With Love: Teacher Appreciation Day

Pictured above at the Teachers Appreciation Day breakfast are Mrs. De la O, Mrs. Weisberg, Mrs. Tobisman, Ms. Santora, Mrs. Tapper, Ms. Galindo, Mr. Harrell. Not pictured are: Ms. Kort, Miss Winikoff, Ms Chatham, Ms. Welch, Ms Talan, Ms. Harlow, Ms. Ripke (Resource Teacher), and Ms. Benor (Science). Photo by Kristine Sloan

Before school days vanished into summer sun and fun days, Topanga Elementary students attended an assembly where they celebrated Teacher Appreciation Day and included school staff as well. The children created art and a list of why they love, not like, but most often, love their teachers. There were lots of hugs, a few tears, and the biggest lesson of all: how to move on with joy and love in your heart. If we may speak for the Topanga community, we also love and appreciate all that teachers do for our children.


Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten, Mrs. Amy Weisberg (LAUSD Teacher of the Year)

        I enjoyed learning about fairy tales because it helps me learn how to read.

        I wish she could be my teacher forever!

        Every day she has good hair.

        I love working on my fairytale book with her.

        She is kind and keeps me safe. She teaches me to read and draw.

        She helps all of the children who go in her class and makes the homework easy to do.

        She wears pretty clothes and is nice.

Kindergarten, Ms. Linda Kort

        Math is the most fun thing with Ms. Kort.

        I love it when she hugs me and calls me her little appendage.

        She gives us hugs and cookies

        She is the best teacher ever.

        When I get hurt, she takes me to the office, does our animal reports with us, and gives me hugs.

        Her smile is electric.

        I like that she always says goodbye to us at the end of the day. Everyone chooses a hug now!

        She has letter cookies and gives me R ones. She hugs me every day, all the time. We love you, Ms. Kort!!! Clan Rooney Xoxoxo

        She dresses the most cool, her hugs are the most hugfull (good), and she likes everything I draw.

        When I think about her I think about hearts.

        I love when Ms. Kort lets me write a card for my dad. Also, she lets me get some of her snacks.

        She does calendars with us, is nice to me, and lets us have free choice.

Kindergarten, Ms. Raquel Galindo

She’s a good teacher!  We love the way she teaches, especially how to stand in front of the room and give speeches. Every day we go to her for whatever we need, whether it’s writing skills or to tattle on someone. We will cry when it’s time to say goodbye, but not for long, because we will see her every day next year passing by on our way to first grade! Our parents love that she sets limits and boundaries, teaches manners and chivalry, too. It’s a joy to see her every day, like a ray of sunshine after the rain. Thank you, Ms. Galindo! We love you!!!

First Grade, Miss Sarah Winikoff

Miss Winikoff is energetic, dedicated, and an excellent teacher. We have all learned a lot and had a lot of fun in the process. We love you Miss Winikoff!! You’re the best!

First Grade, Ms. Moria De La O

You have a crazy first grade bunch

Who trade the oddest things,

Including snacks and lunch.

They climb the stairs

And ride the banisters

They niggle and chatter

And squabble and natter

They’re sweet and charming;

They grin with glee

They raise their hands,

But don’t always say, “Please.”

They push one another;

They tattle their tales

And when they want something….

They whine and plead

They’re sweet and kind;

They’re loving, too!

They’re up and down

And one might think

They belong in a zoo.

But, through it all, you keep your cool!

You make it fun to come to school.

It’s late in the year

And we wanted to say:

We love and appreciate you,

Yip, Yip, Hooray!

Second Grade, Ms. Devon Chatham

        She is always in a good mood and she gives us fun work and projects.  

        “Mrs. Sunny” always does reading group and I like when she reads Desperaux to us. I like how she uses her hands to express herself.

        She doesn’t scream at us and has a good personality. She is caring, energetic, and loving.

        She is cool, always keeping our class going, is a really good math teacher, poetry teacher, and a good writer.

