Confluence Connect 2021/2022

The Confluence Connect is the official newsletter of Confluence Academies' five charter schools, which is published throughout each school year. In addition to publishing online, printed copies are available to families at each of the schools. 

CEO Dr Candice Carter-OliverAs we close in on the end of this school year, we begin to reflect on our academic and social-emotional progress. It is also a time to celebrate the completion of one school year and look ahead to the next. We had a busy couple of months with an annual faculty recognition and many performances by our talented students. Each event, all activities, and every day offered opportunities to create great experiences and build lasting memories with our students and teachers.

As summer inches ever closer, we are preparing for our summer school programs. Our Summer Journey program (June 6 - July 1) is academic, social, and emotional learning all wrapped into age-specific curriculum (available to all grade levels). We believe this is an essential component of our students’ learning, offering enrichment, education and engaging activities that prepare them for a successful 2022–2023 school year.

I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude to our outstanding school staff, who work tirelessly every day to lead and support our students as they learn and grow. They are a hard-working team who are kind and dedicated. As for our parents, we thank you for entrusting us with your children. Your investment in their education and ongoing support is an important part of the community school experience and ultimately their academic success. Let’s finish this school year strong. 

This year, Confluence Preparatory Academy launched an initiative called JAG, which stands for Jobs for America’s Graduates. CPA welcomed guest speakers from multiple industries, who talked with students about their careers, professional experience, and accomplishments. Positions and industries included a Fortune 500 company’s diversity manager, an independent stock market guru, a Black-owned construction company, and elected officials. 

“We want our students to reach their full potential, and we do this by teaching them a variety of life topics, such as economic success, government issues, and academic success,” said Sean Noble, JAG Specialist at CPA. 

Starting a new program during the pandemic was challenging; however, it did not discourage CPA’s staff, who see the program as a way to create opportunities for CPA graduates to pursue the career of their choosing.

South City Outdoor Classroom

South City Academy’s kindergarteners are always on the move and ready to learn! Because students learn best when they are actively engaged and excited about what they are doing, we decided to expand our classroom outdoors, giving our young students a new and comfortable setting for learning. South City used a grant to fund the transformation of the outdoor space into an outdoor classroom by installing privacy screens and large tables for learning.

"We have plans to add more to our outdoor classroom, but for now, our students are enjoying a new environment for learning," said Roger Brock, Assistant Principal at South City Academy.

CPA/GCAA Track Team
Confluence Preparatory Academy and Grand Center Arts Academy’s collaborative track and field program has bounced back after two years of COVID. The team is running strong with more than 30 student-athletes, who are thriving under the guidance of second-year head coach, Jayvonte Hughes. Their hard work and success on the track has earned them several medals this season.
"We have continued to persevere," said Angela Prebianca, CPA Athletics Director. "Even though this program has limited access to track time compared to a typical high school, our athletes continue to practice every day, harder than ever."

Aspire's Superheroes

School spirit is, in many ways, the heart of a school. From mascots and team jerseys to themed spirit weeks and Aspire Academy’s recent superhero day, school spirit can be a fun and expressive way for students and staff to bond.  

Superhero day recognizes our unsung heroes – teachers! – who help students learn and grow academically, while loving, serving, supporting, encouraging and inspiring them in countless ways that last a lifetime. In doing so, they devote long days to help their students be their best. 

“Every day, teachers and staff show up and go above and beyond for our students,” said Lacqweda Taylor, Principal of Aspire Academy. “I could not be more grateful to have such amazing teachers and staff.”

GCAA Lip Sync Battle

Grand Center Arts Academy kicked off spring break in silently synchronized style with the resurrection of Lip Sync Battle, which had taken a hiatus during the pandemic. The competition followed the format of the popular TV show of the same name, in which groups perform dance routines while lip-syncing to hip-hop, rap, musical theatre, R&B and pop songs. 

