Our Staff

Meet the Team at BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation 

 

Pat

Pat Tonn - Executive Director

Pat’s passion is agriculture education, and she enthusiastically brings this energy to her role as Executive Director. Pat has over 20 years of work experience with the BC Ministry of Agriculture, including program development in youth leadership for 4-H and building awareness of the BC agriculture industry and career opportunities in agriculture. Pat’s management experience with the Sector Development Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture, along with a team approach to running effective programs, is helping build new partnerships for BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. As a former secondary school teacher, Pat brings additional expertise from within BC's education system.

Pat is the provincial representative to the Board of Directors of Agriculture in the Classroom Canada. She enjoys local food and wine experiences!

Balreet

Balreet Mandair - Program Director

In my position as the Program Director, it is my responsibility to provide educators with the necessary tools to effectively introduce BC's agriculture to students. Having gained extensive experience in operational management while serving as a Business Manager at Dasmesh Punjabi School, I will support the team and effectively supervise program execution while leading efforts that promote agriculture. My dedication to promoting inclusivity and focusing on specifics has played a key role in improving processes and boosting program delivery. The aim is to enhance the learning experience and encourage a deeper understanding of agriculture's importance in our communities through fostering partnerships and promoting innovation.

I am a food enthusiast who enjoys chilling on my patio with my family and beloved dog Kobe, savoring local BC delicacies in my free time.

Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson - Education Specialist

Holly is excited to begin her journey as the Education Specialist this school year. Raised on a small berry farm on Vancouver Island, she is ready to share her enthusiasm for food and first hand agriculture knowledge with teachers across BC. Holly has taught Kindergarten, Grade One, Grade Two, and Grade Four and has worked in independent and public schools in Vanderhoof and in Kelowna. When not helping teachers with the sharing of BC’s Food Story, Holly likes to wrangle her three small children and pursue her new hobby of canning her freshly grown produce.

Paul Boudreau

Paul Boudreau - Lead Program Coordinator

As the BC School Fruit & Vegetable Nutritional Program Lead Program Coordinator, Paul coordinates the deliveries from the farms to the classrooms by connecting with the farmers, drivers, stores and school staff to ensure that students receive their fresh deliveries on time. Paul also runs the Take a Bite of BC Program, liaising with chefs and suppliers to get fresh product into secondary school teaching kitchens.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys the outdoors; gardening, walking, hiking, and kayaking. He also enjoys playing music (particularly stringed instruments) and hobby building — creating new out of the old.

Tina Evans

Tina Evans - Program and Events Coordinator

Tina is a multi-talented Program and Events Coordinator, taking care of Spuds in Tubs, Summer Institute, events, and volunteers. She also assists with the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program +Milk. Tina has a variety of experience in many different industries from the private and public sector and holds a Marketing Management Diploma. She has a passion for helping people and brings over 20 years of administrative and volunteer experience, to the role. She is proud of her British Columbia farming roots and is eager to share all that BC agriculture has to offer to students and educators.

In her spare time, Tina enjoys spending time with her family including 2 small children and showing her kids all that this beautiful province has to offer. She enjoys gardening, nature photography, and getting outside and doing anything on the water, especially paddle boarding.

Nathan

Nathan Tiedeman - Project Coordinator-Administration

Nathan brings his dynamic energy to the team. His role includes school coordinator assistance and product delivery of the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program +Milk. He takes care of organizing Fresh to You, Planting a Promise, and Common Ground Programs. Nathan holds a variety of experience within the non-profit sector and has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources from NAIT. He truly believes that all people matter and holds this close in his role at BCAITC. He is passionate about sourcing fresh local ingredients and supporting local farmers.

In his spare time, Nathan enjoys spending time outdoors with his partner, gardening, and cooking with seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. Nathan loves music most of all.

Rishu Sachdeva

Rishu Sachdeva - Communications Coordinator

Rishu is our highly organized communications coordinator and throughout her professional journey, she has actively volunteered her time and expertise within the sector to bring people together toward the common goal of excellence. She is a passionate communicator who loves to work with people and bring creative and innovative strategies to communicate with audiences and incite meaningful dialogue through crafted content. She has 8 years of marketing experience and holds an MBA in marketing and leadership. As a communication coordinator, she is responsible for communicating with BCAITC’s target audiences, so they are informed about the organization and specific initiatives. Outside of work, she likes to spend her spare time gardening and enjoying BC’s beautiful nature with her dog.

mia

Mia Soetaert - Garden Programs Coordinator

Mia is our flower powered Garden Programs Coordinator. Her positive energy and passion are shared in the Pencil Patch and Harvest Bin Projects.  Mia’s belief that the Pencil Patch is about learning, doing and being, is a direct representation of her skills as a Child and Youth Care practitioner. She brings the experience of 10+ years of charity governance as a board chair of Outloud Foundation. Mia offers her practical knowledge in our Ag Adventures program as a third-generation farmer. She is committed to ethical and sustainable gardening and protecting our earth. You will often find Mia practicing what she preaches, with inventive gardening tools made from recycled products; exemplifying, that sustainability can be fun! Mias hope is that you leave the Pencil Patch learning only one thing; anyone can garden, they just have to believe.

When not in the Garden, Mia enjoys exploring the beautiful wilderness of British Columbia. She also enjoys baking and cooking using fresh, local BC products.

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