Our Staff

Sara Shymko

Sara Shymko
Executive Director

Bio

Sara Shymko

"My roots are woven in my love of agriculture and I am grateful that my “job” is really just an extension of my passion. I want all kids to have these meaningful experiences with food so they can understand, appreciate and respect agriculture and its importance locally and globally." Sara is a passionate leader who gets energized by new ideas. She was raised on a mixed farm near Jasmin, Saskatchewan and still returns to the farm to help out as often as possible. Sara is a graduate from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics. Before joining AITC-SK, she was fortunate to have the opportunity to live and work in Uganda and Australia. Sara is the proud mother of two lovely, high spirited daughters, Alexandra & Jordyn, and is delighted they share her love of gardening and football!

    Susan Jorgensen

    Susan Jorgensen
    Programs Manager

    Bio

    Susan Jorgensen

    Susan was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She and her husband moved their family to Saskatoon in 2008 to pursue educational opportunities. Susan completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, majoring in Food Science in the Spring of 2014. Outside of work, Susan enjoys running, cycling, yoga and experimenting in the kitchen. Susan is the proud mom of three incredible boys.

      Christine Meachem

      Christine Meachem
      Financial and Administration Manager

      Bio

      Christine Meachem

      "I am so proud to be part of a team that is passionate and enthusiastic. I love that we help educators and their students make the connections to where our food comes from. It is gratifying to work in a place where I am always challenged, encouraged to grow and rewarded with a smile from students." Christine was raised on a mixed farm near Aylsham, Saskatchewan. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.A. in History and a B.F.A. in Studio Art. AITC-SK runs effectively and efficiently, largely due to Christine’s ability to effectively manage the finances and administration. Christine is privileged to enjoy the beautiful sunsets and skies from her deck in Aberdeen where she also enjoys swimming, art, photography and spending time with her family.

        Brit MacDonald

        Brit MacDonald
        National Program Director, Little Green Thumbs

        Bio

        Brit MacDonald

        Brit knows our world needs informed, engaged and collaborative leaders working towards healthy communities - and that gardens are an ideal place to grow such leaders! She has worked with diverse communities, including students, youth, adults and residents of the correction system, in the areas of food security, sustainable agriculture, advocacy, and skills development. With a community development background and a range of project and program management experience, her approach to community development is rooted in mobilizing skills, improving networks, thinking differently about problems, and using community assets in new ways. Brit is passionate about communicating the relationships between food, environment, agriculture and health, and is thrilled with the country’s growing recognition that food and farming practices lie at the heart of our most engaging educational opportunities. Brit feels fortunate to live surrounded by the beauty of the prairie and South Saskatchewan River valley and can often be found exploring natural areas across the province.

          Christina Krysa

          Christina Krysa
          Project and Resource Manager

          Bio

          Christina Krysa

          Christina comes to AITC via an urban route. She was raised in Prince Albert, further educated at the University of Saskatchewan (B.A. degree in Math & English, B.Ed. degree), then employed in Saskatoon for three decades as a high school English educator. (She retired in 2012.) She brings to AITC her passions for gardening and for helping people effectively connect their ideas with the real world through words and action. “Sustainability of our food sources is essential. If young people learn where their food comes from, how to grow their own food, and realize how many exciting career possibilities exist in the diverse ag sector, then sustainability is attainable. As a means to this end, AITC’s engaging programming inspires students, and me!” Christina continues to also be inspired by her husband, Ron, and their children, Kyle and Brynn.

            Nasira Nawaz

            Nasira Nawaz
            Program Coordinator

            Bio

            Nasira Nawaz

            I am Nasira, born and brought up in Pakistan,I graduated in Plant Sciences and Education. I worked as a life Sciences teacher in Pakistan and United Arab Emirates for the past eleven years and got a chance to interact with the students and teachers from about forty different nationalities. I am passionate about meeting people from multicultural backgrounds and in sharing knowledge about how they connect themselves with their agriculture, its practices and technologies in their own unique ways.I have a beautiful eleven years old daughter, SHANZAY, my biggest motivation in life. She makes me think about the interests of today’s children that help me in thinking in an innovative and creative way to reach the children. I hold onto a quote by the writer James Baldwin: “The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in” This always sounds like something I want to do and that is something what has drawn me to join AITC-SK as a Program Coordinator of Little Green Thumbs. The moment I entered the world, I knew I had reached it.

