Video by Olivia Berden.
“Wear pink for Dubb” posts were reblogged, reposted, retweeted, and shared across Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and social media sites alike on the evening of Jan. 10. CVHS gathered together to support the speedy recovery of the incredible social studies and leadership teacher Nick “Dubb” Whitaker. He recently announced his unfortunate diagnosis of colon cancer.
Pink, Dubb’s favorite color, overflowed on the campus on Friday, Jan. 11. Students from his current classes and even his former graduated students visited him on his last day on the job before surgery.
All thanks to the sneaky skills of the leadership team, Dubb didn’t even know that the “pink day” was being organized.
“I have no idea how this happened, and no one believes me when I say that!” he said. “In the morning when I saw all the leadership kids wearing pink, I thought it was sweet, but as soon as I saw the choir kids wearing pink too, I definitely got a little suspicious. Then I saw the entire school, and I was just totally amazed. How did they do all of this?”
But why pink?
“I don’t know how it started,” he said. “I guess it’s because hot pink is not what I’m supposed to like, and it’s different.” With a laugh, he added, “I think it’s given guys an excuse to wear pink today!”
Michael Kentris, a CVHS social studies teacher and good friend of Whitaker, helped rally the staff. “Everyone has rallied up, and you can really see the amount of support there is behind colleagues. It speaks to how amazing our school really is. It was funny actually, Nick was just saying how more people dressed up for him than they did for homecoming!” he said.
After school that day, the CVHS staff gathered in front of the library to take a group picture. Laughing, smiling, and embracing, the picture perfectly encapsulated the support in our school’s outstanding staff. Light-hearted and playful, Dubb laid down in front of the shot posing, as teacher and photographer Jeff Vendsel joked, “Yes, work with me, work with me!”
At the end, the caring staff sang “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow,” and gave Dubb many hugs, thanks, and cheery good lucks.
“I know I sound like a Taylor Swift song or cheesy movie, but I really don’t know how to describe this incredible support. I don’t know how to process it all. I’ve gotten emails, visits, and warm wishes from current and even past students and families. It feels incredible to be here right now, and there is no place I’d rather be than Castro Valley. Where else could I have so much support?” Dubb said.
He is now resting from a successful surgery which was performed on Jan. 12, and he hopes to be back in action soon.