Tag Archives: voyager academy

Bull City Lights, Shine On

Staff Writer, Jules Woodward

Starting way back in the fall of 2010, Voyager Academy High School was born, and with it a chorus that would continue to amaze audiences now. Every year, they travel to different places and compete against other high schools. To compete, they have to start practices early in August. They began practice two days before school even started, to learn the choreography for their opener and closer for their competitions that would begin in the spring.

At the end of every school year, Ms. Deans and Mrs. Hobgood hold auditions for the placement classes for the upcoming year. Not only do they decide who gets into Bull City Lights, they also assemble classes to have a good balance of singing sections. The sections typically range from Soprano, Second Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Baritone/Bass. Soprano’s have the highest pitch out of the choral group. Alto’s tend to represent the females with a lower range and males are usually placed on the lower register of the scale.

Each day, they start with warm ups for their voice, just as someone would stretch before a marathon, people wouldn’t start singing without warming up. They then go through the solfege scale. The solfege is a singing exercise and can be used to practice sight reading vocal music. The solfege scale goes through an octave, and it goes like this: Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do. Every other Monday, they practice from two to five with choreography, not only that, but Friday and Saturday they have choreography offsite from nine to four.

What is all this for? Competitions; the choral group competes in Florida in March for Nationals and the go to Virginia in March. Not only do they compete outside of school, but they also have both a Spring Choral Show and a Fall Choral Show.

Leigha Hofmann, a Freshman, decided to audition for chorus because her older brothers have participated in chorus, and Leigha was an audience member of the past competitions. She told The Viking Tide, “it looked really fun, and chorus was able to bring a group of people together.”As this is her first year, she is likely to take chorus for all four years of high school. Everyone in chorus was completely open to having freshmen in their class, even the upperclassman, who naturally tend to bend away from freshmen.

Abel Holleman, a Sophomore, was telling The Viking Tide about why he decided to audition for chorus; he said that the chorus group has the opportunity to go on some “pretty awesome trips”, as well as the fact that he enjoyed singing and dancing. He plans on taking chorus all four years of high school. This year has differed from last year, in the sense that they have harder songs, and both different and harder choreography. If students want to participate in the competitions, Abel recommends putting away a thousand dollars each year. Not to worry, there are tons of fundraisers to help decrease the cost.

Chloe Dixon, a Senior, told me about how she has taken chorus all four years of high school and she really recommends taking chorus for everyone. Chorus brings individuals of all grade levels together. Chorus also brings a family relationship for everyone, in the halls of Voyager Academy, they always say “hey” and talk to one another. She also loves to perform and she has also performed in the school spring musical for the last two years. Even though the weekend practices are a hassle, it’s always worth it when it comes to be competition weekend.

Overall, many of the student who take chorus recommend that if  a student loves to perform, would like to travel and compete in new places, and would love an easy way to meet many people, they should audition for chorus next May. If students have a couple of spare weekends, they shouldn’t forget to go out and support VAHS chorus for their Spring and Fall choral show. F

inally, don’t forget to stop by Mrs. Hobgood or Ms. Dean’s rooms to get more information later in the year on auditioning and being a member of the Lights at Voyager.

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Lady Vikings defeat DSA on senior night

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Caitlin Leggett

Staff Writer, Tyler McLamb with Photos from Holli McLamb

The Lady Vikings came out strong with a blistering lead against the DSA Bulldogs. The lead only continued to get bigger, until the lady Vikings the end of the first set and had to hold their lead as DSA encroached. A timeout was called by head coach Steve DeLuca. Not long after the timeout was called the Vikings brought out the big guns going on a long unanswered run. The end of the first set was won by the Vikings with a final score of 25-19.

The second set didn’t go as planned. The DSA Bulldogs let the dogs out. The Bulldogs went on a tear with an unanswered run by the Vikings. With defeat staring the Vikings in the face they did all but give up. Pounding ball after ball into the Bulldogs faces. Still with defeat staring them down, they continued their comeback. With the score 23-24 the Vikings serving. The Vikings served it over, the Bulldogs dug it up, set it, and spiked and that was the end of the second set. The Bulldogs won the second set with a final score of 23-25.

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Teammates cheers | Stacey Oxendine and Katie McLamb
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Zarria Bratts 

Starting set 3 the lady Vikings were shaking the cobwebs out of their eyes the came out strong. Starting the set with four straight service points. The Bulldogs answered back tying the game up 4-4. The Bulldogs continued to ravage the Vikings. Head coach Steve DeLuca called a timeout. After the timeout, the Vikings came out roaring gaining point after point. It was all tied up at 20-20. Each team matching the other, the Vikings pulled away little by little and pulled out the win, with a final score of 27-25.

