Our Team

AITC-SK is made up of a team of dynamic individuals who are passionate about connecting students with food and agriculture. Our organization is built on a culture of innovation, collaboration, and kindness. Each team member brings fresh perspectives to AITC-SK and plays a role in providing hands-on and memorable learning experiences for students. 

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!

Leah Hermanson

Leah Hermanson
Fund Development Manager

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 Manager

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.”

Maria Hadley-Cole

Maria Hadley-Cole
Communications Coordinator

Bio

Maria Hadley-Cole

Maria was born and raised amidst the sweeping landscapes of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Growing up, she frequently visited the family farm near Landis, SK, where she developed a connection to the land and an affinity for cattle that she shared with her grandmother. She moved to Saskatoon, SK, to pursue her BSAg in Agricultural Biology and minor in Animal Science from the University of Saskatchewan. Beyond her dedication to agriculture, Maria's life is enriched by her diverse interests. From the age of three, she spent much of her free time training as a figure skater. Today, she volunteers as a judge to support the next generation of athletes and give back to the sport that shaped her. Maria is passionate about educating students on agriculture so that they are able to make informed decisions about their food for the rest of their lives.

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.

Paige Pister

Paige Pister
Programs Manager

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. Paige stays connected to her roots by 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."

Greg Torwalt

Greg Torwalt
Program Coordinator, Little Green Thumbs

Bio

Greg Torwalt

Greg grew up in rural Saskatchewan, and now lives in Saskatoon with his wife and two dogs. As a young kid, he spent a lot of time helping his dad on the family farm near LeRoy, and gardening with his parents and grandparents. Greg loves to be outdoors and finds that he recharges best while soaking up the sun! Greg completed two degrees at the University of Saskatchewan (Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts) before he taught Grade 5 homeroom for three years. He is excited to combine his appreciation for nature and healthy food with his passion for hands-on learning while he supports teachers as the Little Green Thumbs Program Coordinator. Outside of the office, Greg enjoys playing tennis, doing yoga, reading, writing, painting, hiking, and playing the piano & guitar.

Lindsey Rudd

Lindsey Rudd
Sustainability Program Coordinator

Bio

Lindsey Rudd

Lindsey was born and raised in Swift Current, Saskatchewan and moved to Saskatoon for secondary education. She completed her undergrad in Renewable Resource Management and her masters in Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan. Before becoming the Sustainability Program Coordinator at AITC, she worked as a Crop Technician at the University of Saskatchewan and as an Environmental Scientist at a private consulting company. Having always been interested in nature and engaging with others, her role at AITC has combined these passions. For fun, Lindsey enjoys spending time with friends and family, cross country skiing, hiking and going on adventures with her dog Pepper.

Jordyn Leib-Minto

Jordyn Leib-Minto
Program Coordinator

Bio

Jordyn Leib-Minto

Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, Jordyn spent plenty of time on the family farm in the field or with cattle growing her love for agriculture. Being brought up in a family of teachers, education and working with kids has always inspired her. In 2014, she graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Secondary Education with a Social Studies Major and Inclusive Education Minor. Before joining AITC, Jordyn taught for 5 years in both middle years and high school settings in learning support and teaching various elective and Social Science courses. Having a deeply invested passion for the agricultural industry and field of education, her position with AITC combines each of these. Jordyn currently lives near Fort Qu’Appelle, SK on an acreage with her husband and dog, Waylon. In her free time, she enjoys operating her lifestyle photography business, creating graphic and interior design projects, spending time with friends and family, logging hours at the lake in the summer and the rink in the winter, spending time outdoors, and travelling.

Scott Tulloch

Scott Tulloch
Program Coordinator

Bio

Scott Tulloch

Born and raised in Regina, SK, Scott spent much of his childhood helping around the family grain farm when not camping or playing sports. He moved to Saskatoon for University, where he completed degrees in Business Economics and Education. After teaching for 4 years at the middle school level in Warman, he chose to alter his career path and started with AITC SK. Here he has been able to combine his backgrounds in Ag and Education into providing programming for students all over the province. He loves going into classrooms and giving presentations while making connections with both students and teachers. Scott can still be found playing a number of different sports year-round, while also finding time to travel, read, and binge the occasional show.

Kathryn MacDonald

Kathryn MacDonald
Program Coordinator

Bio

Kathryn MacDonald

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Kathryn attended The Culinary Institute of Canada in Prince Edward Island. Here is where she obtained her Culinary Arts Diploma and her Pastry Arts Certificate. This is where her interest in food and agriculture really began to blossom. Kathryn has worked in all aspects of restaurants across Canada. She is self described as a lifelong learner and has completed her horticultural certificate through the U of S to help her have a better garden. In Kathryn’s spare time some of her favourite things to do is to travel to eat at a specific restaurant with her husband, garden (make food from the garden) and to hang out with their son and two dogs.

Rachel Andres

Rachel Andres
Resource Administrator

Bio

Rachel Andres

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Rachel first became involved with AITC-SK in 2009. Since then her duties have changed many times to accommodate the evolving needs in the organization, leading to her role as the Resource Administrator. The time with AITC-SK has given Rachel a deep understanding of the organization that serves her well in her role and helps to make sure everything runs smoothly in the office. A true team player, what she finds most gratifying about the job is how no two days are the same. There is always something new to learn and do. Almost everything that comes from or goes to the office will pass through her. Rachel has four boys, and takes great satisfaction in raising them. One of the ways in which she shows her love is taking the time to prepare and cook for those she cares about.

Dena Lamb

Dena Lamb
Administrative Assistant

Bio

Dena Lamb

Dena spent her summers growing up on her grandparents’ farm, planting potatoes, cutting grass and feeding the cattle. Often her large, close-knit family would get together and plan intricate and delicious meals. Having everyone sitting around the table talking over good food solidified the fact that food can bring people together and can connect them in way that is very special. This led to her majoring in Food and Bioproduct Science at the University of Saskatchewan and receiving her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Working as the Resource Administrator allows for her to help supply teachers with the tools to help students make those same connections she was able to make. Outside of work Dena spends a lot of time with family, listening to music, playing sports (touch football and curling), Ukrainian dancing, and training on different types of aerial apparatuses.