright officially retired in 1988 after 41 years at Castle High School, then went on to serve as artistic director of the Castle Performing Arts Center which was based in a Castle High School theater named after him.
The Castle Performing Arts Center that Bright helped established in 1984 became a model for other schools.
“Ron Bright was a legend in the Hawaii State Department of Education for his work as an educator and mentor,” Hawaii schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said in a statement. “His excellence in education earned him the Milken Award in 1990; and in 1994, Castle High’s theater became the Ronald E. Bright Theater.”
“Mr. Bright, or ‘Mr. B.’ as he was affectionately known, has positively influenced countless number of students and educators. He taught students and friends to always believe in themselves. We are so grateful for his inspiring lessons,” Matayoshi said.