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Stacey Oxendine

The lady Vikings were feeling untouchable. Coming out with an unmatchable effort somehow the Bulldogs dug down within, and managed to match the Vikings effort. Trading points back and forth the Vikings pulled away. Ahead by four points the Vikings continued their charge to victory, but the Bulldogs didn’t give up yet. Pushing back, they tied the game up 23-23. The Bulldogs put their best server up to serve. The Vikings dug the serve up and pounded it right back into the Bulldogs faces. With the Vikings back to serve, they pushed back harder than ever before only to have the Bulldogs match their effort. The lady Vikings didn’t give up yet. With Junior setter Kaley Stone back to serve, the Vikings pulled out the win with two straight points. With a final score of 28-26.

 

Centerfest: From the tent

Staff Writer, Sean Sullivan

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 1.23.29 PMCenterfest is an event that takes place in downtown Durham. This year it was during the weekend of September 16th-17th. It is an art festival and is so big, that streets are closed in the city just to provide space for the event. Around 15,000 people walk through the streets of Centerfest each day, totalling up to about 30,000 people.

Over the past couple of years, History Teacher, Mr. Gatlin, the Civics and Economics teacher for the sophomores, got a tent there to spread awareness for Constitution day. The day that the Constitution was signed was September 17th, 1787. September 17th fell over the weekend of Centerfest so we partnered with the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), to celebrate this day of historic significance. The Civics class even sent a group of kids to present their projects to a group of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The Daughters of the American Revolution is an organization that recognizes and celebrates life how it was during the constitutional times. Every one of them is somehow related to someone part of the revolution. Whether they are related to a soldier that fought, or Ben Franklin or John Adams themselves, they can still be part of the organization. They came to Centerfest and worked out of our tent with us. We handed out over 1800 little american flags to people as they walked by, and gave the kids candy and USA stickers.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 1.23.42 PMThe civics class recently did a project to answer the driving question of, “what would the founding fathers want us to know about the framing of the constitution?” That question can be interpreted in many different ways and taken in many different directions. The students in the class showed how each of them pictured the question and created a visual representation to express their thoughts. Mr. Gatlin had many of the projects out on display for people walking through to see and learn from. This was appropriate due to the fact that it was constitution day.

Gatlin put out several projects that he thought were very well made and put together, the ones that had an excellent mindset put into it showed in their work. In total there was about ten to twelve projects out on display. Gatlin was asked what the main goal was for this event and what he wanted people to learn from it, he said “To recognize constitution day, since it fell during Centerfest we took an advantage of the opportunity to raise awareness for it.” Gatlin has done this event for around seven years, and the past two have fallen on the weekend of Centerfest so jumpin on that chance to set up shop there was a really smart move by him. The Viking Tide asked him which year so far has been his favorite, and he said “the past two have been great just because we’ve gotten to do it at Centerfest, but this year was even more special because we handed out over 1800 American flags, which broke our records from all the previous years.

Holden Buchanan, Sophomore, also worked in the tent on Sunday at 1:30-2:30. He described his experience as “It was a lot of fun, I got to meet a lot of new people and saw a lot of cool art.” Holden was one of the few kids that got to go present to the daughters, when he was asked what that was like he said, “It went really well, everyone seemed interested in what I was talking about which made it easier to present, instead of a bunch of students forced to listen to it.”

Ella Mrozkowski and Abdullah Abumuais are both seniors here at Voyager academy, and have worked with Gatlin for the past three years. Both of them shared their thought about this year versus previous years, and both had the same answer. “Last year was my favorite because we got to work with kids and got to make stuff for them and play with them.” Abdullah said. Ella also favored last year, “last year was fun because we had a lot more space, and we got to make hats for the kids and I was pretty good at making the hats.” They both said that they loved doing it all three years and it wasn’t a waste of volunteer hours.

My Point of View

I worked in the tent from 10:30 to 12:00 on Saturday and from what I saw there were a lot of people that enjoyed our projects and learning about the constitution. I noticed that there were a lot of people that weren’t even aware that it was constitution week, some people didn’t accept the flag which was kind of awkward but we just ignored them and kept greeting new people.

Be sure to sign up in the upcoming years to work with Mr. Gatlin and the Civics class to spread awareness for the constitution.

VAHS Yearbook: Behind the Scenes

Staff Writer, Camryn Dunn

Who could possibly be thinking about the Voyager Academy High School 2017-2018 yearbook? Well students need to start placing orders sometime soon. Yearbooks are now on sale for only $55. However, starting September 29th the price is going up to $60. The price will continue to rise throughout the school year. This year the yearbook staff has decided to make the theme “Behind the Scenes.” Their goal is to take students, staff, as well as families behind the scenes of a small school. This is unlike the previous yearbook staff members.