At intermission, teachers raised money for student council by getting pied in the face. Some of the audience hopped on stage with the hopes of defacing their favorite teacher with a pie.

An energized and excited crowd cheered the competitors as they faced-off in multiple rounds. After an intense and exciting battle, the winners walked away with a basket of goodies.

“Students and staff came together to celebrate one another and just have fun. It was such a blast,” said Erin Smith, Student Council Sponsor and 7th grade ELA Teacher.

South City Academy Live History

History not only provides a sense of identity, but also context for understanding societal changes and current events. At South City Academy, students took a trip back in time for the seventh annual Living History Museum.

Every year, South City’s 3rd graders learn about important figures in America’s history. Each student chooses a notable, inventive, or creative person to study. Then, they write a speech in the first person, dress up in clothes that represent their subject, and teach their classmates about their historical figure.

“The 3rd graders had a lot of support from staff and families to make this one of the best turnouts yet,” said Matt Morris, Assistant Principal at South City Academy. “We are proud of the students and the notable figures they brought to life!” 

An important aspect of a student’s academic experience is a shared sense of community and school spirit. At Old North Academy, art teacher, Justin Lehman, creatively connected artistic expression with school pride with an art contest designing t-shirts. 

“Creativity comes from the imagination of the soul that tells a unique story,” said Lehman. “I wanted my students to create a work of art they would want to wear and to push them to create something unique.” 

Judges, made up of administrators and staff, chose four winners, which were printed for the student to wear.

Old North Academy T-shirt Contest

Confluence Academy is a network of community-based public charter schools where families can connect with one another in the classroom and in the community...even after they or their children graduate. The impact of healthy, positive relationships between students and teachers can last a lifetime or even generations. 

The Barnes family is proof of that with two students currently enrolled at South City Academy. Both of the students’ parents attended Confluence Academies. Among the four of them, they have attended three of the school’s five campuses – South City, Aspire and Old North.

“I have a lot of memories of my favorite teachers at Old North Academy,” said Chelsea Barnes, mother of the two students. “I bonded with them and learned a lot. It’s also a place where I met some of my good friends, who I still keep in contact with today.”

“I wanted that for Chaneyah. Once I transferred her to South City, I truly saw her blossom. She enjoys being in school and learning. That’s when I knew, this is one of the best choices I ever made!”

GCAA Godspell

Grand Center Arts Academy students took stage for their first, live musical performance since 2019. 

“We welcomed our school community back to live theater with themes of love, positivity, and radical empathy,” said Michael Perkins, Theater Department Lead and Technical Director at GCAA. 

Students performed the musical, Godspell, which is based on the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew and features a small group of people who help the main character, Jesus, tell parables through games, story techniques, and a hefty dose of comic timing.

“Godspell is rooted in the origins of theatrical storytelling and myth that have formed Western theater for millennia,” said Perkins. “I enjoyed the community our cast and crew created through every moment of the production.”

TUF Girl Scouts

TUF is a Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri program that teaches young students about leadership, self-regulation, and anti-violence. With a focus on bullying prevention and intervention, the TUF program pairs high school volunteers with younger peers. TUF mentors came to Old North to read books to K-2nd grades. 

“Providing support and self-help skills helps students understand how to manage
their emotions and identify others’ emotions correctly,” said Dr. Leslie Muhammad, Principal of Old North. 

CPA Culinary SpaceIn 2022, Confluence Preparatory Academy students will have the opportunity to take their cooking skills to a new level in the school’s new culinary room! Here, students will be inspired to new levels of creativity as they experience and explore various cooking techniques and styles.


“I want students to feel confident in their cooking,” said Veronica Lewis, culinary arts teacher at CPA. “Students are taught to cook different dishes in class, using the proper tools and terminology for commercial cooking.”


Juniors and seniors are eligible for ProStart, a two-year program designed to complete foundational work for students wanting to enter the food industry, restaurant, or culinary arts fields. Some courses include: introduction to food service, workplace safety, kitchen basics, keeping food safe, and learning about food groups and global cuisine. 


