In loving memory of Nicholas “Dubb” Whitaker

On September 17, 2015, Castro Valley High School lost one of its own. Dubb was a truly one-of-a-kind teacher and student activities coordinator, acting as the heart of the campus. His legacy includes countless years working with CVHS leadership in developing the best activities possible, and bringing out the spirit in our entire student body. He will be greatly missed. The Olympian sends its condolences to his family and friends.

Below are messages submitted by students, teachers, parents, and community members who were touched by Dubb’s kindness. If you would like to send in your own, do so here. Email photos to This page will be updated frequently over the next few days in order to add new submissions. 

“Hello my name is Isaac Henwood, I am a senior at CVHS, I was born with Autism, I was bullied all through middle school and when I came to CVHS I felt like I could have fun. All of the Leadership students and Dubb were so nice to me, I finally felt happy! I tried out for Leadership in my 9th and 10th grade, I did not make it but Dubb let me be a part of Leadership by attending every Friday 3rd period. Dubb let me come to his class before school, at lunch and made me feel like I was a part of the Leadership team, he really was the only person that made me happy to come to school. I miss Dubb so much.”

Isaac Henwood, Student, Class of 2015 

“You were the sunshine in our school even during the cloudiest days.”

Anonymous, Student, Class of 2015

“The first time I met Dubb was when our daughters were on swim team together. I was bowled over by his genuine kindness. Throughout our time at CVHS he was always the most helpful and selfless person there. He truly went above and beyond to help any and everyone and was always my rock of the school. We will miss him terribly. The Donovans think the world of their Dubb <3”

Donovan Family

“I miss you!!”

Jervis, Colleague

“I have never met any person as special as Dubb, and I doubt I will ever meet another who compares to him. Dubb was the heart and soul of our community. He held us together, he supported us, and he encouraged us through everything. These past here years knowing Dubb, never did I once hear him complain about anything. His office door was always open for anyone to come in and talk, laugh, or cry, whether he knew them or not. Even upon meeting him you felt like you’ve been friends forever. Thank you, Dubb, there won’t be a day in the rest of my life when I’m not thinking about you. Until we meet again, love forever and always.”

Anonymous, Student, Class of 2017

“Dubb had an a huge impact on CVHS. There was never a day when he didn`t have smile on his face. I love you Dubb. May your soul rest in peace.”

Mehak Grewal, Student, Class of 2017

“My dearest angel smiling down on me today, Last night my heart shattered, and Heaven gained the greatest angel. I can’t conjure up the words let alone sentences to describe my gratitude and love for you right now. You are the closest person to perfect I knew. You are the definition of beautiful. You have the most beautiful, compassionate, and loving soul I have ever come across. Your smile is radiant and your presence is uplifting. There was never a day in my four years of high school where you failed to make me happy. Every time you caught me cutting class, you would always shake your finger at me because you only ever wanted what was best for me. Whenever I was having a bad day or even just really bored, you would welcome me into your office with open arms. Those hugs, those hugs that felt so safe, so warm, so personal and true. I love the conversations we would have and the jokes we would share. You always wanted what was best for me and always wanted to make sure I was on track to go to college. We would have great conversations over the phone and our texts were so fun to re-read whenever I felt sad because your words were always so comforting. One of my favorite texts you sent me was “If Kylie grows up to be half as wonderful as you I will be the happiest parents on earth. I am so thankful for you, Love you forever.” Our lunch dates to chipotle were always the most fun. Sophomore year, you encouraged me to enter the “school matters” writing contest because it would be good practice. I decided to write about you since one of the prompts was to write about a teacher in the school district. I’m glad I wrote that essay because I actually won sixth place out of hundreds of entries. I know I wouldn’t have placed if I didn’t have such a good person to write about. You were so proud of me and I was so happy you liked the paper. Throughout high school you never ever put yourself before anyone. You were just the most amazing man on the planet. You gave everything and neither expected nor wanted anything in return. You always helped others before helping yourself even if you had just met them a minute ago. You always encouraged people to do their best and to be happy. You were always so happy and touched by the simplest things. It’s so hard not to be mad when you yourself never showed a sign of frustration or anger during the entire process. How do you even carry on once your best friend is no longer on this earth? The bright side is that you are finally at peace now, and NOBODY deserves that more than you. There will never be another Nick Whitaker on this planet. A man so genuine patient and kind. He was one-of-a-kind and I feel privileged to simply have known him. The only thing you were wrong about was when you would tell me you loved me more. No way in the world is that true because I love you more. Nicholas Whitaker, you are my best friend, my role model, my hero, and my inspiration. There won’t be a day that goes by where I won’t think of you and miss you terribly. Please continue to shine down on all of us with your never ending love and kindness. I love you forever my beautiful angel, Emma”

