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#BulldogSTRONG Student Spotlight KERN COUNTY FAIR EXCLUSIVE: Jacob Flaherty


Student: Jacob Flaherty

Year in School: Senior

Plans After High School: Attend Bakersfield College for 2 years and then transfer to Fresno State University and get a degree in Agricultural Business. He then wants to get his Teaching Credential and become an Agricultural Education teacher. 


What Makes Jacob #BulldogSTRONG: As the Kern County Fair opens in Bakersfield this week, Bulldog senior, Jacob Flaherty can be seen in the livestock area getting his market lamb ready for show this Sunday and Monday. For four years, Jacob has been an active member of the Golden Valley Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter and has served in officer positions in each of those years. Throughout the scope of his tenure as a member of the Golden Valley FFA, Jacob has competed in a number of competitions, enjoying the atmosphere surrounding farm and agricultural life. “FFA has allowed me to meet lots of new people,” indicates Jacob, “I really enjoy the atmosphere of being around the livestock and all the animals, but more importantly, I love the people because I have made some lifelong friends.” Jacob has shown a market hog and lamb at the Kern County Fair with his favorite being the market lamb, an animal he will be showcasing this year as indicated earlier. In addition to the number of competitions in which he has participated in, Jacob has attended a number of FFA sponsored leadership conferences including the California State FFA Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Made For Excellence FFA Leadership Conference in Visalia, and the Chapter Officer Leadership Conference at Kern Valley High School.  All of these conferences have allowed him to GROW as a leader on campus as he influences and supports his peers to be #BulldogSTRONG. “I have learned many useful qualities that a leader should have,” states Jacob, “I try to use these newly learned skills and implement them at school.” For his part, Jacob was elected to serve as the President of the FFA at Golden Valley High School, a position in which he gives 100% effort. 

1Jacob Flaherty showing off his market lamb at the 2018 Kern County Fair Junior Livestock Competition.


Beyond the FFA, Jacob is also very active in the Golden Valley Choir as he has been part of this group all four years of high school. Jacob is specifically part of the Chamber singers and provides the bass vocals to the group. Due to his leadership skills, Jacob serves as President of the Golden Valley Choir, a responsibility that is important to him because of how much he cares about his fellow choir members. “What I love about choir is that we are a family,” states Jacob, “Whenever anyone is having a bad day or struggling, they can come to choir and just forget about their problems and sing with people that care for them and will help them get through their struggles.” With his commitment to singing, Jacob never forgets his FFA roots as he is a big Tim McGraw fan and tries to emulate his favorite country music star. 

2As a bass singer in the Golden Valley Chamber Choir, Jacob Flaherty (Top Row, 2nd From Left) enjoys the comfort of his choir family.


In the Spring, Jacob can also be found on the baseball diamond as he is a two year member of the Bulldog Varsity Baseball team. As the ultimate teammate, Jacob primarily played first base, but also would come in to pitch and even would play in the outfield if the coaches needed him to. In a game against Delano, Jacob went 2-4 with 2 RBIs and against West he had a game in which he had 3 RBIs in one and went 2-5 in another, both helping the Bulldogs to victories over the Vikings. As a pitcher, Jacob was used in relief as he provided solid outings including two strikeouts in one inning of work against Independence. Jacob rarely missed practice and is known by his coaches for hard work and never complaining. For his commitment to GROWTH, PRIDE, and SERVICE in FFA, choir, and baseball at Golden Valley High School, Jacob Flaherty is not only a Renaissance student, but he is #BulldogSTRONG.  

3Jacob Flaherty is admired by his coaches for his leadership and his selfless play on the diamonds of Golden Valley High School. (Photo by Kern High Network)


What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Jacob: "#BulldogSTRONG means being respectful, kind, and caring towards staff and students. It also means that we should always take PRIDE in our school and that we should strive to be leaders in the classroom, on campus, and in the community. ”

What Teachers Think of Jacob: 

"Jacob constantly displays excellent leadership skills.  As the president of two very active groups on campus, he is always finding a way to bring people together.  His diligence to always uphold all of his commitments to choir, FFA, and baseball shines through as a great example of what it means to be #BulldogStrong." - Samantha Williams, Choir Director and Teacher, Golden Valley High School

 "Jacob is an excellent example of a great FFA leader, he is the first to volunteer whenever hard work is needed to be done.  He wants to see the lower classmen succeed in FFA and is always willing to put in extra time to help them learn the ropes. Jacob is one of the most respectful students I know on campus, I know he will succeed after high school.  Come support Jacob showing his lamb at the fair this Sunday!" - Cassandra Soberano, FFA Teacher, Golden Valley High School

 "Jacob Flaherty is a very good academic student.  Where he excels to meet the #BulldogSTRONG standard is through his involvement in the FFA throughout his four years of high school.  He has been involved in leadership conferences, and has served as an FFA officer and our Chapter president for the 2019-2020 year. He has also raised Game birds, market Hogs, a rabbit, and two market lamb projects.  He is always thinking of new ways to bring new students into the program and fundraising ideas. He is also very artistic and has a talent for floral design." - Katy Nieblas, FFA Teacher, Golden Valley High School

"Jacob is a fine student and Baseball player.  He always gives 100% in the classroom and on the field.  His pride and commitment are evident in his leadership of several organizations at Golden Valley High School." - Mike Gibson, Head Varsity Baseball Coach and Government Teacher, Golden Valley High School

"Jacob Flaherty exhibits a tremendous work ethic on the baseball field. Currently, Jacob plays first base on the varsity baseball team but is the first to volunteer to play another position when we need help. His selfless character does not go unnoticed as he is the first person to help prep the field before a game and clean the field after." - Bobby Hinzo, Head Varsity Baseball Coach and Special Education Teacher, Golden Valley High School