Upper Grand trustees elect Ralf Mesenbrink as board chair

GUELPH – Newly-elected trustees with the Upper Grand District School Board 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 the 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.”

“Congratulations to trustee Mesenbrink on being elected chair of the board and welcome to the 2022-26 Board of Trustees,” said Director of Education Peter Sovran.

“I am looking forward to working together to realize ‘Vision 2026’ as outlined in our new Multi-Year Plan, and to our ongoing commitment to all UGDSB students, staff, families and communities.”

Other trustees also sworn in on Nov. 15 include:

  • Jen Edwards, representing Guelph/Eramosa, East Garafraxa and Erin;
  • Irene Hanenberg, representing Centre Wellington;
  • Katherine Hauser, representing Ward 6 in Guelph and the Township of Puslinch;
  • Martha MacNeil, representing Wards 1 and 5 in Guelph;
  • Kenn Manzerolee, representing the Town of Orangeville;
  • Robin Ross, representing the Wellington North, Minto and Mapleton;
  • Lynn Topping, representing Amaranth, East Luther/Grand Valley, Melancthon, Mulmur, Mono and Shelburne;
  • Luke Weiler, representing Wards and 1 and 5 in Guelph; and
  • Laurie Whyte, representing Wards 2, 3 and 4 in Guelph.

Student trustees are Brooke Hartley, a student at Wellington Heights SS who will represent rural schools, and Julia Elmslie, a student a John F. Ross CVI who will represent urban schools.