Emma Donovan, Student, Class of 2015

“Mr. Whitaker thank you for being the best teacher I ever had. I have taken all the things you talked about in my elective psychology class and still refer to your lessons at 23 years old. You never ever let me put myself down and believed in my ideas. You gave me a reason to want to graduate and put my life into perspective. You are greatly missed and I know that god has gained one hell of an angel and I know you are gonna keep a close on us in our endeavors. You are more than one of a kind and saying goodbye is not easy. I will never stop saying thank you and feeling lucky that I was just one of the many whose lives you impacted for the better. REST IN PARADISE DUBB”

Briana Aquino, Student, Class of 2010

“We will remember him most for his compassion for others and ability to forgive.”

Heuer Family

“My time with Nick was brief… But I will always cherish him as a true friend. He is the only person I have ever honestly admired. And he makes me strive to be a better person. Love you forever Nick.”

Lisa Wasserman, Colleague

“Although I didn’t get to know Dubb personally, I can feel the impact he had with the people who were lucky to meet him and CVHS as a whole. I would see him around campus smiling and lightening up people’s days. He was a huge influence on many people’s lives and continues to be an inspiration to many generations to come. Your genuity has touched everyone’s hearts, Dubb. Rest in peace.. your legacy will never be forgotten.”

Tyler Quan, Student, Class of 2016

“He was original. He broke through what people considered normal, he acted as himself and not what others wanted him to act, not what some parents and staff wished he would act, but as HE was and felt. He stood up against bullying involving students & staff and promoted individuality and self expression. I remember when I first saw this punk rock guy in the hallway and then the look of students when they realized it was the teacher. That moment I knew it was going to be an awesome year. I have met only 3 instructors my entire life, including college level, that project themselves for who they are, even if it raises eyebrows. I learned from him that it IS okay to be different and you should not change to appease others because thats what they feel normal. Mr. Whitaker grabbed stereotypes and squashed them. It is a true shame that such a great person passed away. He offered and gave so much & impacted so many people. I will miss you but we will cross paths again.”

Anonymous, Student, Class of 2012

“I was at the dog park some Wednesdays with Emma (my mastiff) and it was nice to find a family that had mastiffs and appreciated gentle giants. Later i realized he was an instructor from my former high school; time had passed. He told me the story on how he got them, which was totally amazing. He and his family would walk them down Grove and Betlen. Even if I wasn’t home Emma alerted my mom or whoever that they were walking by and all she wanted was to play with them and if someone was home I was glad that they would let Emma say hello as it made her day every time time she saw them from 2012-present. Thank you for your kindness. ”

Anonymous, Student, Class of 2012

“Although Dubb was only my teacher for CCG, I’m greatly saddened by his passing. I never knew Dubb personally, but everyday I would cut through his class to go to the choir room and see him there. He was always making people laugh or making someone smile. It was great seeing such energy in someone and it just made me smile everyday. Dubb was such a supportive and caring person in my days as his student. I miss him and he’s impacted so many people, that we as students will never forget Dubb. Although he passed away, he left us with a sense of passion and greatness for this school. Dubb was a great man… May he rest in peace.”

