Updated: Jul 17, 2021
by Pat Ross
From the Philippines to Dover (and a few stops along the way), the Dover Dems' Luz Bay is up for any Challenge
In a city with an energetic volunteer base, Dover’s Luz Bay is a standout. Luz commits her time and resources to many causes, perhaps none closer to her heart than the Dover Democratic Committee (DDC).
Luz has been active in the DDC for three and a half years and has served on its Executive Committee since 2017. She is part of a team that develops educational programming for the members and the public, including candidate forums, programs focusing on local and state government, and discussions about critical issues, such as immigration.
The capstone of Luz’s commitment to Democratic values and the electoral process is her appointment as a delegate representing Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) at the Democratic National Convention this August. In advance of the New Hampshire Primary, Luz won one of eight spots on the Amy Klobuchar delegate slate for Congressional District 1. After the Primary, the Klobuchar delegate group was reduced to two, one of whom was Luz. On April 25, she was elected to serve as a member of the 33-person delegation from New Hampshire.
An Exceptional Student
As a young girl in her native Philippines, Luz probably didn’t imagine one day having a bird’s eye view of high-level politics, especially halfway around the world in the United States. But her childhood determination to achieve prepared her for a life of challenges and accomplishments.
It was at age 13 that Luz, a public school student in the Batangas province, was selected to be one of 240 students to receive a scholarship to the prestigious Philippine Science High School. This meant being in boarding school with a STEM career in sight. A full college scholarship enabled Luz to study mathematics at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños.
After earning a B.S. degree, Luz came to the United States to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where she remained to earn her Ph.D. in educational measurement and statistics. Both of her graduate degrees were fully supported with research and teaching assistantships.
While serving as an intern at ACT, a producer of achievement assessments in Iowa City, Luz was offered a full-time job as a psychometrician. Psychometricians use mathematical models to report student test results in a way that is reliable, useful, and leads to correct inferences about students. Luz finished her doctorate degree within a year while working full time.
Life in Dover: Joys and Challenges
While at ACT, Luz met her future husband, Michael Nering, also a psychometrician. In December 1988, Luz and Mike left ACT and Iowa to move to Dover and join Measured Progress. This time period was marked by joyous moments like getting married and starting a life and new careers together. It was also during this period when Luz was diagnosed with breast cancer and received treatment for the first time.
The Nering-Bay family grew with the births of Lucas in 2000 and Lina in 2004. Between two careers and the joys and challenges of raising toddlers, they had a busy, happy life. But in the summer of 2007 they faced Luz’s second breast cancer diagnosis. Ten years later, Luz was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time.
Mere mortals would rest on their laurels after the good and the bad that Luz and her family faced. To the contrary, Luz ramped up her activity in Democratic politics, her career, and involvement in her children’s schools. But there was still a missing piece of the puzzle: marathons.
Running to Give Back
Luz started running in 2012 through the Run for God 5K program at her church – Parish of the Assumption in Dover. In 2015, she ran her first long-distance race – the Honolulu Marathon. The following year she ran the New York City Marathon, which was her first Abbott World Marathon Major competition.
It was while training for her next marathon that Luz was diagnosed the third time. Barely two weeks after completing the Chicago Marathon, she underwent a radical bilateral mastectomy. The day after Luz’s surgery, Mike’s mother, a two-time breast cancer survivor, passed away. It was then that Luz decided to run the Boston Marathon.
The 40-degree temperature, wind, rain and hail that confronted Boston Marathoners in 2018 was nothing compared to the cancer treatments Luz was undergoing. She ran the race on behalf of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and raised $20,000 to fund its research. Later that year, she ran the Berlin Marathon. And in 2019, Luz tackled the Tokyo Marathon and then the London Marathon, an opportunity to raise funds for the U.K.s “Breast Cancer Now” charity.
The London race earned Luz the Abbott World Marathon Majors Six-Star Medal – an award received by only 6,600 marathoners.
Goals for the Future
Luz continues to find fulfillment in her family life and her psychometric career at the College Board. She still runs and has also taken up standup paddleboarding. And her involvement with government remains strong: this coming election season, she is running as the Democratic candidate for the Register of Probate for Strafford County!
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content and the opinions expressed within it. For information on the Dover Democratic Committee, our mission, values and policies, please see “About Us” on this website.
Pat Ross came to Dover from Washington, D.C. 30 years ago. Her areas of expertise were corporate communications and public affairs and she held positions in the energy, financial services and publishing sectors. In Dover, she was employed for 15 years at Measured Progress, an educational testing firm, serving as Corporate Communications Manager. Now retired, Pat participates in various community initiatives – especially with the Dover Democratic Committee.