Troy Tardiff has become a shoulder to lean on at Aldergrove’s Shortreed Community Elementary. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Troy Tardiff has become a shoulder to lean on at Aldergrove’s Shortreed Community Elementary. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Hero in Education: Above Beyond

‘Mr. Troy’ lends a helping hand while keeping his school clean

A custodian at Shortreed has bonded with the students

Before Troy Tardiff became a custodian in the Langley School District, he worked at a hospital supervising a cleaning crew.

The job could leave him a little down at times, he said. He’d clean a room only to come back the next day and learn the patient there had passed on.

That was one reason why he took a job working in Langley schools seven years ago. Tardiff, who has a 10-year-old son, loved the idea of working with kids. It would be a more positive environment, he felt.

But his night shifts keeping schools clean meant that by the time he was working, the kids were long gone.

When the pandemic struck, cleaning schools became essential, at all hours of the day. Custodians like Tardiff were moved onto day shifts, scrubbing down frequently touched surfaces like door knobs and light switches.

His primary job now is to keep the kids at Shortreed Community School in Aldergrove safe by keeping the school clean, Tardiff said,

But he also hopes to help out and bring a few smiles while he’s there.

“He just is continually reaching out to kids in ways that bring out the best in them and the best in him,” said Shortreed principal Chris Wejr.

Tardiff has become known as “Mr. Troy” to the students at Shortreed, and he’s learned most of their names as well.

“I always jump in wherever I can,” Tardiff said.

Wejr agrees.

“We’ve seen him go above and beyond,” the principal said.

During his lunch breaks, Tardiff can be found outside with the kids playing soccer and basketball, trying to make sure everyone is involved.

Inside, beyond his formal duties, he often helps out with shepherding kids around the school.

Some students at Shortreed, as at other schools, need breaks from the classroom during the day, and have to go to another part of the building.

Tardiff is there to escort them from place to place, and he says he likes to be able to provide an extra adult they can talk to.

“It’s nice to be able to take those kids, even if it’s only for 20 minutes, and sweep the halls, and we talk,” he said.

Just listening can be a big help, Tardiff said.

He sits and reads with kids, offers them a helping hand, and in general, is there to talk to.

He’s also been providing some extra entertainment for the students.

On Halloween this year, Tardiff arrived at school as normal, but several times during the day, “Spider-Man” made appearances in classrooms.

After the appearances of the Marvel superhero, he would quickly disappear again, replaced by mild-mannered Troy Tardiff.

It took the kids a while to figure out who was wearing the outfit, but by the end of the day they’d realized it was him, Tardiff said.

He’s encouraging the kids when they keep their classrooms clean, giving out a trophy, the Golden Garbage Can, to the class with the cleanest room.

He’s also taken part in school activities like the annual Terry Fox run.

Wejr noted that Mr. Troy has become such a part of the school, kids have started making custodial supply toys in class.


• Coach Chris Veale backs his players

• Langley teacher finds new ways to keep the music playing during COVID



Troy Tardiff reads with a student in the hallways at Shortreed Elementary. (Shortreed Community Elementary/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Troy Tardiff reads with a student in the hallways at Shortreed Elementary. (Shortreed Community Elementary/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

The new bike lockers at Langley’s Carvolth park and ride station are solar powered and open and close with a smartphone app. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Solar powered bike lockers in Langley’s Carvolth open with an app

The new TransLink lockers are part of a pilot program

Jodi Steeves, president of the Aldergrove Business Association, promotes local shopping. (Special to The Star)
Thirty days of shopping local in Aldergrove proves to be ‘exciting experiment’

Business association members strictly made all purchases in community from May 15 to June 15

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A local letter writer commends Langley Memorial Hospital staff for the care her husband received recently. (Langley Memorial Hospital Facebook)
LETTER: Langley’s hospital impresses patient’s spouse

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Send in a letter to the editor digitally or via snail mail

Langley Meals on Wheels new Aldergrove Neighbourhood Hub will be at the former Aldergrove Fire Hall and Milsean Coffee Shop at 2900 272nd Street. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)
Former Aldergrove Fire Hall to become neighbourhood hub

Township of Langley has leased 2900 272nd Street to Meals on Wheels, where they will operate

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 following an assault. (File photo)
Trial underway in February 2020 death of White Rock senior

Ross Banner charged with manslaughter following Five Corners altercation

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read