“We have many recipes lined up for this upcoming school year and are excited to have a new space to explore these skill sets,” Lewis said.

Dr Candice Carter-OliverThis school year has been challenging as we continue to face a global pandemic. Despite changes and challenges, Confluence Academies’ objectives remain the same: promote and build an open-enrollment charter school system that enhances student achievement and prepares students for college and the workforce.

At Confluence Academies, we are committed to fostering effective partnerships between the school, parents, and community. Through these strong partnerships, our students will continue to receive uninterrupted, high quality education. 

We reaffirm our commitment to developing confident, creative, and life-long learners through enriching activities and a positive environment. We are proud of our school leaders, teachers, and educators, who encourage and motivate our students every day. And we are proud of the efforts our students have made to transition from a virtual environment back to in-person learning.

We have a lot to look forward to in 2022. It will be a year to reconnect, grow together, and appreciate the unique perspectives that make our students, our schools and our entire network successful. It is important we continue to renew our hope and energy as we face the challenges ahead, and I look forward with great enthusiasm to what our staff and students will accomplish this year.

GCAA Stage Band

What started as an after-school club is now the GCAA Stage Band led by GCAA music department teacher, Brian Vaccaro. The band rehearses and performs music from genres like rock, pop, and R&B. In December, they competed in the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition and will perform in front of a live audience at the semi-finals on February 11. 

“I am proud of this group for making the semi-finals,” said Vaccaro. “In fact, I would be equally proud if they didn’t make it because they delivered the best performance. If they keep delivering those kinds of performances, the rest will take care of itself.”

Hosted by the Fabulous Fox Theater, the competition invites students in grades 9-12 to compete against other area high school performers. It’s a big stage to show off their talents and compete for college scholarships, cash prizes, and public appearance opportunities.

GCAA Stage Band competitors: Jordan Gorham (12, bass guitar), Rebekah Gilbert (12, singer), Will Carson (9, guitar), and Tristan Long (10, drums).

South City Academy - BLOOM

BLOOM is South City Academy’s mentoring group for students in grades 6-8. It focuses on building relationships, leadership, empowerment, and community service. Each quarter, BLOOM students work on a community service project. For the final project of 2021, students were inspired to host a gift drive to benefit St. Louis Children’s Hospital. BLOOM collected over 130 gifts for children of all ages from the students and staff at South City Academy. 

“We are excited about the impact we are making and I, as the leader, am eager to see what other ideas the students develop to give back to their community. They are change-makers and leaders of the future!” said Lara Parker, sixth grade teacher and BLOOM mentoring leader. “BLOOM thanks all of those who contributed to helping us make a difference this season!”

"I want to make the children excited because they may have been in the hospital for a long time and may not have gotten as much as others." -- Jennifer M. (6th)

"I want to have a part in stepping in and helping children during their hard times." -- Haley H. (6th)

National Hand-Washing Week at Aspire Academy

Aspire Academy HandwashingWith COVID-19 and other viruses lurking, proper hand-washing is important to staying healthy. During National Hand-washing Week (December 5-11), Aspire Academy invited the City of St. Louis Department of Health to its campus to teach students ways to reduce the spread of germs. 

“We, of course, want our students to stay healthy,” said Principal Lacqweda Taylor. “Learning and practicing healthy hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. We must remain vigilant to promote healthy habits.”

In addition to stressing the importance of regular hand hygiene, the hands-on program taught students proper hand washing. Students applied lotion to represent germs, placed their hands under a black light to see the germs, then washed them away. 

Yoga at Old North Academy


Old North Brings Yoga to the Classroom


One Old North Academy classroom has added an age-old relaxation practice to its daily routine: yoga. When students enter Emily Nelson’s music room, they immediately review expectations, routines, and procedures, giving them a guideline on what to expect in the classroom and for the rest of the day. Adding yoga’s breathing and stretching exercises to this routine, helps students focus mentally, connect emotionally, and build strength physically.


