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St John Fisher Catholic Primary School

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Who's Who - Meet the Governors

Ofure Awonuga, Parent Governor

(Admissions Committee Chair, Resources Committee, Maths Link Governor)

We moved from North London to St. Albans in 2010 and since then I’ve been working at the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield.

My work involves analysing data relating to Students’ Enrolment, Attainment and Progression. I also integrate data sources into Data Marts used for identifying trends or patterns within data. For the past two years I have been managing an IT Project and once complete I will work on the Change Management process.

As a Parent Governor I will work towards maintain the school’s core values. I have chosen the role of a Maths Link Governor in which I plan to help children achieve the best of their ability in Maths.

I had a son at St. John Fisher who is passionate about sports but most importantly has enjoyed being a St. John Fisher pupil.



Valerie Lynn, Parent Governor, Vice Chair

(Safeguarding Governor, Teaching & Learning Committee Chair, English Link Governor, CLA & PPG)

I live in Marshalswick and have been committed to the St John Fisher School community since 2010 when my daughter started in reception.  She has now left the school and my son is in Upper Key Stage 2.  I spent 3 years as an active member of the PTA and helped organise many school events.  I am a regular parent volunteer at school and in particular support the children’s reading.  Being an active parish member I ran the Church children’s liturgy and am a volunteer at the school mass centre and a catechist for the First Holy Communion program.  I am a qualified scientist with years of experience in the Pharmaceutical industry. Currently I work as a Science Technician at Sandringham secondary school.  Previously I worked in a school for pupils with special educational needs supporting the children in science and literacy.


Rocquel Nevers-Wright Associate Governor

 (Admissions Committee,Teaching & Learning Committee, SEND)

As a parent of two children at the school, I am a strong supporter of the school’s ethos and principles.

I have been a teacher for over 12 years, working in a variety of secondary schools and then further education, teaching Psychology and Science.

As a governor, I will be working with Miss O’Neill within the Special Educational Needs provision of the school. 



Aileen Hartnett, Foundation Governor

(Pay & Personnel Committee Chair, Resources Committee, )

I have no previous connection with the school. I have been a parishioner at St Thomas More, Wheathampstead since moving from Chester to the area 20 years ago with my husband and three children.

Whilst  living in Chester I was chair of St Mary's play group Handbridge for two years and was involved in a campaign to prevent the closure of St Mary's Nursery school in Chester, including meeting with the Minister of Education in London to make representations. St Mary's Nursery was the first nursery in the country  to succeed in arguing against closure.
On moving to Hertfordshire my sons attended St Columba' s College and  my daughter St Dominic's and then Loreto College. I was a governor  of St Columba's College  from 2002 until 2011.

I am a Family Law Solicitor and in practice for the last thirty six years. Since moving to Hertfordshire I have continued to work as a Family Solicitor and have been in practice with my present firm for the last twenty years. I hope that I can bring some of my skills to the school and look forward to learning more about the school and the community it serves.

Sr. Anita O’Leary, Foundation Governor

(Teaching & Learning Committees, RE and English link Governor)

I joined the parish of Ss Alban and Stephen in Jan 2014 as the Youth Co-ordinator. I am a regular visitor at St. John Fisher School where I support the RE program. In particular I am involved with the year 6 Chaplaincy team and I also support year 3 as they prepare to receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Previously I have taught in primary education and hence I have a keen interest in the Literacy.


Fr Michael (Parish Priest) Foundation Governor 

I joined the parish of Ss Alban and Stephen in August 2019 as the parish priest and became a Foundation Governor at St. John Fisher School in autumn 2019. I support the school in my role as parish priest along with Fr Julian and as a Foundation Governor on the board of Governors.


Christopher Baker, Foundation Governor, Chair

(Teaching & Learning Committee, Maths Link Governor)

My children recently started at St John Fisher school after moving back to Hertfordshire from Dorset where we lived for a few years. We are active parish members of St Peters Church, Hatfield where I play the organ. Currently, I am a specialist Mathematics and Computer Science Teacher for 11-18 year olds and have a strong interest in the delivery of those subjects and reading about the latest research in pedagogy. I am also an active member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (chairing one of its committees). Before becoming a teacher, I used to work in the nuclear industry (where I gained Chartered Mathematician and Chartered Scientist status) and academia for Imperial College (where I also obtained my doctorate in Computational Physics). I am passionate about education and serve on the teaching and learning committee and the admissions committee. I am particularly interested in using the Growth Mindset to increase progress and outcomes in mathematics and to reduce the stigma it sometimes has.


Mark Woodyatt, LEA Governor.

(Resources, Pay & Personnel Committees, GDPR & Sports Link Governor)

I have lived in St Albans since 2002. Our children attend St John Fisher (Yr. 6 & Yr. 3) and both our children love coming to the school and have flourished in their time here.

I am Head of Operations at a Broadcast TV transmission company, which mixes managing technology and running an operation. My professional development interests are in management theory and practice & the theories of knowledge acquisition and meta-thinking.

I have recently started to volunteer as an Assistant Coach at St Albans RFC, coaching rugby to Reception Age & KS1 children. My own experience is that sport can build physical and emotional confidence & develop teamwork, at all ages and abilities.

I am very excited about being a governor & being able to support the staff and pupils.


Keith Brown, Foundation Governor.

(Resources, Admissions Committees)

Having read Music at university, I went on to be a Director of Music in three large independent schools before moving to St Albans and I am currently Head of Joseph House and the 11+/13+ Coordinator, having relinquished my music role to work in pastoral management. Although I live within the parish, I am a church music specialist and I am the Organist and Master of the Music at Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory in Piccadilly, London. I examine for London College of Music and I am the safeguarding representative for the Royal School of Church Music in the London area. In my spare time, I play rugby and I coach the U14B team at St Columba's. I am also a Mental Health First Aider. 


I do not have any connections with St John Fisher other than I wish to be a support to all of the pupils, staff and parents and I know it is an excellent school in the heart of the community. I will sit on the Resources and Admissions committees but I am also passionate about music and the arts, as you might have already guessed. I believe St Columba's and St John Fisher share common values and from that I look forward to serving this wonderful school as best I can over the next few years.



Patricia O'Donnell - Headteacher, Staff Governor 

Karen Vontzalidis - Acting Deputy Headteacher, Associate Governor

Mary Dunn - Inclusion Leader, Staff Governor


Rachel Botley - School Business Manager, Associate Governor

For disclosure purposes I am also a Co-opted Governor at Muriel Green Preschool and Nursery in St Albans. I have held this position since January 2015.