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December 16, 2021



KCPS is now enrolling students for the 2022-23 school year.

Topher Rauth, a sophomore at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, is performing in the Kansas City Repertory Theatre's production of 'A Christmas Carol.' He plays Teen Scrooge, Ignorance and Turkey Boy. Lou Ann Balderston / KC Rep

LCPA Sophomore Finds Self-Expression Onstage

The lights dimmed, and the Christmas bells began to chime. A moment later, actors in Victorian costumes bounded through the theater, full of cheer.


Among them was Topher Rauth, a sophomore at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, performing in the KC Rep’s holiday tradition, “A Christmas Carol.”


As part of the youth cast, Topher has three roles. He plays Teen Scrooge opposite Gary Neal Johnson, one of Kansas City’s most respected actors. He appears as Ignorance, one of the wretched children that represents the poor and downtrodden in Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic. And at the end of the play, Topher’s character buys a turkey at Scrooge’s behest and delivers it to Bob Cratchit’s family.


“Theater in general has been a way for me to have fun and express myself,” Topher said. “It’s really helped me a lot in school, too, memorization-wise —and being committed to something.”


This is Topher’s second year performing in “A Christmas Carol.” In 2019, he played Teen Scrooge.


This year, his favorite part is one of the new ones.


“Ignorance doesn’t have any lines. His whole character is to warn Scrooge: ‘If you don’t change your ways, ignorance and want are going to kill you, and Tiny Tim will die as well,’” Topher said.

A Christmas Carol--Ignorance.JPG

One of Topher Rauth's 'A Christmas Carol' roles is Ignorance, a street urchin who represents the poor and downtrodden in Victorian London. Lou Ann Balderston / KC Rep

Right before Ignorance appears, the cast is onstage singing a candlelit carol. Then it’s a quick costume change for Topher before he’s back, crawling out from under the Ghost of Christmas Present’s robes to torment the miserly Scrooge.


“During Candlelight Carol, in the back of my mind, I’m always thinking about ignorance,” Topher said.


Even with two youth casts performing in “A Christmas Carol,” Topher said it’s been tricky to keep up with his schoolwork.


“I have some catching up to do. Luckily, I have a supportive family that’s pushing me through to get it done. And my teachers have been very understanding. I know I can always reach out to them,” Topher said.


Topher’s friends are supportive, too. He started at Lincoln last year during the pandemic and immediately found friends even though he hadn’t gone to elementary or middle school with any of his classmates.


“I just want to encourage everyone at Lincoln to be yourself,” Topher said. “Try not to care as much what other people think of you and just enjoy your high school experience.”


"A Christmas Carol" runs through Dec. 26. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the KC Rep box office at 816-235-2700. Topher performs with the Ivy youth cast.


Students in the Culinary Arts class at Manual Career & Technical Center put the finishing touches on their gingerbread houses on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. Typically, their projects are displayed at Union Station, but due to the pandemic, this year they have been moved to the Board of Education, 2901 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Missouri.

A KCPS Holiday Tradition Returns: Culinary Arts Class Gingerbread Village on Display at the BOE

Northeast High School senior Samuel Cuong has spent hours decorating the roof of his gingerbread house with sugared candies, Skittles and Tootsie Roll Pops.


“I got this idea from a picture online, but it’s not exactly the same. I’ve created some of my ideas on it, like these doors,” Samuel said, pointing out graham cracker French doors on a gingerbread balcony.


The project is a favorite of Chef Dan Hogan, who teaches the Culinary Arts classes at Manual Career & Technical Center.


“Every year we do this. We love it. The kids love it. It’s a great way to end the semester. The students have an opportunity to truly express themselves and their talent,” Hogan said. “They have free rein to be as creative as they want to be.” Continue reading ...

Two KCPS Programs Awarded $10,000 Grants



On December 8, 2021, two KCPS programs each received $10,000 grants from BeGreat Together, a nonprofit that provides financial support for Black- and Latino-led community initiatives. (Top) Success Academy at Anderson teacher Ladanya Johnson is expanding access to Family and Consumer Sciences classes. (Bottom) The International Welcome Center is building a multilingual library for families. 

The Latest KCPS Our Voice Magazine Is Online!