"The body and breath are directly connected to singing. My students and I focus on light stretching and mindful meditation for 5-10 minutes to alleviate nervousness and loosen muscles. It is also a great way to start class. My room promotes a relaxing, fun, and musical environment," said Emily Nelson, Music Teacher at Old North Academy


Along with yoga, Nelson keeps her students engaged in music lessons by teaching many different music styles and traditions. Currently, her second graders are focusing on the traditions and cultures of Jamaica. Students learn songs and play instruments that accompany the melody. Seeing the success this has had for her students, Nelson continues to incorporate similar instructional methods across all of her classes.

Arts and Education Fund for Teachers

Arts and Education Fund LogoThrough an Arts and Education Council grant, GCAA’s theater department is now able to offer more students more artistic projects and opportunities that align with the school’s curriculum. In addition to enhancing student learning, the grant benefits the theater department’s showcases, licensing, costumes, props, decorations, etc.

The Arts and Education Fund for Teachers supports arts education programs within area school districts, classroom-based projects and artistic opportunities that engage students in the creative process. The theater department’s limited number of productions limits student participation. However, the grant allows more students to engage in the process of creating, performing, and connecting to the materials learned in class.

"This is an exciting opportunity for our theater program. These showcases are vital to building arts integration collaborations, and they provide more opportunities for our students to demonstrate their developing artistic voices", said Keith Williams, GCAA Theater Teacher.

The holidays are a time of celebration and giving back to the community. This season, Old North Academy with the Bailey Foundation hosted the first Holiday Mobile Market on December 11. Old North’s gym was transformed into a winter wonderland, filled with life-size candy canes, presents, snow, Santa’s helpers, and cartoon characters. Kids took pictures with Santa and families received free essential items and toys. 


“It’s heartwarming to see the incredible participation from parents, scholars, and volunteers from the Bailey Foundation,” said Principal Leslie Muhammad. “They put forth an amazing winter wonderland-filled experience. Thanks to the Bailey Foundation for their continued support.”


Holiday Event at Old North

CPA Varsity Boys Basketball

Confluence Preparatory Academy’s boys basketball team has started their season strong, working hard under the guidance of Coach Brian Karvinen. So far this season, they have a winning 4-3 record, placing second in their first tournament — Alton-Tip Off Tournament — and third at the Webster Tournament. With such an impressive track record, CPA is ranked fourth in the area’s boys basketball rankings according to STLToday. 

"I am extremely proud of this group so far this season. They have worked hard in class and on the court every day, and have shown sportsmanship through some adverse situations." -- Coach Karvinen, CPA PE Teacher & Varsity Boys Basketball Coach

"Brian knows the ins and outs, and he does an amazing job of challenging our athletes to play their best, to constantly improve and grow on and off the court." Angela Prebianca, CPA Athletics Director

Pictured: CPA’s varsity team led by seniors Trasean White, Jamod Robinson, Gabe Butler, Andrew Jackson, and sophomore Bryant Moore.

Soccer, Dance, Cheer at Aspire Academy

Aspire Cheer Aspire Soccer Aspire Cheer
It’s a year of firsts at Aspire Academy – the school’s first year serving pre-K through second grades, and its first year inviting first- and second-graders to participate in soccer, dance, and cheerleading. Teachers Kyle Leckrone, Elisheba Dotson, and Grace Woodward made the activities possible. “I really enjoy getting to know and build relationships with students outside the traditional school day,” said Leckrone, who coached soccer. “What I enjoy most is being able to encourage these girls to be leaders and role-models,” said Woodward, who coached cheerleading.

South City Students

Community. Achievement. 

It’s more than a tagline. At South City Academy, students live out this ideal every day. Over the years, the school’s mission and principles have remained the same: positively impact its students and community. 

