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#BulldogSTRONG STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Shemaryah Friend


Student: Shemaryah Friend 

Year in School: Junior

Plans After High School: After high school, Shemaryah plans to go to college in Japan and major in communications and a foregin language like Japanese. Eventually, she would love to be a translator that is involved with the media in Japan. 


What Makes Shemaryah #BulldogSTRONG: When she was a little girl, Golden Valley High School Junior Choir Singer Shemaryah Friend enjoyed singing and performing for her grandmother. Even today, Shemaryah’s grandmother loves to sing and encourages her (Shemaryah) to perform and sing along with her. As a child at Northview Elementary in St. Louis, Missouri , Shemaryah would continue her love of singing as her music teachers boosted her confidence, helping her learn how to read music so that she can sing all the right notes at the right time. In her third year now as part of the GVHS Choir program, Shemaryah continues to shine as a singer and leader amongst her peers. Influenced by the versatile harmonies of Jacob Collier and the strong soprano vibrations of Jennifer Hudson, Shemaryah has immersed herself into being the best Chamber Choir Singer that she can be as well as earning a leadership spot where she is in charge of recruiting her fellow peers to join. “Students at Golden Valley High School need to understand that anyone can sing,” passionately comments Shemaryah, “When people come together with the purpose of creating music, it truly can be a wonderfully beautiful thing.” In the Fall Shemaryah and the rest of the Golden Valley Choir did a virtual concert entitled “Songs of Hope '' and was live streamed to an audience of about 400 people who watched from the confines of their homes. Shemaryah and the rest of her choir mates are set to perform their virtual Winter concert “Winter Dreams” in December with the goal of spreading Holiday cheer. She also hopes that Covid-19 protocols will allow the choir to sing in front of a live audience in the Spring. “Singing in front of people has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone,” humbly states Shemaryah, “My choir family is the absolute best, Mrs. Williams is amazing, and I have become a much better person as a result of my time in the Golden Valley Choir program.” 



Shemaryah Friend's vocal talents were on display in the GVHS Choir Fall 2021 Concert "Songs of Hope"


In addition to her talents as a vocalist in the choir, Shemaryah has excelled in academics and other activities on campus. Shemaryah’s overall GPA is 3.70 throughout her high school career and this year, she has earned 4.5 GPA while being enrolled primarily in Advanced Placement classes and of course, two choir classes. She is also involved in numerous clubs around campus such as the Sexuality and Gender Acceptance (SAGA) Club, Photography Club, and Japanese Culture Club. Shemaryah has also taken her talents to the stages with the Bulldog Theatre Company where she had a part in The Big Show and looks to perform in an upcoming production called GVTV. Additionally, Shemaryah has been a voice for students across Kern County as she has served on the GVHS Student Forum and Focus Group and the Kern High School District Student Equity and Inclusion Committee - both groups are focused on creating an equitable and inclusive educational experience for all students. Even with all of her accomplishments, Shemaryah is appreciative of the support that she has received as a Bulldog. “Golden Valley is a great place because of the people that are there,” Shemaryah graciously states, “The people that work here are so sweet and understanding. They only want the best for the many students that attend GVHS.” For the love and PRIDE of singing and performing as part of the GVHS Choir, in the commitment she displays in being a voice for her peers,  and in the genuine PRIDE she has in being a Bulldog, Shemaryah Friend is #BulldogSTRONG.  


What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Shemaryah: "To me, being BulldogSTRONG means to honor the Golden Rule which is to treat others the way that you want to be treated. For me, it’s treating others with dignity, kindness, and respect. Honoring the Golden Rule should translate that outside of school as well. ”


What Teachers and Staff Think of Shemaryah: 

“Shemaryah has demonstrated her commitment to being BulldogSTRONG by serving on both the Golden Valley Student Forum and the Kern High School District’s Student Equity and Inclusion Committee.  Her voice in each of these groups has had a direct impact on the ongoing effort to create an equitable and inclusive educational experience for all students.  Her contributions have had a profound impact on Golden Valley’s ongoing commitment towards school improvement and will resonate long after she graduates.  Shemaryah walks #BulldogSTRONG!” Paul Helman, Principal, Golden Valley High School


"Shemaryah shows strong leadership skills every day in choir. She is always ready to step in and help beginners, and in the Chamber Choir she is always at the forefront of finding solutions to issues that arise.  Those problem-solving skills, along with her strong work ethic, intelligence, and talent all make her an extremely valuable part of the choir family, and make her #BulldogStrong.” Samantha Williams, Choir Director, Golden Valley High School


“Without even speaking to Shemaryah you can tell she has #bulldogSTRONG energy. From the first time I met her I was impressed by her positivity, intelligence, and friendly personality. Immediately I saw she had the potential to be a leader on campus. Her disposition for #service is why I recommended her for various student voice opportunities on campus and in our district. She excels at every opportunity she takes and is a great champion and friend to all students.” Jennifer Webb, Dean of Student Behaviors and Support, Golden Valley High School


“Shemaryah is a fabulous student in my AP Language and Composition class this year. She is smart, thoughtful, and committed to learning. Shay asks good questions, offers keen observations, and picks up on new concepts and skills quickly. She adds energy and enthusiasm to the room and discussions. I am really excited to see how she continues to grow as a reader, writer, and thinker this year and beyond!” Karen Bastain, AP English Language and Composition Teacher, Golden Valley High School


“Shemaryah is one of those students that you know that you will remember way past her graduation date!  She is fearless and smart.  She thinks outside the box, and is charming, kind and thoughtful.  I am already so proud of the person that she is, and I know that she is going to do great things in her life.” Sheryl Cleveland, Math Teacher, Golden Valley High School


“Shemaryah shines in class when she actively listens to the views of others and shares her own views with respect.” Terri Richmond, Social Studies Department Chair, Golden Valley High School 


“Shay is an incredibly talented and driven young woman. So, so, so impressive! She’s a star, and truly shines when she’s on stage and off!” Sheila McClure, Bulldog Theatre Company Director and Theater Teacher, Golden Valley High School