Sunday, February 2, 2020

Voyager Academy High School News, Feb. 2, 2020


In this issue...
  • Teacher Appreciation Week (Feb 10-14)
  • School Safety: The "Say Something" Reporting System
  • Guest Speakers Inform and Entertain Sports & Culture Class
  • Applications for Spring Break Driver’s Ed is Open
  • ACT Test Prep Update for Juniors
Student Life
  • The 2020 Winter Court
  • For Viking Senior Kolby Lee, racing Motocross is as easy as 123!
  • Former Viking Basketball Star Makes #5 of ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 Plays of the Week
Viking World Travelers
  • Fall Break 2020, in New York City!
  • Travel to Peru, the Land of the Incas
  • Thailand 2020!
Yearbook and Graduation Info.
  • Class of 2020  Cap and Gown Orders
  • Last Day For Senior Ads for the Yearbook - FEB 13
  • Buy a Yearbook before the price goes up!
Viking Volunteerism and Fundraising
  • The Voyager Academy Capital Campaign
  • Backpack Buddies: Balanced Meals and Snacks for Students in Need
Student Support, College Prep, and Career Planning (ACT, college and scholarship info., etc.)
  • Durham Tech. Application Assistance Opportunity
  • Durham Tech. CCP Information Session 2/3
  • The Growth Mindset
  • FAFSA Opened October 1st – File as soon as you can! (college financial aid form assistance)
  • Apply TODAY for an Unforgettable Summer at Duke University!
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meets Wednesday Mornings
  • The VAHS Counseling Department Blog (website)
  • Be a Smartie and join the PTO ! !
  • PARENTS:  Sign up to receive text messages from the school
  • Important dates

Teacher Appreciation Week
Teacher Appreciation week is upon us, February 10-14, 2020.

The PTO has historically given gift cards to the staff on the last Friday of Teacher Appreciation Week. We would like to repeat this as a HUGE thank you to these folks who spend so much time with our kids.

We have made it super easy, please follow this link and you can contribute and then be done!!…/9e874d243493480fa61b4f2516c9…

Remember, ANY amount is so appreciated and it all ADDS up!!!

In the Elementary school alone, if all parents contributed $5.00, we would have $2,000.00 to split among the staff.

Again, thank you for all you have done for the teachers and THANK YOU in advance for your help in supporting and loving our teachers!!!

PTO and volunteers


School Safety: The "Say Something" Reporting System

As you may know, on Tuesday, Jan. 28, all students and staff received an orientation on the new school safety reporting system, "Say Something" (see Jan. 26, 2020 VAHS Newsletter).   We now have a version of this for parents to view.  Please click here to see that presentation.  IT IS ONLY AVAILABLE FROM FEB. 2--FEB. 7.

Guest Speakers Inform and Entertain Sports & Culture Class
Historically sports have been used to limit opportunities and keep people of different races apart, and it has been a game-changer in providing opportunities and bringing people together.  This week the Sports & Culture class enjoyed having two speakers share their life experiences related to their participation in sports.

On Monday, former college basketball player and coach Danny Beard visited the class.  Danny grew up in the projects of St. Louis before going on to become an All-Conference player at Kansas State University.  Danny lives in Spokane, WA and happened to be visiting Mr. Huff and attending some University of Virginia basketball games.  Sports have given Danny the opportunity to play and coach basketball around the world.

On Tuesday, our own Dr. Nolan shared his experiences of growing up in the northeast and the role that sports played in providing him the opportunity to play college football and earn an Ivy League education at the University of Pennsylvania.  The students enjoyed seeing pictures of Dr. Nolan when he had hair as well as watching video of some of his exploits on the football field!


Applications for Spring Break Driver’s Ed is Open
Voyager Academy is offering a driver’s education class during Spring Break.



ACT Test Prep Update for Juniors
During Advisory on 2/3, and 2/24, Juniors will continue with ACT test preparation by  completing "Short Shot" practice sessions. During these sessions, students will take short practice tests, check their answers and analyze their incorrect responses. Practicing the test taking strategies that they learned and recognizing patterns in mistakes will will help students improve their scores. Parents are encouraged to review the ACT Test Prep. data that students have done so far to help their students set and reach their ACT score goals. 


The 2020 Winter Court
Congratulations to all members selected by their peers for the 2020 Winter Court. Winners were recognized Friday at our winter pep rally! (Click here to see who they were).


For Viking Senior Kolby Lee, racing Motocross is as easy as 123!

Kolby Lee Wadford is in his senior year at VAHS.  He has been riding dirt bikes since he was 15 years old.  He started racing motocross competitively in 2019. In one year, he has accomplished what many only dream about.  He has been named the D13 2019 Champion Schoolboy II, D29 2019 Champion Schoolboy II, USESMX 2019 Champion Schoolboy II and USESMX 2019 2nd in 250C.   He is currently sponsored by Nano Pros Ceramic Coating, Up to Date Video and Audio, Thorpe Money Entertainment, Brewer Cycles, Risk Racing, Mika Metals and That Dude Hat Company.  Kolby finished the racing season in first place overall in the Schoolboy II 12-17 age division. After graduation, Kolby plans to continue honing his skills in his passion by continuing to race and working in the field of racing.  Voyager Academy could not be more proud of this Viking! He is THE fastest Viking on 2 wheels!


Former Viking Basketball Star Makes #5 of ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 Plays of the Week
Jay Huff, a member of Voyager's 2016 State Champion basketball team, was recently seen on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 plays following the Virginia Cavaliers upset over 5th ranked Florida State!  See Jay in play number 5.