Matt Co, Student, Class of 2016

“Although I didn’t get to know you very well, you have still left a big impact on Castro Valley High and me as well. You are amazing and will always be remembered, respected, and loved. Thank you Dubb.”

Chizuru Tanaka, Student, Class of 2018

“Throughout the years I often forget a patient’s name or face. Yours I never will. Nope, it’s not the Mohawk or the painted nails I will remember most, although they were so colorful and eye catching! It’s the heart I will remember, the willingness to put others before himself, the drive to make our kids better people. That’s what I’ll remember for. So to you Nick, Yes, I’ll eat the cake, I’ll always be nice to others, and I’ll hug my dog everyday. My final message to you is: yes, you don’t have to floss anymore. Rest in peace on your fluffy pink cloud.”

Rebecca Fain, Dental Hygienist

“Inspirational role model.”

Jalen Mcferren, Student, Class of 2014

“Dubb had the biggest heart and the brightest smile. If anyone knew him just the slightest bit, they would know that he gave hugs that could solve any problem and repair any broken heart. Don’t even get me started on his laugh. When he would laugh, something inside of me would flutter. To me, he was angelic even when he was alive. It surprised me how happy he was on Mondays and I was absolutely flabbergasted seeing him smile after being diagnosed with cancer. He was always happy and even if he WASN’T happy for some reason, he smiled to teach all of CVHS that being happy and taking care of yourself is the only important thing on this planet. Dubb always made everyone laugh and happy. He hated seeing tears and that’s the only thing helping me and some students accept his passing but in reality, crying and being sad that such a beautiful soul is simply GONE, is inexorable. It breaks my heart that he is gone and that my eyes will never see him again but, I have a sense of relief. Relief because the fight is over. The pain is gone. Every night, Dubb will get a special prayer from me, both in English and in Arabic. Every night I will imagine him giving me his bear hugs that no one else knows how to give. Every night, we will say goodnight to each other and every morning I will greet him with a smile. He is gone physically, but he’s still in my heart. Forever and always, always and forever.”

Janetta Redzic, Student, Class of 2016

“I can’t say I knew Dubb, and he probably didn’t know me either. But something about the loss of a such a genuinely, positive human being just put my usual unemotional self in a strange trance for the entire day. It’s hard to accept that the world lost a wonderful being yesterday, but that’s not the end of it. It’s now our turn to show others the same compassion he has exhibited to us. Keep smiling, cause he will too…”

Terry Kwok, Student, Class of 2016

“Dubb was a ray of light. He lived his life with optimism and a glowing smile. He taught me that a hug can solve almost any problem.”

Taylor Wade, Student, Class of 2016

“We as a community have always admired his strength and generosity. He will be dearly missed <3”

Elicia Tiano, Student, Class of 2016

“Although I didn’t know Dubb personally, I will miss him. I remember seeing him on campus would make my day a little better. Maybe it was his implied flamboyance or the persistent smile on his face. These vague memories of him will always linger in my mind. A pink hairtie that a friend gave me that Friday will always hold some stigma, but also some nostalgia. May you rest in peace, Dubb.”

Anonymous, Student, Class of 2016

“Thanks and rest easy!”

Daniel Lee, Student, Class of 2017

“One day, Dubb was stalking people on Aeries, a fairly common occurrence. Since I walked into his office, he looked up my student profile and showed me my ID photo. Since I’m definitely not a fan of that photo, I immediately tried to cover it up and said, “But I look so fat!” He burst out laughing, called people in to show them my ID picture, downloaded it, and set it as his desktop background. Thanks a lot, Dubb. <3″

Jessica Yin, Student, Class of 2016

“Dubb has always brought smiles to our community, no matter what, there was always a smile on his face. Every time I passed the leadership room, the room would be filled with laughter. When you passed by him, he would always smile and say hi and ask how you were doing and give you a hug. It was always about that hug life. Dubb will always be in our memories and our hearts. Thank you for all that you have done for C.V.H.S. and making it a great school.”