Every month, student council creates an agenda to bring together students and staff to promote morale and excitement around the school. In 2021, South City Academy’s student council was busy! Their efforts included cleaning up the community, donating food to a local church, and creating a gratitude tree to shine a light on thankfulness and positivity. 

During the holidays, they sold hot chocolate, held festive themed days, and played holiday tunes to start each morning. Most recently, the school’s student council took the initiative to improve the environment. Students spent a December afternoon cleaning up litter around the campus and community, demonstrating community pride by beautifying the school and neighborhood. 

Our student council works hard to create the events and activities around the school. We come up with different ideas and then execute them to ensure that South City is where our students want to be each day. This group allows students to lead, establish positive relationships, and carry out many projects," said Summer Turner, Eighth Grade Teacher & Student Council Sponsor

Confluence Connect

South City Launches Library Book Buddies

South City Book Buddies


In October 2021, South City Academy hosted its first of many Library Book Buddies, a program that gives students from its Meramec and Compton campuses the opportunity to interact with one another as they search for and read books together. 

Once a month, students from the Compton campus are invited to join an upperclassman at the Meramec campus library. The first Library Book Buddies, paired Lauren Kellett’s fifth-grade class with younger students from Kimberly Holmes’ pre-kindergarten class. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our younger readers to see what it means to be fluent,” said Lisa Watson, librarian at South City Academy. “It gives them a peer role model to demonstrate reading skills.”

Old North TheaterAfter a year-and-a-half of audience-less performances, Old North Academy’s theater arts department is excited to be back on the big stage. The time has come to show everyone what Old North students have been practicing and preparing.


This fall, Old North students will deliver two, award-worthy performances of the short one-act play, When Bad Things Happen to Good Actors, and a condensed scene from the comedy production, The Play That Goes Wrong.


Save the dates:

December 10, 2021 - Old North students are excited to perform live on December 10 at 7:00 pm. The performance will be held in Aspire Academy’s gymnasium. 

April 2022 - Old North students will perform monologues, dance numbers, and a preview scene from the school’s spring musical production of FAME Jr. Performance to be held at Grand Center Arts Academy’s Sun Theatre. 

Dr Candice Carter-OliverPart of the excitement and joy of getting back to school this year was reopening our classrooms to students, staff, and families. As each of our campuses opened their doors for the first day of school, they had three goals: normalize the school day, acclimate students to the buildings, and establish positive connections. These will set the stage for a successful and productive learning experience this school year. 

While we are still settling into new routines, we are enthusiastically reuniting and rebuilding relationships with students, coworkers, and families. We believe that we are all better when we can be physically present with one another. As we reunite with students in the classroom, we are attentive to their social and emotional well-being, providing them a safe, supportive, and positive environment in which to learn. 

This year in particular, took extensive preparation and planning for the return of students. To ensure they receive a high-quality education in a safe environment, Confluence Academies has implemented the following safety measures:

  • Face masks are required in all school buildings and buses.
  • Students are reminded to wash their hands frequently, physically distance, and sanitize.
  • School facilities and classrooms are regularly sanitized, equipped with cleaning supplies, and frequently monitored for ventilation and air quality.
  • Families, students, and staff are informed as new information is available.
  • The district will quickly respond to changing conditions to prevent major disruptions in education.

Let us be proactive in staying safe and healthy. We are excited to be together again for what will be an incredible school year! 

Noche de Herencia Hispana

South City Launches Library Buddies


South City Academy held its annual Hispanic Heritage Night on September 28. The event celebrated and introduced South City students, families, faculty, and staff to the various aspects of Hispanic culture. The evening was filled with student displays, family-friendly activities, songs, dances, crafts, and Latin-inspired food! 

“With many of our students of Hispanic or Latino descent, we want them to embrace, celebrate, and remember their heritage and culture,” said Pam Davenport, principal of South City Academy. “Not only was this a night to remember, but also a way to recognize the contributions of the Latino and Hispanic community.” 

