Fred Meissner, the trustee for Woolwich/Wellesley and former teacher, died this week, the Waterloo Region District School Board announced Wednesday.
The cause of death was not released.
Meissner became a trustee in the last October’s municipal elections. A Woolwich Township resident, he was a teacher at Elmira District Secondary School for 27 years until his retirement in 2018. He worked in both the English and special education departments.
The board lowered flags at all its schools to half-staff, saying they would remain there until Meissner’s funeral, for which no details had been released at press time.
“Trustee Meissner was an exemplary board member who sat on multiple committees. His passion and dedication to improving public education in the region was second to none. His priority was always students, their success and well-being, and his commitment to them was boundless,” the board said in a statement announcing his passing.
“Known affectionately by some at the board as The Fred Meissner, he was a beloved educator who had a long history of teaching, leading, and most importantly, caring about the students he served. He was widely recognized by students and residents in his home community and was passionate about giving back to kids and the community he loved so much.”
Meissner’s trustee profile noted he was a lifelong resident of Waterloo Region, the past 17 years in Woolwich.
“My heart is broken for the sudden passing of our wonderful friend Fred Meissner,” fellow trustee Carla Johnson said in a Twitter post. “My heart goes out to his entire family, whom he loved and cherished deeply. Fred was a shining light of hope and joy to everyone’s path he crossed. Fred, we all want to be a little more like you.”
With Meissner’s death, the board now has two vacancies to fill. On Monday, Waterloo/Wilmot trustee Marie Snyder resigned, citing health concerns.