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Paramount Scholar Steals the Show in Local Production of CATS

One Paramount Charter Academy scholar graced the stage with whiskers and cat ears, participating in a special production of the legendary musical CATS.
Genevieve Miller, a sixth-grade scholar, performed in the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre’s Penguin Production of CATS as Jennyanydots. Miller’s mother also directed the show and serves as the director of education and outreach for the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre.
The feline-filled stage show was put on in partnership with The Penguin Project, a foundation that supports young actors with developmental disabilities. These performers are joined on stage by a mentor throughout the rehearsal process and during performances. Mentors are children of the same age without disabilities who volunteer to work with their counterparts. Miller has been a staple of these productions at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, performing in all four of the theater’s Penguin Project shows.
Miller on stage in CATSMiller has performed in all four of the theater’s Penguin Project productions.
Miller and her cluster of musical cats performed from Jan. 26 through Feb. 4. She also saw some familiar faces in the audience at one show. Paramount took 75 scholars to go see their fellow classmate perform at a weekday matinee performance.
Paramount Principal Christine Welc said the original plan of gathering staff to support their student morphed into a field trip for other students to see their friend’s work in action.
“Seeing one of our scholars doing something so special like this gives me chills,” Welc said. “It’s all so touching to see the other students’ reactions. We had a lot of students who wanted to go and see her perform, and that’s pretty cool.”
Leading up to the field trip, Miller’s upcoming performance was all the buzz at school. Scholars had a quick turnaround to get in payment and permission slips for the field trip, but they prioritized the event to support their classmate.
Paramount’s pride in Miller radiated at a recent awards ceremony when the field trip was a topic of discussion and she was able to celebrate her achievement.  
Welc said seeing the show, accompanied by 75 students and 10 chaperones, was a wonderful experience.
“Our hearts are definitely more full today after seeing Genevieve perform,” Welc said. “I’m so grateful that we were able to see the performance but more so that The Penguin Project provides this opportunity to students in Kalamazoo.”
Keep up the great work, Genevieve!
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About Paramount Charter Academy
Paramount Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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