Fall Break 2020, in New York City!
Open to any HS student and parent.  Join us for the informational meeting on 1/23 (check with Ms. Paradis for details,

--Travel to Peru, the Land of the Incas

Travel with us to Peru, Spring Break 2020!  Hosted by Stephen Manuel.

Our tour will immerse us in new cultures through authentic interactions, hands-on activities and delicious cuisine. Our tour director will be our go-to local expert, helping us do more, see more and learn more than you ever thought possible.

On this trip, we’ll explore Peru’s bustling capital of Lima, immerse ourselves in the country's history at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology and then experience it first-hand with a trip to Cuzco, and the famous “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu.

To learn more and enroll, visit

Sign up today for $200 Voucher!

Remember you only need $50 to sign-up!

Prices go up 21st of November!


Thailand 2020!  
Voyager is going 1/2 way round the world!  You can join the trip. Mr. Mills will be chaperoning a trip to Thailand this summer.  Come find out why he is always talking about it. Are you interested? Please contact Mr. Mills right away, at


Buy a Yearbook before the price goes up!
The 2020 VAHS Expedition Yearbook is now on sale.  Go to to buy before the price increases.

All purchases should be made at


The Voyager Academy Capital Campaign
Thank you to the very generous donors who have given to our capital campaign to purchase school buses for all students. If you haven’t already donated, please consider “Giving to Voyager” for our capital campaign fundraiser. We need activity buses to help transport our kids to all the wonderful events and activities they enjoy such as field trips, sporting events, arts competitions and much more.  Please visit the donations page here:


Backpack Buddies: Balanced Meals and Snacks for Students in Need 
VAHS is once again teaming up with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to offer a BackPack Buddies Program. This program provides a weekend bag filled with balanced meals and snacks for eligible students to take home over the weekend.  The program is free of charge. Permission slips will be distributed to all students who are currently participating in the Voyager Academy free/reduced lunch program. A form is also included below for your convenience. Please contact School Counselor, Jill O'Kane with any questions. 


Durham Tech. Application Assistance Opportunity
A  Durham Tech. College Liaison will be at VAHS on Tuesday Feb. 5th from 2:15-3:45 in The Commons to  help seniors with Fall 2020 applications. It would be helpful if students have completed the NC Residency Determination  before this meeting, but it is not mandatory. Students should Contact Ms. O'Kane if they would like to attend.  


Durham Tech. CCP Information Session 2/3 
Rising Juniors and Seniors interested in the Career and College Promise program for fall  2020 must attend a CCP Information session. During a session, students can learn about program requirements, plans of study, and apply for admission.  Parents are welcome to attend. The first session is scheduled for Monday Feb 3 from 5:30-6:30 p.m..
Sign up at or see Ms. O'Kane for more information. 


The Growth Mindset 
Come here from Durham and CFA's own Tony Fernandez about the power of growth mindset, and partnering with your child for to reach their best holistic potential! 


FAFSA Opened October 1st – File as soon as you can!
If seniors need financial aid to help  pay for college, families must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The 2020–21 FAFSA form just opened this week on Oct. 1, 2019. Families should fill it out as soon as possible. Federal funding is limited, so experts urge students and families to file their FAFSAs as soon as possible.
There are some great articles posted on the Counseling Department Blog about how to get started on the FAFSA!  

Click here for a flyer with information about where students/families can receive assistance with financial aid/FAFSA completion.

Applications for Duke University Summer Session 2020 are open NOW! Click on one of the links below to apply to your program of interest TODAY:
Applications are reviewed as they are received, so don’t wait! Get into your top choice by applying NOW! You can apply for multiple programs with one application.

See you at Duke this summer!


Class of 2020  Cap and Gown Orders
There are still several seniors who have not yet ordered their caps and gowns. It's important to order as soon as possible in order to receive your garments in time for graduation. Orders can be placed online through the herff jones website:


Parent of seniors,
The last day to complete your senior ad purchase is February 13th.  All payments, pictures, and design elements must be completed by that date.

Celebrate your senior! 


Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meets on Wednesday mornings from 7:30-8:30am in room D124. 
Students do not need to be athletes, nor Christian to attend--All are welcome! :)  Contact Mr. Baker ( or Mrs. Paradis ( for more info.   


VAHS Counseling Department Blog
All parents and students should frequently check and/or subscribe to the VAHS Counseling Department blog (click here)! Here you will find  important information and opportunities for VAHS students. Topics range from specific grade level information to scholarships and other interesting opportunities.   


Why you might ask?
We need YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It will enrich your experience at Voyager by being involved
You get to meet and socialize with other parents
PTO involvement helps parents be aware of school needs


PARENTS:  Sign up to receive text messages from VAHS
Even though you may have been subscribed from last year, all must re-subscribe.  This is because some cell phone numbers may no longer belong to last year’s subscribers (as people may change numbers or mobile providers). Click below for subscription instructions for your student’s grade.  


Important Dates for VAHS

Feb. 10-14
Teacher Appreciation Week
Feb. 17
NO CLASSES – Teacher workday
Feb. 18
NO CLASSES –Teacher workday
Feb. 25
ACT Exam (all 11th graders)
Mar. 4
Midterm exams for pds. 1 & 3
Mar. 5
Midterm exams for pds. 2 & 4
Mar. 13
Report cards given to students
Mar. 16
NO CLASSES – Teacher workday
Mar. 17
NO CLASSES – Parent/Teacher conference day
April 8
Project Exhibition Day. 4-6:00pm
Apr. 10 – 17
NO CLASSES – Spring Break
May 1
Spring Fling (by the VA PTO)
May 4-15
AP exams
May 18-22
Final exams
May 26
Graduation (time and location TBA)