The Leyendo con la Familia and “I See Me” stations provided students with books in English and/or Spanish that feature characters who mirror themselves. The school’s student support team (social workers and counselors) gave out information on community resources and helped students create their own stress balls made out of rice and balloons. Throughout the evening, families relaxed on the school lawn while sampling foods from several Latin American countries and listening to live music by Mariachi Tres Reyes. We even had one of our parents, Cecilia Lorenzo, sing!

GCAA Students

GCAA Staff, New Head of School Visit 500 Families

The pandemic, no doubt, left many people feeling disconnected. Grand Center Arts Academy’s new head of school, Dr. Shane Hopper, along with school staff spent their summer reconnecting with students and families. They visited 500 homes to safely and personally welcome back their talented, student artists.

“I am thankful for all of our students to be back in-person instead of learning virtually,” said Hopper. “The energy is much different when students and staff are in the building working together.” 

Students, friends, families, and co-workers returned to the creative campus in August. From last year’s virtual learning to this year’s in-person classes, the arts school is not only committed to its students’ health and safety, but also being innovative, providing the best opportunities, and fostering a positive learning and academic experience for students. 

“It is great to see everyone again, and I am thankful for the warm welcome and gratitude of our school community,” said Hopper.

CPA Football Field

During Confluence Preparatory Academy’s homecoming week, high school students showed off their unique sense of style and school spirit by dressing up in a different theme each day: PJ day, jersey day, 2000s day, Old Man Jenkins, and repping the class colors. 

At the homecoming game, the Titan football team kicked off their season against Solden High School with five students from Grand Center Arts Academy, who joined the Titans this year for the two school’s first cooperative season. At the homecoming dance, CPA students once again transformed their looks from athletic uniforms on the field to best dressed on the red carpet for the Hollywood theme. Congrats to the homecoming court!

  • King: Dennis Robinson  (12th)
  • Queen: Trinity Bramlett (12th) 
  • Prince: Ralph Times (11th)
  • Princess: Dionna Stovall (11th)
  • Duchess: Shakyra Billups (10th)
  • Lord: Dajon Anderson (9th)
  • Lady: Jamiyah Haywood (9th)


New Grand Center Entry

Before opening the doors for the 2021-2022 school year, Grand Center Arts Academy came up with a grand way to welcome back students. “This mural was based on a series of murals in New York to bring attention to changing bird migration paths,” said art teacher, Elizabeth Klein. “Craft Alliance was generous to supply us with materials and volunteers, and helped coach us through the mural process.” Klein and her students worked throughout the summer to glaze, make slabs, fire the kiln, and glue the pieces. Thanks to Vincent Goodnoe, Watasha Wusby, Catharine Magel, Michael Parrett, and Robbie Peterson (pictured). 

Papa Joe Heads to NYC For Broadway Teachers WorkshopOld North Academy’s theatre arts and dance teacher, Joe Always-Baker (Papa Joe), traveled to New York City in October for the Broadway Teachers Workshop. In addition to learning from top Broadway guest stars and attending Broadway shows, Always-Baker was also an instructor at the four-day workshop.

“Mr. Always-Baker always puts his time and efforts into our students to bring them the best opportunities,” said Leslie Muhammad, principal of Old North. “We are grateful to have him on our team.” 

Aspire’s New Music Teacher Introduces New Instruments

Aspire Academy’s newest music teacher, Geoffrey Tibbles, always knew he wanted to teach, but he didn’t always know he wanted to be a music teacher.  

“I didn’t realize I wanted to teach music until I was 18, getting ready to go to college,” said Tibbles. “I got to be the drum major of my marching band, and this put me in the role of a music educator for the first time. I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” 

Tibbles joined Aspire Academy during the pandemic. Since then, he has been introducing new experiences and instruments to his students. Prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year, music teachers across Confluence Academies’ multiple campuses worked together preparing for the upcoming year. During that time, Tibbles requested ukuleles for his students; now, Aspire has 20 of them. 

