UGDSB appoints trustees to committees, approves director’s performance appraisal

GUELPH – The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) held a board meeting on Jan. 16. 

Topics of discussion included appointing trustees to standing and advisory committees and approving the director’s annual performance appraisal. 

Trustee appointments

Trustees approved appointments to various UGDSB committees as well as external appointments. 

Chairs of standing committees for 2024 will be as follows: trustee Jen Edwards will chair the finance and facilities committee, trustee Luke Weiler will chair the governance committee and trustee Robin Ross will chair the policies and priorities committee.  

The other members of the finance and facilities committee will be trustees Irene Hanenberg, Katherine Hauser and Ralf Mesenbrink. 

The governance committee will include trustees Hanenberg, Martha MacNeil, Mesenbrink, Ross and Weiler. 

Policies and priorities committee members will include trustees MacNeil, Alethia O’Hara-Stephenson, Ross, Lynn Topping and Laurie Whyte.  

Director’s performance

Trustees approved the 2022-23 performance appraisal for director of education Peter Sovran during the closed committee of the whole meeting prior to the regular board meeting on Jan. 16, and discussed the appraisal during the regular board meeting. 

Chair Mesenbrink said “We are pleased with director Sovran’s work as the director of education and the systems implementation and progress of the board’s multi-year plan. 

“This is a high standard, as any one would expect excellence from any CEO of a large corporation.” 

Mesenbrink highlighted the following examples of the board’s accomplishments under Sovran’s leadership last year: 

 – adding the UGDSB’s first  human rights, equity and accessibility advisor; 

– implementing significant resources to early reading and math supports; 

– approving and starting to implement new UGDSB brand; and 

– working towards understanding implications and applications of artificial intelligence.

“On behalf of the board I’d like to state that we look forward to continuing to work together with director Sovran towards our shared goal of increasing achievement of every student and achieving our vision 2026,” Mesenbrink concluded. 

Sovran thanked trustees for their comments regarding his performance appraisal and said “while it’s a director’s performance appraisal it is absolutely an effort of an entire team and that team includes all of our trustees, our student trustees, and certainly and foremost our executive committee. 

“Without their leadership and their effort all of the examples [Mesenbrink listed] simply wouldn’t have happened, so my deepest gratitude to our team, to all of you, and by extension to all of our dedicated staff right across UGDSB.”