        She is a great teacher and she’s really fair

        My favorite thing is she tells us stories about her life and her son. I would really like to meet her son.

Second Grade, Mrs. Julie Tobisman

        We will miss her next year because there is no other teacher like her.”

        I like that she gives us second chances in class!

        She tells the best stories!

        She is funny.

        She is nice, funny, cute, sweet, and understanding. And she’s beautiful. She’s a really good teacher!

        Thank you for being my teacher. I learned a lot from you this year.

        She is the nicest teacher ever and I love the fun seating.

        What I like about her is she goes out of her way for students.

        I like her style in both teaching and on clothing.

Third Grade, Ms. Kelly Welch

How to define, in three or so lines the wonders of Miss Kelly Welch?

Cheerful, stupendous… Attentive? Tremendous-ly.

Also, quite funny, a smile bright and sunny,

Witty and pretty, yet tenacious and gritty…

Yells not so much, has a much gentler touch…

Bubbly and kind with a razor-sharp mind,

She dances and sings and does so many things!

Neighbor of Roger, no sub can dislodge her.

Our strong and beloved Ms. Welch

Third Grade, Mr. Roger Harrell

Mr. Harrell is not only a savvy juggler, guitarist, and comedian, he has also mastered writing in his math book with chocolate, talking in tangents, and sharing with us his love of history. We know more about the Chumash than we ever thought we would. We love Mr. Harrell because he lets us be who we are and teaches from his heart.”

Fourth Grade, Ms. Moira Talan

We love Ms. Talan because she is always helping us out and is very sweet and kind. She is the best at being social with the kids in the classroom.

Fourth Grade, Ms. Misty Harlow

We have never had a teacher like Miss Harlow before. She is someone who believes in her students, encouraging each one of them to realize their truest self. We have become more confident people this year. This is worth more than learning math and reading and writing, but she is also great at teaching those subjects.

Fifth Grade, Ms. Sondra Tapper

Now, who loves koalas, pugs and math and just simply can’t hide that she loves to teach?! The kids say she is kind, nice, and she makes learning so fun. In her class, it’s okay to act out…scenarios about Colonial Days, that is. Wow!!! She’s amazing at teaching kids everything we need to be prepared for in middle school. Nine out of ten pugs and koalas agree that her class is exciting, inspiring, and fun.”

Fifth Grade, Ms. Reale Santora

It’s a joy to learn with you every day. We will miss you next year when we all go our separate ways.

Resource Teacher, Ms. Venda Ripke, and our seven one-on-one aides

Thank you for giving extra help to all the kids who need it.

Science Teacher: Ms. Rena Benor

She is so fun and kind and makes science interesting.  It’s always a good day to have Ms. Benor!

To all the Teachers’ Aides

We are so grateful to have your help.  Without your assistance, the teachers would be rising up in resistance! Thankfully, you are always there to lend a hand or help our smiling faces. Thank you for your kind and generous hearts!


Principal Steven Gediman – Thank you for being our loving leader.  We love your enthusiasm for learning…and following rules.  Without you, we would be sure to have gotten in more trouble with the District.  It’s great that you lead without being strict, the kids clearly are your highest priority. Thanks to you with the highest sincerity!

Donna Wabnig: Thank you for keeping our kids in line and all our ducks in a row!

Lisa O’Connor: Your smiling face is a warm welcome to parents and kids every day. You are the school glue that binds us all together.

Joanna Williams: We are so grateful that you keep us all organized and following District rules. Thank you for keeping tabs on us and track of everything else, too.

To our Librarian, Ms. Rit: Thank you for introducing us to the joys of reading every day and opening our eyes to new possibilities in learning through books!

To Facilities, Mr. Danny Cervin and Roxie Fuentes: Thank you for maintaining the beauty on our campus and keeping it working like a well-oiled machine!

To Cafeteria, Tammy Jones and Miriam: Thank you for serving our breakfasts, hot snacks, and hot lunches. We love them and are grateful for all that you do!


With Additional Appreciation to Zak Zaidman, Kayt Jones, Kristine Sloan


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