This year, the staff has really taken on social media marketing. From Instagram and Twitter accounts, to their own email where students are encouraged to send in photos that they would like to be included in the yearbook. This year the staff has set many sales goals. New teacher Mrs. Kreisman is taking over for Mrs. Deans, not only teaching yearbook, but also teaching marketing. Her plan is to really teach the yearbook staff how to properly and effectively market the yearbook.

Creative efforts of marketing have already happened. Last week, the yearbook class constructed fake parking tickets and place them on students windshields. The tickets included information on how much the yearbook was and also where to buy it. The yearbook and marketing classes are also working together to film a commercial that will be shown to not only students and faculty, but families as well on exhibition night. The commercial will be advertising the yearbook for this year and giving information on how/where you can purchase one.

Senior, Taliek Pratt in charge of sports coverage said, “This year in yearbook the students really have a say. We love pitching ideas to each other and giving each other feedback on how to be better. I’m excited that I can cover the Varsity basketball team as well as other sports this year.” Senior, Diamond Champion the member on the yearbook staff in charge of marketing stated “This is my first year taking yearbook and what I really like about it is how Mrs. K lets us really take charge in our roles that were assigned. She’s gives us freedom and responsibility which is cool.” The yearbook this year is going to be different compared to previous years with the unique theme, so make sure you buy yours now while it is on sale!

Voyager Academy Yearbook social media:

Comfort Zone | A Review

Staff Writer, Madison Carter

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Sopadelic, Album Cover

It’s not an uncommon occurrence for an individual to be guarded, especially in a relationship. The heart and brain are vital organs, but they are fragile and can be affected by love both beneficially and detrimentally. Young Bull is a band that likes to focus more so on the beneficial aspects of love rather than the topics that can lead to pain and heartbreak. Their first album, Sopadelic, was released August 9, 2016. The Durham natives Tahmique Cameron, Gabe Fox-Peck, and Christian Sinclair all share a common understanding in the vitality of “feel good music.”

In their album, Sopadelic, the theme of love was evident in someway, shape, or form. Out of the 11 songs on their album, there were two I found the most sonically pleasing: “Can’t Get You Outta My Head” and “Let Down Your Guard.” These songs allowed me to formulate a story in my head, “Can’t Get You Outta My Head” would be the beginning, “Let Down Your Guard” would be the near to end event. The two songs specified work together hand in hand to showcase the easy and hard phases of love.

When lyricism and instruments work together as a coalition, they create emotions that convey what individuals should expect in relationships. A piano introduces the song “Can’t Get You Outta My Head,” the bass guitar and maracas follow. The use of these instruments can be theorized in a way that relates to how relationships are in the beginning stages. The three instruments that began “Can’t Get You Outta My Head” represents the complexity of relationships, yet how beautiful they can be in the long run. After about 21 seconds of the instrument’s playing, Tahmique Cameron, the lead singer of Young Bull, came in with the vocals. “I can’t get you out of my head, the way you laugh at all the stupid things that I’ve said,” was the first line of this masterpiece. This line was simple, but held so much significance. Relationships tend to start off with an “I can’t get you out of my head” mentality. Infatuation gets a hold of one’s mind, causing them to want to be with their mental captivator more and more.

This next song, “Let Down Your Guard,” has to do more so with the implementation of the relationship. I went on to interview individuals to get more insight on why people guard themselves in the beginning stages, this is my favorite response: “Love is built on openness and exposure; that same openness and exposure can be exploited or abused, thus you can get hurt. This is the risk of love,” J Kameron Carter stated. The entirety of “Let Down Your Guard” was built upon the fact the people want to protect themselves from harmful endeavors. “Close your eyes and let your hair down…, you ain’t gotta be scared,” was one of the lines that showed how some people need to relax and allow love to make its way in existence. “I can stay awake until the month of June, from the tension in this room. So let down your guard girl… You can make it— we can make it easy.” Harboring hurt and resentment towards a past relationship can lead to people’s inability to love and be at ease in a relationship. “Love is not just a one sided thing, there’s multiple components to a relationship it requires compassion sensitivity, and the ability to make yourself vulnerable…Love is work, compromise, sacrifice, and a whole lot of laugher in between,” Felicia Carter claimed.

