Topanga Elementary School Alumni. Where Are They Now?

By Amy Weisberg, M.Ed. NBCT
Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.By Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.      February 5, 2021

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Topanga Elementary School Alumni. Where Are They Now?
One of the benefits of teaching at the same school for many years is having siblings in my class. Erin Hanson followed her brother Brian in my class, and I was thrilled to have her in class along with her wonderful, involved parents, Doug and Elaine. I love that my class each year becomes a classroom family, and having parents involved both in and out of the classroom has made a tremendous difference. I remember Erin as an enthusiastic, well-behaved student who made friends easily. She was so excited to come to Topanga Elementary, following in her brother’s footsteps. I have stayed in touch with Elaine over the years, and had heard a bit about what Erin was doing, but was very happy to have Erin, herself, fill me in. Erin Hanson, Using Music for Social Change Erin is 28 years old and culminated from Topanga Elementary Charter School in 2003. What do you remember about your experience at TECS? Activities participated in? Teachers you remember? Friendships? Is there anything that really had an impact on you? I have nothing but fond memories of Topanga Elementary. It provided such a unique, tight-knit community feel that I now know was incredibly rare. I have friendships that started there that have lasted to today—not only people in and around my year, but also my kindergarten little buddy! One of my fonder memories is the yearly book fair that took place in the auditorium. I was lucky enough that my mom organized and ran it while my brother and I were students there, so I got to spend extra time amongst the books. Between that and how much effort Mrs. Metzenbaum put into spreading the love of reading, it makes total sense why I’m still such an avid reader today. I have the unique situation of being a fourth generation Topangan, and I’m certain that growing up in this community strongly influenced where I am in life now. It’s such a special place to be raised and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I am so lucky that my parents still live there and are active members of the community, so that I can stay involved.
What higher education or training have you pursued? After graduating from Palisades High School, I went to University of Southern California to study in their Music Industry program in Thornton School of Music, as well as Social Entrepreneurship in Marshall School of Business. My goal was to find ways to use music as a vehicle for social change, a motivation which was no doubt a product of the caring, artsdriven community I grew up in.

What do you love/enjoy about your career path?
I am an Artist Manager, which means I help shape my clients’ careers on all levels, acting as the other half of their brains and allowing them to focus solely on the creative aspects of being an artist. It’s a job that’s never boring; no two days are alike. I have a deep love of music and am drawn to the business side of the industry, so being able to help musicians achieve their dreams is a perfect situation for me. I believe music is so incredibly powerful, and I’m lucky to have clients who are as passionate as I am about philanthropy. I also get to travel the world for my job (except in 2020!) which is an amazing perk. I also get to supplement my job with the hugely rewarding involvement in music-based non-profits. I’m heavily involved in the leadership for Women in Music, a global organization that works to advance and empower women in all areas of the industry. I am also an Ambassador for MusiCares, who, according to their mission statement, provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need.
Learning about Erin’s passion not only for music and helping artists but for contributing with compassion to those in need and working to advance and empower women, I can’t help but remember the enthusiastic, compassionate young girl I watched grow up at Topanga Elementary Charter School who has grown into a successful, independent career woman.
From left, clockwise: Erin, all grown up loves her career; Brother Brian and Erin off to school; A family moment with the Hanson family; Erin up a tree.
Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.
      February 5, 2021

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February 5, 2021

The arts
Covid diary
Thinking out loud
All things connected
Topanga historical society