Santa Checks in Early with TECS Students

By Pete Samson

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Santa Checks in Early with TECS Students
Giselle Marsh gives Santa a run for his money in the festive outfit stakes.
Santa Claus landed early in our canyon this year—bringing joy to students at Topanga Elementary’s Holiday Party. The special guest continued his preparations for the big night by meeting families at the festive event, which took place in the school auditorium on December 8.
Aya LaBrot and Fiona McGraw get into the holiday spirit.
More than 250 people attended the party, which also included a gingerbread house and ugly sweater contest, ornament decorating, and karaoke.
Griffin Nelson Thomas, in his homemade festive outfit which won him a prize in the Ugly Sweater contest, alongside Santa.
Stephanie Polansky, leader of the school’s Visual and Performing Arts committee (VAPA), who organized the party, said: “This joyous event brought together Topanga Elementary families for an evening filled with laughter, cheer, and festive spirit. The highlight of the night was the highly anticipated gingerbread house contest, where our students showcased their creativity and imagination.
Griffin Pereira looking merry as he meets Father
“Santa Claus himself made a special appearance, spreading holiday magic and granting wishes to the children. The ugly sweater contest added a touch of whimsy, with participants proudly donning their most outrageous and hilarious holiday attire. And as the night progressed, the karaoke machine took center stage, unleashing hidden talents and creating an atmosphere of pure joy.”
Belle and Tim Millar and their kids, Ailbe and Hester, enjoy their meeting with Santa, their other son, Hugo, not so much.
A toy drive at the party, in collaboration with Topanga Women’s Circle, helped collect 18 gift bags which were sent to children at The Bessie Pregerson Child Development Center at the Westwood Salvation Army complex.
Billie Adamsson shares her wishes with Santa
James and Maggie Campbell-Collins, as Santa admires the second grader’s Gingerbread House Contest trophy.
Nico and Sebastian Aguilar Oliveras, and their parents Alfonso and Franshesca, with Saint Nick.
Maya Samson, Mina Ronen and Oren Galai confirm they’re all on “The Nice List.”
All money raised at the event will go towards funding the enrichment education at Topanga Elementary Charter School—including the classroom aides and specialist science, art, music, technology, P.E. and outdoor education teachers.

These staff are all funded entirely by donations from parents and the wider Topanga community, via the school’s Giving Fund and fundraising events. Photos By Tomiris Seisenova-Bell

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