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Jake Dunn

  • Region: North Coast

  • School:  Petaluma High School

  • Education and/or industry experience:  Cal Poly SLO, B.S. Agriculture Systems Management – Emphasis in Dairy Science, Minor in Agriculture Business.  M.S. Agriculture Education.

Industry experience in vitaculture; working for a custom farming operation, overseeing grape harvest, chemical applications, equipment operations and personnel management.

  • Years teaching ag:  14

  • Subjects you teach:  Ag Mechanics, Welding, Construction, SAE Period

Jake Dunn
  • Hobbies and interests outside of teaching:  Family (Kids ages 7 years, 5 years and 2 years) and Fishing

  • What do you love most about being an ag educator?  I love the opportunity to open doors for kids.  This career gives me the ability to help students reach goals that they may not be able to accomplish on their own. 

  • What is your biggest challenge as an ag educator?  Time management.  This profession can often feel like a juggling act; balancing and prioritizing so many different elements.  The challenge is to balance the needs of my students, parents, community, family and self.  In the perfect world I would have “x” amount of state degree recipients and proficiency awards in my program.  However, ultimately my priority is in the classroom to my students.  For me, it boils down to producing employable, good citizens.   

  • What have you learned thus far in your teaching career that you wish you would have known when you first began teaching?  Communication is essential.  Being proactive about communication can make such a difference in your ag department, with your students, colleagues, advisory committee members and community.

  • What advice would you give a novice teacher entering this profession in 2015?  Don’t be afraid to ask questions!  There are probably thirty other people in the room with you that have the same question.  So don’t hesitate to be the one to ask.  The way you know how to do something isn’t always the best or only way to get the job done… so have those conversations.  Ask questions.

  • What personal qualities or abilities do you think are important to being successful in this profession?  To be successful in this profession you must have solid work ethic and be flexible.  If you are driven by student want and need your program can thrive.  Solid work ethic and flexibility, coupled with the willingness to learn, are key to success in this profession. 

  • What specific skills are important to being successful in this profession?  A sound understanding of general animal husbandry skills, such as livestock handling and observation are helpful.  More importantly, having a breadth of knowledge in multiple subject areas can be even more powerful than being really skilled in just one area.   

  • What most prepared you for being an agriculture educator?  My personal experiences in the FFA I was able to acquire a wide variety of skills.  In retrospect, these skills have really helped shape the kind of educator I am.  In addition, leaving the North Coast Region to teach in the Central Valley for ten years gave me a different perspective on teaching.  As an educator, the variety of experiences you acquire can strengthen and shape your teaching philosophy. 

  • Describe ag teaching in one to two words.  Passion. Humility.

- 2015 -

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