              Kirsten Falzarano

              Kirsten Falzarano
              Program Coordinator

              Bio

              Kirsten Falzarano

              Kirsten was born in Winnipeg, Mb, where she grew up and developed a love of learning. Kirsten graduated with a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Calgary in 2014, which focused on prehistoric models of land use on the Canadian Plains. Throughout her education, she has had the opportunity to become involved in a variety of educational outreach programs, connecting young children to diverse topics in archaeology, science and agriculture. As a new program coordinator with AITC-SK, Kirsten will be developing and delivering the Explore-Ag field trip program at the Western Development Museum. In her after-work life, Kirsten loves gardening and experiencing new adventures with her husband and two amazing children.

                Ken Hurlburt

                Ken Hurlburt
                Program Coordinator

                Bio

                Ken Hurlburt

                Ken grew up on ranch North West of Saskatoon. He enjoys working on the ranch and taking care of the cattle. Ken went to Minot State University and graduated with a Bachelors of General Studies in May of 2016. Some of his hobbies are coaching football, playing with his dog, talking about the weather, and enjoying a cup of coffee. This fall Ken will be getting married to his beautiful fiancée.

                  Paige Pister

                  Paige Pister
                  Program Coordinator

                  Bio

                  Paige Pister

                  Paige grew up on a farm in Rhein Saskatchewan – she has loved being involved and helping out on the farm. After working in England as an Au Pair, Paige obtained an Agriculture Degree with an Environmental Science Major from the University of Saskatchewan. She enjoys camping, hunting, fishing, travelling and spending time with her family and friends. This year she has started farming 80 acres near her family farm in Rhein. "My job truly combines two of my passions – agriculture and engaging with children. I love seeing a student’s face light up when they learn something new."

                    Leah Hermanson

                    Leah Hermanson
                    Program Coordinator

                    Bio

                    Leah Hermanson

                    Leah has always had a love of agriculture which was fostered from a young age on her family’s Seed Farm in Kamsack, SK. She has a Bachelor of Science (Crop Science) and a Master of Science (Weed Biology) from the University of Saskatchewan. Leah and her husband live in Lumsden, SK with their lively, loving and wonderful daughters, Clara, Elyse and Miriam. Leah enjoys gardening, running, hiking, cooking and helping out on the farm.

                      Chandra Gusikoski

                      Chandra Gusikoski
                      Communications Coordinator

                      Bio

                      Chandra Gusikoski

                      Chandra was raised on a grain farm outside of Cudworth, SK. She attended the University of Saskatchewan and obtained a Marketing Degree through the College of Commerce. Chandra currently lives in Viscount with her husband where they keep busy with community involvement and volunteering. For fun Chandra enjoys golfing, camping, hunting, fishing, and sports such as slow-pitch, hockey and volleyball. “Having grown up on a farm I take for granted the knowledge and experiences I had being part of the production that gets our crops to your plates. I am excited to grow this initiative and share that knowledge with the province.”

                        Helen Froese

                        Helen Froese
                        Administration Assistant

                        Bio

                        Helen Froese

                        Helen came to Agriculture in the Classroom after working in food and nutrition in a nursing home. Helen is a crucial part of the AITC-SK team ensuring programs, initiatives and resources are well managed. She was raised just north of Saskatoon and has 3 beautiful daughters and one son-in-law. She is enjoying seeing her family grow and spending time exploring Saskatchewan. "I work this hard because it is so important to teach kids where their food comes from. It is seeing those children and knowing there was a seed planted. It is about them being involved - even on a small scale - so they can go on and be involved in the bigger picture of where food comes from."