From listening to these songs, and collecting multiple interviews, I came to a conclusion; new couples have to learn, grow, and figure each other out. Love goes from requiring general knowledge, to something that holds way more of a complex foundation. The beginning stages of love can sometimes be superficial and not stable enough to endure the events that arise in the beginning. The task at hand is to be able to grow with your loved one, which can be hard because in this world, it’s a common occurrence for relationships to break at the first sight of struggle instead of staying sustained and finding its deep roots. In Young Bull’s song “Can’t Get You Outta My Head” the instruments and lyrics work together to form a piece of work that’s not commonly produced by 19 and 20 year olds. The beginning stage of infatuation is one of the most vital parts of a relationship if an individual wants to stay with that partner for the rest of their life— Young Bull understands this and conveys it through lyricism and musicality. Lastly, “Let Down Your Guard” represents the time corresponding to the beginning of the relationship. People keep their guard up in the hopes of protecting themselves from getting hurt more, from beginning hurt for the first time, and simply because the relationship feels like a foreign essence. There comes a point in time where the hurt ones must realize that everyone is not looking forward to their downfall. An individual must figure out what it’s like to have their heart stolen with no intent of being returned, and experience what it’s like to be mentally captivated by the love of their life. These realizations were commenced by none other than the phenomenal, Young Bull.

The Ambition of Allie Akers

Sophomore, Staff Writer | Maryn Leonard

“Money is a smokescreen – a distraction from the real problem.” Allie Akers tells me about her viewpoint on the current climate of politics. She believes that money has corrupted justice with greed and dishonesty. Allie believes that these flaws can be solved by someone who desires change and is determined to do their part in solving the problem. Ambition is a strong force in Allie’s life. She has a desire to win and be at the top. Allie Akers is determined to one day become the President of the United States.

Allie learned about ambition after loosing something she loved. Allison Akers loves horses. As long as she can remember she’s always loved the animal, and desired her own. Amazingly, Allie was leased a horse named Jerome. She’s been showing in horse competitions for more than seven years now, but finally she had her own horse to train and compete with. Not a month before her big competition, Jerome was sold away to a different family, completely crushing Allie. “I was out of control, he wasn’t mine, I couldn’t do anything to keep him.” Allie explains about how she felt helpless in her situation. This was a moment where Allie knew that she desired to be at the top, to control her own situations and avoid painful loss.

Top help her deal with her loses, Allie turned to her role model. The greatest role models in our lives are the ones who inspire us to be our best and share with us the tools and tricks to accomplishing our goals. For Allie her greatest role model is her own mother. Her mother offers her advice and helps guide her through life, “It’s really nice to have someone be there for you no matter who you are or what you look like,” Allie says about her mother. Her mother has taught her some very important skills such as how to present and speak publicly, how to stay motivated, and not to immerse herself into drama. This has all led to Allie’s desire to one day be the president. Allie’s mother raised her so that Allie could have whatever political opinion she desires. This has helped Allie’s political opinion grow as well as her love for politics.

Politics has always been something that Allie really loves. She is passionate about equality, justice and has a strong desire to enforce her beliefs. Allie loves  law and wants to one day become an environmental lawyer before she conquers the United States and becomes president. For a while now Allie has been a part of Durham County Teen Court and Restitution Program. Allie works as a prosecutor for misdemeanors committed by teens in Durham. “Teen Court has been an amazing opportunity to practice what I love in a real world setting,” Allie says regarding Teen Court. There are also competitions she attends to face off against other counties. It can be described as the beginnings of becoming a real life lawyer.

Allie’s ambition has driven her to work extremely hard in Teen Court and other situations to better set herself up for the future she wants to uphold. She’s got a majority of her life mapped out. She knows what she wants and she’s going to fight to get it. Allie wants to grow up and be a lawyer and eventually, a politician to fight for the ideals she thinks are important. Her ideals feed her ambition and propel er further into her quest for success, “Never give up on hope, keep fighting,” she said is a motto she hopes to one day tell her grandchildren. Allie knows what she wants out of her future, she knows what she’s fighting for, but this doesn’t mean it will all be smooth sailing. Allie has learned from her mother and from the loss of her horse that setbacks can come at any turn. Her determination and true motivation is what will set her apart and help her fulfill her ambition to become a great politician and crusader for justice. The ambition that fuels her future is a defining part of what makes up Allie.

Should the confederate flag be banned from schools?

