A dynamic duo

The long standing friendship of Mr. May and Mr. Voss


Photo by and used with permission of David Voss

Joe May, English teacher, and David Voss, History teacher, standing in front of “La Antorcha de la Amistad” (The Torch of Friendship). The duo have been close friends for about 15 years have have participated in engaging Charity Bash events that showcased their close friendship.

Annette Suk, Business Manager

When juniors and seniors are asked of the most iconic friendship in school, most will claim that it is Joe May, English teacher, and David Voss, AP History teacher. Continuing their friendship of 15 years, they convince students of their strong bond of friendship through musical duets, beard swapping, and including each other in their PowerPoints and presentations.

    While they did do interesting events in the past for Charity Bash, such as “beard swapping” and musical duets, their friendship is clearly present throughout their PowerPoints and tests, where they include nicknames such as “Vossbot” at the end of May’s tests or a poster of “Mount Vossmore”, including May’s and Voss’s faces. 

    They continue to include each other their tests, laughing over the time they first included each other:

Voss: “I think the first time he did it, he included me so I just put a picture in. I put it in a quiz just to counteract that,” 

May: “That took a life on its own. I think part of it started when I made some jokes early on, many, many years ago. I think I had you in a PowerPoint and I don’t even show the PowerPoint anymore. I can’t remember what it was for. I think it was the Devil Voss thing that I made,”

Voss: “Possibly,” 

May: “And then you made a PowerPoint with me and some book in hell or something like that. I think it started with one joke and now it’s just kind of default jokes on tests.”

Voss: “I think I only have you on one quiz and there’s a picture at the bottom of it,” 

May: “Yeah, I only have one picture of you now too,” 

Voss: “I don’t have your name or anything,” 

They also utilized their friendship for Charity Bash, performing a musical duet with a tuba and an accordion, showing a PowerPoint of Voss and May “beard swapping”, and having a tournament in May’s backyard.

They have no embarrassing memories of each other, even confirming their old Charity Bash events are “hilarious”:

May: “We’ve done a lot of goofy stuff for charity in the past. If all of our classes, the ones that we shared between APUSH and APLAC, raised about $2,000, we would play a musical duet and we never told them what we were going to play,” 

Voss: “I played the tuba and he played the accordion. Embarrassing? No-”

May: “No, it was hilarious. We filled up the-”

Voss: “The original version of Studio C.,” 

May: “When Studio C was great.,” 

Voss: “[About the beard swapping] I used to, once a year, grow a beard. Also for Charity Bash, we made this goofy PowerPoint, where we basically took a picture of ourselves and took off the beard.” 

May: “Well it started as a joke because we had done the musical duet a year before. So like ‘Alright fine. If you guys raise this much we’ll swap beards.’” 

Voss: “I would have a history of beards too. It was quite educational.” 

May: “There was some learning involved.” 

For the duo, it all started at around 2003 and they have continued their friendship for almost 16 years. They became close friends when they nearly had the same students while sharing a classroom together. 

They play off of each other when talking about their favorite memories:

May: “I think when we shared the classroom in general. We had a really fun class.” 

Voss: “We just saw each other all the time.” 

May: “Yeah, so it was really funny.” 

Voss: “Students saw us all the time. Although that doesn’t happen as much.” 

May: “So that was a fun year just because of the interactions there.”

Voss: “The wiffle ball tournament was pretty good.” 

May: “Yeah, that was pretty funny.” 

Voss: “For a whole spring we had a wiffle ball tournament in his backyard.” 

May: “I forgot about that. The greatest achievement is our washer madness titles.”

When a student walks into May’s classroom, they can see a bulletin board right next to the board that states, “AP STUDS”. The board also has its own history that dates when AP English and AP history were in one room. 

They laugh as they talk about the bulletin board:

Voss: “I used to have all my classrooms upstairs. So I was always in three different classrooms. There were three to four years where I was upstairs and I would have one or two classes in his room.

May: “And I was entrenched in E207. We had a bulletin board. It says, ‘AP STUDS’. That’s where it came from. It was the two of us making a joke about-.”

Voss: “Because yeah, AP english and AP history in the same room. There was one year where I had first period and I had 10-15 students who had him in the very next period so-” 

May: “He didn’t leave.”

Voss: “So it was obviously American Studies. It was a joke because it was called American Studies.” 

They bond well as friends due to their similar tastes in humor, students, and interests:

Voss: “You said before, a similar sense of humor or demeanor. We are similar people and how we act. We share students so that’s a common link.”

May: “We like nerdy smart stuff as much as we like sports stuff and goofy stuff so it’s just the combination of interests.” 

Voss: “And we see each other every day.”