Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Environmental lovers


Susan Toth won an award she didn’t even know she was nominated for.

“I had no clue about the award. It came as a total surprise to me,” said Toth. “The night I won the award has been one of the best nights of my career.”

Toth, director for the Pine Jog Environmental Educational Center in West Palm Beach, was nominated for the Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award, an award that is presented annually to environmental educators who work with the youth. Anne Blades and Elizabeth Dowdle,  members of the Garden Club of Palm Beach, nominated Toth for the award.

The award was given to Toth at the Green Gala Fundraiser at Pine Jog on March 20. It was presented by the Garden Club of America, a program that was designated to help stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening.

“I love working with kids,” said Toth. “I’ve worked as a classroom teacher, and I’ve always been an educator.”

Pine Jog is approaching its 50th anniversary, and this is the first time anyone from the organization has won this award. Along with the award, Toth was given $1,000 that she can spend on whatever she chooses. She hasn’t decided what to spend it on, so for now it’s in the bank.

Toth has worked as an educator for almost 30 years. The next project she is working on is part of the Green Schools Recognition Program for public and private schools alike. The program honors schools for “greening their curriculum and practices.” The second award will be presented to a school in West Palm Beach on April 21.

“Susan is an extremely bright and creative person,” said Karen Aubry, Pine Jog’s program coordinator. “She’s a problem-solver and a team leader.”

Aubry has worked at Pine Jog for 19 years along Toth’s side on many environmental projects.

“I’ve learned and grown professionally from her,” said Aubry. “She has so much experience and is very collaborative.”

Colleagues and students both have enjoyed working with Toth. As a teacher for a Principles and Methods of Environmental Education class, Toth inspires her students.”Susan is the greatest mentor you can ask for,” said Tracey Ritchie, an FAU graduate student and Pine Jog’s volunteer and fellowship coordinator. “She has an extensive wealth of knowledge in environment education.”

“I’ve had an amazing experience learning and working with her,” said Ritchie. “She has patience and guidance. She doesn’t tell you what to do, and instead she leads by example.”

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