 Staff Writer, Allie Akers
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Picture from:
NC schools ban ‘racially intimidating’ clothing amid Confederate flag controversy. (2017, June 13). Retrieved September 07, 2017, from http://eagnews.org/nc-schools-ban-racially-intimidating-clothing-amid-confederate-flag-controversy/

Should the Confederate flag be banned from schools? This is a topic that has always caused a lot of controversy, but it has recently made headlines following events in Charlottesville this past July. The debate centers around the question: Is this a violation of the first amendment? Also, is the flag a symbol of oppression or a symbol of heritage? Most recently, all Durham County Public Schools have banned the Confederate flag from the dress code. Other local schools, such as Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Orange County, have already banned clothing featuring the flag. Some argue that banning the flag only causes more debate and protest than before. Others counter argue that it prevents distractions and conflict, by not allowing symbols that many people see as a threat. However, due to the current political climate, this is not an issue that can be ignored.Voyager Academy has been facing this question and, as of this writing, has not made a decision. The Viking Tide asked some Voyager High Schoolers on which route they think Voyager should take and why. “No, I don’t see the issue (in banning the flag). The reason behind this is, when I see the Confederate flag, I think of the hate it brought my people in America,” says Madison Carter, a sophomore. “Students would be mad because they think you’re violating their right to expression,” said Kyla Crooks, sophomore. Shawn Sullivan, another sophomore, states: “I don’t think they should ban it because I’ve never seen it. If they ban it, it would only bring attention to it… There’s more history to a confederate flag than a KKK symbol, like that would be a different story.”

This brings us to the legal questions of banning the flag on campuses. Is banning the Confederate flag in schools violating the first amendment? There have been several cases of this brought to court, including Castorina ex rel. Rewt vs. Madison County school Bd., Bethel School District No. 403 vs. Fraser, and several others. However, in the end, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that schools banning students wearing clothing that shows the Confederate flag does not violate the first amendment. In civics class at Voyager, the students had to do an assignment on taking notes of a video on the Tinker vs. Des Moines case.

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Agiesta, J. (2015, July 02). Poll: Majority sees Confederate flag as Southern pride – CNNPolitics. Retrieved September 07, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/02/politics/confederate-flag-poll-racism-southern-pride/index.html

In July of 2015, following the murder of nine African Americans in a South Carolina church by white supremacist Dylann Roof, CNN took a poll to see what viewers thought of the Confederate flag. The questions was whether one saw the flag as a sign of racism or “Southern pride.” As results poured in, the final numbers showed 33% felt it was racist and 57% believed that it was a sign of Southern pride. CNN says that, “The poll shows that 57% of Americans see the flag more as a symbol of Southern pride than as a symbol of racism, about the same as in 2000 when 59% said they viewed it as a symbol of pride.” Even following the Far Right march in Charlottesville, 43 percent of Americans polled still believe it’s a symbol of pride, compared with 38 percent who view it as a symbol of racism, according to an August 2017 Economist/YouGov poll. A Reuters poll, also from August, agreed with those findings, and stated that 54 percent of people said Confederate monuments should remain in public spaces, versus 27 percent that believe they should be removed. Both polls find responses split along party lines. In the end, it’s the people’s choice whether the Confederate flag shall remain in schools or be banned.

 

Agiesta, J. (2015, July 02). Poll: Majority sees Confederate flag as Southern pride – CNNPolitics. Retrieved September 07, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/02/politics/confederate-flag-poll-racism-southern-pride/index.html

NC schools ban ‘racially intimidating’ clothing amid Confederate flag controversy. (2017, June 13). Retrieved September 07, 2017, from http://eagnews.org/nc-schools-ban-racially-intimidating-clothing-amid-confederate-flag-controversy/

Confederate flag in school and free speech (October 2016 School Leader Update). (n.d.). Retrieved September 07, 2017, from https://www.educateiowa.gov/resources/laws-and-regulations/legal-lessons/first-amendment/confederate-flag-school-and-free-speech

Willets, S. (2017, August 28). Durham Public Schools Ban Confederate Flags, Other Divisive Symbols. Retrieved September 07, 2017, from https://www.indyweek.com/news/archives/2017/08/24/durham-public-schools-ban-confederate-flags-other-divisive-symbols

Volokh, E. (2015, September 21). Opinion | The Confederate flag, the First Amendment and public schools. Retrieved September 07, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/09/21/the-confederate-flag-the-first-amendment-and-public-schools/?utm_term=.a9c21e480fe0

Kahn, C. (2017, August 21). A majority of Americans want to preserve Confederate monuments: Reuters/Ipsos poll. Retrieved September 07, 2017, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-protests-poll/a-majority-of-americans-want-to-preserve-confederate-monuments-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKCN1B12EG

Frankovic, K. (n.d.). Trump’s domestic crisis: Charlottesville and white nationalists. Retrieved September 07, 2017, from https://today.yougov.com/news/2017/08/16/trumps-domestic-crisis-charlottesville-and-white-n/?belboon=031b3908984b04d39400589a%2C4711850%2Csubid&pdl.rlid=203577