Sunday, June 7, 2020

From the Voyager Academy Board, June 7, 2020

Dear Voyager Community 

As I am entering my last month on the board before rolling off after completing a four-year term, I wanted to reach out to the Voyager community with a final update.

First, congratulations to all students and parents for surviving distance learning.  I know it was not expected and it has not been easy, but we made it through!  We don't know for sure what next year will look like, but the board will be in close communication with our administration, including new managing director Ellie Schollmeyer, as the summer evolves. I want to give a huge shout out to the principals, teachers and staff who made distance learning possible for our kids.  In my opinion, they did a fabulous job and deserve much commendation and gratitude for helping our kids learn, grow, and maintain some sense of normalcy.   I already knew that our teachers are rockstars, but this certainly has confirmed it!

Second, congratulations to Chuck Nolan and Jennifer Lucas, and all others who helped with the planning, on an amazingly successful graduation ceremony at the Orange County Speedway.  If you haven't seen the photos, please check out our facebook page.  It was a very memorable evening, and it was incredibly special to be able to be together in person (in our cars) to safely celebrate our graduates.  Our seniors did not get the ending to senior year that they deserved, but nothing about the pandemic can ever diminish our pride in their accomplishments, the strength of the friendships they have made, or their potential to impact the world.  Congratulations, Voyager Class of 2020!

Third, we had an opportunity at graduation to honor our outgoing managing director, Jennifer Lucas.  We are very thankful for the excellent leadership and guidance she has provided to our school over the years.  Please take a moment to write her a note or send her an email to express our gratitude.  Ms. Lucas will be missed, but we are excited to continue to collaborate with her as she stays involved in the North Carolina charter school community.

Fourth, we have purchased two activity buses!  Thank you very much to everyone who contributed to the capital campaign effort.  The pandemic shut us down just before the silent auction/gala, but the board believed this was an important priority so it voted to contribute to the effort.  We are very excited to begin to put those buses to good use once field trips and other activities can resume.

Finally, on a more serious note, this update would not be complete without an acknowledgement of the painful situation going on in our country and our community right now.  To all of our black and brown students and their loved ones, in particular, please know that we see you and we are striving to make Voyager a place where racism will not be tolerated.  To quote my eloquent friend Ian Solomon (with what he says to his sons and UVA students):  I believe in you.  Please believe in yourselves.  Believe in the promise of this country.  Believe in our human capacity to learn and change.  Believe, like I do, that love is more natural and more contagious than hate even if it requires more patience, more passion, and more perseverance.  Believe that we can overcome the past and together create a world where all people can thrive.  

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Voyager Board.  It has been interesting, challenging, and meaningful. I have met so many wonderful people who are working hard to make this place the best it can be!  I hope you will join me in supporting next year's Chair Jaronda Ingram.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy summer!

Stephanie Brennan