Anonymous, Student

“A teacher recognizes an outstanding teacher when they meet one. Two of my three sons were lucky enough to have Nick for a teacher. They loved him and his class as many CVHS students did. He wrote a wonderful letter of recommendation for my oldest son, Michael. As many of you know, Nick had a way with words. Nick worked with the baseball moms and made sure his leadership kids were professional as they helped out a numerous baseball banquets. of course, he was there too even though he was giving up his Saturday for the baseball team. As a mom and an educator I recognize the numerous contributions Nick made for Castro Valley High School. The Coleman family has shed a few tears, but are very grateful to have met the one and only Nick Whitaker.”

Teresa Coleman, Parent of Student

“I don’t think there was ever a time I passed by Dubb that he didn’t say hi to me. Although I never got the honor of really getting to know him, he made these past 3 years of high school so much more enjoyable in so many ways. Rest easy, you deserve it.”

Anna Nguyen, Student, Class of 2016

“Thank you for doing all you could for CVHS. You earned everyone’s respect through your righteous deeds and way of friendship with all the students, teachers, and co-workers. Even though I could not get to personally know you, you are definitely a role model for me. We will miss you, Dubb. Everyone will remember you for how awesome you were, in every way possible. Anyone who went to CVHS while you were here had the best luck yet; being impacted with your charisma was a gift only the extremely lucky could have and will always be remembered from this student right here.”

Sanjeev Sinha, Student, Class of 2016

“Dubb’s positive impact spanned generations of students and teachers.”

Spencer Shaw, Student, Class of 2016

“Thank you. For high school, for the memories, for the laugh, for always just being there, I just want to say thank you. Thanks Dubb”

Anonymous, Student, Class of 2012

“Dubb was a cool inspiring teacher and a great friend.He would always be  the one in the hall who would stop you and hug you.He would spend a minute just to compliment you and share a laugh and a smile.His smile brightened up the day and he had a colorful personality.He had very colorful mowhawks and we shared so many memories that I will remember for eons.I miss you Dubb,It’s weird saying I won’t be able to see you smile in the hall anymore,but stay with DeJulia and keep her safe for me,please. Love and miss you both.”

 Rebecca Goddin, Student, Class of 2016




2 thoughts on “In loving memory of Nicholas “Dubb” Whitaker

  • July 8, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    Dear my hero Nick
    I remember coming into your office to have lunch at lunchtime
    I love you so much and miss you Dad
    I felt like I could talk to you
    You would listen to me
    I don’t know why God would take you away
    When we needed you here with us
    I prayed for you to get better
    But God has proven me wrong
    I don’t like it one bit
    You were very patient with me
    You were a role model to me
    I will never forget you
    You will forever be in my heart
    Rest in peace
    I love you so much I miss you so much
    I don’t know how to move on

  • September 26, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    I honestly don’t know where to begin with this…. but the first time I crossed paths with that energetic self of you was when I joined the Link Crew group. Even though I didn’t consider myself a leader nor even a counselor, I knew right there and then that you wanted to change every single individual mind in that room including the students that became counselors. You wanted us to become leaders, true examples for the younger incoming staff. All I can remember is you telling me ” Don’t worry, If you get nervous talking in front of the crowd then just smile. I’m sure they will smile back and you will feel better.” I ended up joining link crew for the next couple years because of how passionate you were not only to those incoming but to the team as well. You made the comment of being a ” Family” more then I can count and because of that I continue to strive in my career of helping others. Hopefully one day, I can help just as many as you did. You taught not only myself but to countless others that even just a simple “hello” or a yell from across the courtyard saying “I LOVE YOU MORE!” could literally bring someone up from their knees to smile and take on the rest of the day. Thank you Mr. Whitaker “Dubb”.

    Friend. Husband. Brother. Father. Role Model.
    May you rest in peace

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