Students Engaging in Leadership at Topanga Elementary

By TECS News Team

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Students Engaging in Leadership at Topanga Elementary
Photo by xxxxxxxxx Fourth grader Coco Hosch is campaigning for the position of Historian in this year’s Student Council elections.
The start of the new year marks the kick-off of Student Council at Topanga Elementary Charter School (TECS). The Student Council gives students in grades 3-5 an opportunity to participate in and practice leadership and responsible decision-making. The Council helps students share their ideas, interests, and concerns with the teachers and the principal. It helps students raise funds for school-wide projects, and assist those in the community in need of aid. Being on the Council is an opportunity for students to become responsible and active members of our community. An impressive number of third, fourth and fifth graders are running for a number of offices. Third through fifth graders can run for Classroom Representative. For fourth and fifth grades, positions include President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Historian. Campaigning for TECS Student Council entails submitting an application, followed by giving campaign speeches to all classes via Zoom, and campaign posters have livened up the courtyard of the campus of TECS. Once elected, officers and representatives must maintain good grades while performing the duties of their position. Topanga Elementary principal, Kevin Kassebaum (aka “Principal K”), remarked that “it’s great to hear the students talking about who they will vote for and to see the excitement from the candidates as they see their posters displayed in the courtyard. This year’s posters were clever, unique, and just fun!” He also noted that regardless of the outcome, this is a valuable learning and personal growth experience for all who run for office this year. Fourth grader Coco Hosch is running for Historian with the pitch, “Let’s Make History together!!” Coco has loved being part of this experience. Her speech included her commitment to “help to keep our school clean and beautiful and our spirits high!.” In her speech she also pledged that “if you vote for me, I will create a ‘Super Hero day!’ Super Hero day is when you go to school dressed up as a super hero.” Her classmate Zach Bertolli remarked, “I’m running for Vice President because I can really make a difference. I’m looking forward to listening to everyone’s suggestions if I’m elected.” Coco, Zach, and fellow candidates all have exciting plans for their school. Participating in the Council makes a lasting impact on students. Former TECS Student Council Secretary Phoenix Rodan, now a senior at Palisades High School, commented that “the most fun aspect was the connections I made with teachers and fellow students during the process. It was definitely a responsibility but it was never hard, only exciting and exhilarating.” In other campus news, the new year also marks the start of Tech Enrichment at TECS. Computerwisekids, based in Woodland Hills, is providing computer classes to teach TECS students basic computing skills. Students will receive a program designed to increase computer and technology literacy. Depending on the class level, coding and robotics lessons are part of the curriculum. Kids will also be taught about online safety, language arts, and social studies. Math standards are integrated with technology projects. The TECS program from Computerwisekids is being led by a specially trained teacher, Mr. Aren Elmayan. Mr. Elmayan has both a computer science background and experience teaching English as a SecondLanguage (ESL) students. We extend a warm welcome from our school community to Mr. Elmayan and the team from Computerwisekids. The computer classes are supported by the TECS booster club, Topanga Enrichment Programs (TEP), that provides funding for many enrichment programs at Topanga Elementary. Whether you are a parent at TECS or a community member who believes in the importance of quality public education, there are many ways to support TEP activities at TECS. One way is to sponsor new student art banners featured on Topanga School Road, to both advertise your business to the school community and support school enrichment programs. Contact TEP Board at for details. Our children thank you!

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February 4, 2022