By Sean Pearson
The healthcare industry is hiring, and that means bright prospects for another crop of fresh Dozier-Libbey Medical High School graduates. On Friday, 3 June 2016, at 8:00 in the evening, the Dozier-Libbey Class of 2016 held their graduation ceremony at the outdoor amphitheater of Deer Valley High School in Antioch.
Joining the graduates’ families in celebrating their achievement were Antioch Unified School District Board of Trustees Vice President Walter Ruehlig, AUSD Trustee Fernando Navarro, AUSD Provisional Board Member Alonzo Terry, AUSD Associate Superintendent Tim Forrester, and Antioch City Councilwoman Monica Wilson.
The Board of Trustees’ decision to start all graduation ceremonies two hours later successfully avoided a repeat of the health crisis of June, 2015, which resulted in dozens of grandparents collapsing from heat exhaustion during commencement exercises and being transported to local emergency rooms. One relative of a graduate was overheard calling the decision “genius”.
Ruehlig, using a book as a metaphor for an individual’s life, concluded his brief remarks with this exhortation: “My closing prayer, then, is that each of your chapters ends with the same three words you finished with at Dozier-Libbey: job well done.”
Graduate Michelle de los Reyes reminded her classmates how excited their families had been at their admission to the academically challenging pathway school, where they all wore medical scrubs as their school uniform. Graduate Andrés Soto reflected on the gap between fantasy and reality: “Unfortunately, Disney didn’t get their facts right.”
Bergerhouse named several students as he shared some of the valuable memories from their time at Dozier-Libbey. When teacher Mark Libbey rose to read the names of the graduates, he was welcomed with loving applause. After the reading, the class president and valedictorian each gave some closing remarks, challenging the students to go face the world with boldness and vision. While thousands of high school seniors in Contra Costa County are graduating this spring, this small group of less than 200 can start college knowing they are especially well prepared for their future studies in health sciences.