Senior Spotlight: Champion headed to Troy on full-tuition scholarship

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Although Verbena High School senior Joe Champion’s high school experience began at another school, he has enjoyed his time at VHS.

Champion came to VHS in 10th grade. He said he has enjoyed the atmosphere of the school.

“People are more genuine,” Champion said.

The students were more laid back about how others perceive them than at his previous school, Champion said.

Immediately after graduation, Champion wants to take a few weeks to enjoy the summer before working odd jobs to raise money for expenses at college.

Champion plans to study computer science at Troy University.

Champion said he enjoys working with computers.

“I just figure it is one of the more interesting fields that you can go into and still have fun,” Champion said.

Through ACCESS classes offered at VHS, Champion has taken AP computer science, web design and computer programing.

Champion wants to dual minor in either psychology and music or American Sign Language and music.

Champion received the Troy University Chancellor’s Award full-tuition scholarship. The scholarship is based on ACT score and GPA. Champion had a 31 on the ACT and his unweighted (not counting honors courses as worth more points) GPA is a 3.9.

“Their band program is the best, in my opinion,” Champion said.

Being a part of the band program has been a highlight of his time at VHS.

Champion said he has been in band at his schools for the past seven years.

“I really like being able to work with a lot of people and sharing how much I care for music and how I feel it should be,” Champion said.

He said he felt he has “added something” to the program and has tried to be a leader in the group.

Champion has served as band captain for the past two years.

“I have always tried to show as positive an attitude as I could and help people who need it,” Champion said.

His senior year was a rebuilding year for the program.

“I hope to come back from college and just stop in every now and again just to see how the band program is doing,” Champion said.

The band competed in a solo and ensemble competition and Troy University’s Band Day.

He said the band day gave VHS musicians and those from other schools the chance to play with Troy University’s band “and experience just this massive scale of sound.”

Champion played the baritone and tuba in high school band, but he can also play the saxophone.

Champion has also been a part of the inaugural Chess Club at VHS and Scholar’s Bowl.

At the Chilton County Scholar’s Bowl competition, VHS placed third place overall and Champion tied for fifth place overall in the individual side of the competition.

He said he wanted to encourage future high school seniors to continue working hard in the second half of the school year, otherwise the last few weeks of school can be tough.