UPDATE April 1, 2015

Continuing to build on the generous donation of Scot D. Foster of 2013 and the help of the Vocal and Language Arts Departments we were recently able to replace two of our aging wireless receivers, add four new wireless microphones, two handhelds and two body packs with lavalier microphones, two microphone stands, and two new chairs for our sound and light booth.  

UPDATE September 1, 2014

Through the generous help of our Westside Pride Booster Club, the Theatre Improvement Fund, and two anonymous donors we were able to replace our aging analog sound board with a brand new digital board expandable to over 24 channels to support our music department and theatre departments.  

In addition and more importantly, our analog sound processor responsible for all inputs and outputs in the sound system has be replaced and retuned to bypass damaged speakers in the system to provide a quality sound for our all of our patrons and students. 

The Beginning of the Theatre Improvement Fund

In the fall of 2013, I was working at my desk and some students were preparing for our annual performing art showcase, Pops Concert, on stage.  Mr. Evans came through the door with an alumnus of Topeka West and a couple friends who were in town for a reunion.  They had not seen the new dressing rooms, green room, and scene shop that had been added in 1994 and were amazed with all the improvements that had been made since their departure. After walking the gentlemen through the spaces and introducing them to the students, I walked them to the circle drive and thought little more of the 30 minutes I had enjoyed their company.

A few weeks later Ms. Carton informed me that the gentlemen to whom I had given an impromptu tour wanted to give back to the department that he enjoyed so much.  Coincidentally, due to numerous complaints about the sound quality in our theater, we had just received some quotes to upgrade various parts of our system just a few weeks before the impromptu tour. Through the generous support of our building administration and the parents of Westside Pride, we were able to upgrade our analog mixer to a digital mixer as well as rebalance the amplification array to bypass one of the five speakers that no longer operate.  However, we still needed to upgrade the sound board and still replace the aging amplifiers as well as a list of other items such as curtains, lighting instruments and controls, microphones, etc.  When our surprise guest, Scot D. Foster (TWHS '68), heard the need he was quick to send a donation to help with our next steps of improving our space for our students and patrons.  Mr. Foster along with a few other anonymous donors as well as proceeds from Pops Concert and Improv Shows have allowed us to create the Theater Improvement Fund and we are currently upgrading our sound board in time for the musical in February.

We will continue to add to the Theater Improvement Fund with various fundraisers, personal and business sponsorships, and other events to help build up the funds to continue to maintain the space in the way our students and audience members deserve.

If you have any questions about regarding future upgrades or would like to be involved, please contact Mr. McCoy at rmccoy@topeka.k12.ks.us or 785-438-4102. 

Who is Scot D. Foster?

Scot D. Foster, CRNA, PhD, FAAN, is a Professor and the Academic Vice President and Provost at Samuel Merritt University.  He began his professional career in 1976 as a certified registered nurse anesthetist at the University of Kansas Medical Center, serving as a faculty member in the Department of Anesthesiology and Associate Director of the Program of Nurse Anesthesia.  In 1988, he became the Director of Research for the Program of Nurse Anesthesia, UCLA School of Medicine.  In 1994, he served as consultant to SMU to form a new program of nurse anesthesia and within the year, become director of that inaugural program.  He was named Academic Vice President and Provost at SMU in 2003.

Dr. Foster is an active member of the 45,000 member organization of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, where he served on the national board for six years and as President in 1997-1998.  He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Nursing.  He completed his nursing and anesthesia training at the University of Kansas, and a PhD in Higher Education.  He holds masters degrees from Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City as well as a fellowship in educational leadership from Harvard University.  Dr. Foster is widely published including three textbooks on anesthesia-related clinical and professional topics. 

At Topeka West, Scot was a member of the Topeka West Singers for two years, (67-68) and had leads in TWHS musicals of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, as well as roles in The Heiress and Haunting of Hill House

Scot is committed to developing future generations of leaders thorough the medium of theatre and music performance.  His philosophy is that the arts will always be the key medium through which high school graduates can explore and achieve their professional goals, regardless of field or specialty pursued in adulthood.