Don Cerveris (Dormont, Pennsylvania, 15 October 1926 ) was an English teacher at Antelope Valley High School, where Zappa was a pupil. He later wrote the screenplay for Run Home Slow (1962), the first film Zappa wrote music for. Cerveris also introduced Zappa to his first manager, Mark Cheka.
As a mentor figure and personal friend Zappa included Cerveris in his list of influences in the liner notes of Freak Out! (1966). He is one of the people receiving thanks for their "very special but no less significant contributions" in The Yellow Shark liner notes.
Zappa about Don Cerveris
"My English teacher at A.V. was Don Cerveris. He was also a good friend. Don got tired of being a teacher and quit -- he wanted to be a screenwriter. In 1959, he wrote the screenplay for a super-cheap cowboy movie called Run Home Slow, and helped me get my first film scoring job on it."