Tania Toth (second from right) received an award for her work at Sardis secondary through BC Agriculture in the Classroom. With her are (left to right) Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture; Pat Tonn, Executive Director of BC Agriculture in the Classroom; and the Honourable Lieutenant Governor Judy Guichon. (Submitted photo)

Tania Toth (second from right) received an award for her work at Sardis secondary through BC Agriculture in the Classroom. With her are (left to right) Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture; Pat Tonn, Executive Director of BC Agriculture in the Classroom; and the Honourable Lieutenant Governor Judy Guichon. (Submitted photo)

Sardis farm program earns top award for Chilliwack teacher

Toth has helped build program that teaches sustainability, pest management, marketing

It would come as no surprise to Tania Toth’s students that she’s one of the best educators around. She’s given science new meaning at Sardis secondary, opening up a world of discovery for a whole generation of kids who are learning about agriculture and sustainability.

But in case she ever has doubts, Toth now has a token as a reminder. She was presented with the 2017 BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation’s 2017 Outstanding Teacher Award, “for demonstrating outstanding leadership and innovation in agriculture education.”

“Tania’s hard work as an agriculture teacher has fostered a love for growing food in hundreds of students in Chilliwack,” said BCAITC president, Joe Massie. “Her commitment to excellence and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty is truly inspirational to everyone around her.”

Toth’s work at Sardis together has been featured numerous times in the Progress, as she’s worked to build up a program at Sardis secondary. As a science teacher there, she and her colleagues (including Massie) have transformed a piece of ALR property owned by the Chilliwack School District into a working school farm. Their students spend ample time there, learning first hand about growing food. Toth saw this as an opportunity to build practical applications into studies in Science, Sustainable Resources 11, and teach hands-on agriculture practices.

At the Sardis Secondary School Farm, students learn to grow a variety of vegetables sustainably. They learn water conservation, integrated pest management practices, as well as the marketing of their vegetables back into the school’s Culinary Arts program and into the local community through their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box program.

More recently they have added the mentorship program where secondary school students teach elementary students to grow their own food. Under Toth’s guidance, the Sardis Secondary School Farm continues to flourish and become not only a multi-faceted learning experience for students, but also a valuable addition to the community, said Massie.

The award was presented to Toth at this year’s Agri-Food Industry Gala by BCAITC’s Executive Director, Pat Tonn.

READ MORE: Chilliwack students grow and learn at the Sardis Secondary Farm

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