Upper Grand trustees elect Ralf Mesenbrink as board chair

GUELPH – Newly-elected Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) trustees elected Ralf Mesenbrink as board chair at their inaugural meeting on Nov. 15.


Mesenbrink represents Wards 2, 3 and 4 in the City of Guelph and this is his first term as chair. He’ll sit in the seat until Nov. 14, 2023.

“Together we as a board and an organization have some big tasks ahead of us, and the work starts right away,” Mesenbrink said in his address to the board.

Areas of focus highlighted by Mesenbrink include:

– a governance review by the Board of Trustees;

– overseeing development and implementation of the UGDSB’s Multi-Year Plan;

– the construction of two new schools;

– the hiring of a human rights advisor to support the equity pillar of the Multi-Year Plan;

– addressing learning gaps in students;

– listening to families and community members; and

– supporting UGDSB staff.

“These are significant tasks,” said Mesenbrink.

“But working through them together will reward us as individuals, as a team, as an organization, and will benefit the community.”

Trustees representing Wellington County sworn in on Nov. 15 include:

– Jen Edwards, representing Guelph/Eramosa, East Garafraxa and Erin;

– Irene Hanenberg, Centre Wellington; 

– Katherine Hauser, Ward 6 in Guelph and the Township of Puslinch; and

– Robin Ross, Wellington North, Minto and Mapleton.

Student trustee Brooke Hartley, of Wellington Heights SS, will represent rural schools, while John F. Ross student Julia Elmslie will represent urban schools.