Geoffrey Tibbles“Originally, I only planned to use them with our second graders, but I can see the first graders, and maybe even kindergarteners, will be ready to play them, too,” said Tibbles, who hopes to use them in Aspire’s winter concert. “There will be singing, handbells, drumming, and of course, these new ukuleles!”

The Aspire Academy staff, including the school’s principal, Lacqweda Taylor, appreciates Tibble’s initiative and enthusiasm. 

“We want to show our appreciation for his efforts and accomplishments this year,” said Taylor. “He truly has helped our students thrive and has given them a positive learning experience and environment.” 

Parents Academy kicks off in October 2021 at Aspire Academy. The in-person program teaches families how to help their children succeed in school and in the community. Topics include: how to help students with homework, ways to improve communications, math and reading activities to improve skills, and games and puzzles for family fun nights! Mark your calendars for the third Thursday of the month, October-December 2021 and March-April 2022. Aspire logo

“We want to connect with families and students while addressing their needs,” said Lacqweda Taylor, principal of Aspire Academy. “We asked parents what topics they would like to see addressed and will offer engaging and interactive activities for them to bring back a new normal.”

Restorative Circles

Building a Community at South City Academy

Students often come to school with a lot on their minds and in their hearts. As educators, we want to help them process their thoughts and feelings so they can be more present in the classroom. South City Academy’s seventh grade lead teacher, Michelle Collins, uses restorative circles to discuss topics suggested by and with students.  

Restorative circles is a teaching technique used to build relationships and help students sort through conflicts and real-life scenarios. 

“I enjoy restorative circles,” said Collins. “They allow students to have a sense of community and enable us to gain stronger bonds with one another through the stories and experiences we share.

The technique provides a safe space for building relationships, honing communication skills, supporting one another, and addressing concerns or challenges.  

“We want our students to express themselves freely, while also understanding values such as empathy, patience, kindness, courage, and open-mindedness,” said Pam Davenport, principal of South City Academy. “This practice is helpful in learning to respect one another, while openly and honestly sharing thoughts.” 

Collins wraps up each circle by asking students to share a positive characteristic about the person next to them or to tell an interesting fact about themselves. “We encourage them to listen to one another and speak from the heart,” she said.

Titan Volleyball

Go Titans! Confluence Preparatory Academy’s girl’s volleyball team recently returned from a five-day tournament in Orlando, Florida. The Kaylee Scholarship Association (KSA) Tournament is a nationwide competition, bringing together teams that may not otherwise compete against one another. The tournament welcomed student-athletes, professionals, and amateurs to compete and learn about teamwork, goal setting, and the rewards of hard work. 

Six varsity players from CPA participated: Dajah Hamilton and Christianah Shaw (seniors); Anayla Waters, Deniyah Alexander, and Asiana Brefford (juniors); and Tynyiah Trotter (sophomore). The three seniors — Hamilton, Shaw, and Simpson — have played volleyball all four years at CPA.

Thirty varsity teams and eight junior varsity teams competed in the KSA Tournament. The Titans played six games in the junior varsity pool, winning the first set of the season against a Florida team.

Titan Volleyball

“I love their passion,” said Coach Brittany Ray. “They showed up and never gave up. 

For most of the girls, it was their first time flying, traveling out of state, or seeing the ocean. After competing, they visited COCO Beach, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay! 

“These girls came to play some competitive volleyball, but also got to enjoy themselves,” said Ray. “They represented Confluence Academies with good attitudes and great efforts while in Florida. I couldn’t have asked for a better team, and I am glad I was able to experience this with them.” 

The players fundraised to pay for the trip. “We want to thank all those who donated over the past year to give these ladies a lifetime of memories,” said Ray.

 Pictured (L to R): Tynyiah Trotter, Anayla Waters, Lana Hughey, Asiana Brefford, Deniyah Alexander, Brittney Ray, and Dajah Hamilton