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St Nicolas Church of England Infant School

Caring about Learning

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St Nicolas Church of England Infant School

Caring about Learning

Meet the Governors

Julia Powell (Chair of Governors)

I have been a Governor here at St Nics since 2010, and my 3 children have all attended this lovely school.  I have previously chaired the Learning committee, and the Finance and Premises committee, and am presently Chair of the Governing Body.  During my time as Chair we have been through a very successful Ofsted inspection, and also recruited a new Headteacher - it has been a busy few years!  I used to work in commercial mortgage banking in London but I don't work at the moment, so have time and energy to devote to this role, and I very much enjoy being a part of the St Nics' community, even though my children have moved on.  St Nics' is a very special place and we as a Governing Body work hard to keep it that way.

Andrew Norman (Fr Andrew - Rector of St Nicolas Church)

Our own two daughters started at St Nicolas’, and now one is a teacher herself while my wife is a Teaching Assistant. Myself I’ve been a Governor of the school for the 24 years I’ve been at St Nicolas’ church, so I’ve seen a lot of changes – as in education nationally through being involved in various governing bodies over the almost 40 years that I’ve been in ordained ministry!  I have my own views about government policy, and deeply regret both the unnecessary pressures that are put on teachers, and the over-professionalising of the governor role which feels to be ever drawn away from the local context, but I have to say that I do feel more engaged, involved and resourced as a Governor than ever before. Yet it’s having an actively pastoral, supportive role in school, and with keeping the good close relationship between church and school that’s where my heart really is.  

Toby Richardson

Hello I’m Toby Richardson. Originally from Guildford I’ve been back living locally to St Nicolas’ for the last 5 years. I joined as a Foundation Governor in November 2016. I have a son who is loving Beech Class and a daughter who I hope will soon join him at St Nicolas’ so I’m particularly keen to help maintain our caring, safe and nurturing environment! I work at the Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital running a team who secure company partners to enable a broad range of cancer research to be carried out and then turned into products to benefit patients.

Mel de Chazel

I have two daughters, one has been through St Nicolas School and is now in Year 4 and the other is still here, in Year 2. I started as a Governor in November 2016 and am currently the Chair of the People & Learning Committee. Before having children I was a Primary School Teacher, so have a bit of an insight into working in schools, as well as what it is like to be on the other side as a parent. I now work at a local preschool, both in the setting and out at their Forest School sessions – I am a big fan of getting kids outside and learning through exploring and play! If you need a chat I am around most days at pick-up and drop-off.

John Bethell

I’m the newest governor at St Nicolas’ – I joined the governing body last March. I feel very lucky to be part of such a great team and am looking forward to supporting the school in any way I can. I have three children, the eldest of whom is in Reception. I’ve always felt very fortunate to have received a good education and hope all of today’s children can have the same start in life. I work in London as a barrister and have previously been a soldier and an academic. In my spare time, I enjoy running (usually with our energetic springer spaniel), the outdoors and cooking. I am also the treasurer for a local branch of the charity SSAFA and act as a mentor with the Social Mobility Foundation.

John Harmer

I started as a Governor at St Nicolas' in September 2018 when my daughter joined the school. I live in Guildford and wanted to make a contribution to the local community - I have always had an interest in education so becoming a Governor seems the perfect match. The school is a really impressive and happy place and I am excited to have the opportunity to be involved. Outside of school I work in public affairs. I am a long serving supporter of Portsmouth Football Club and also enjoy gardening, astronomy and cloud spotting.

Marian Coom

I was appointed a Foundation Governor at St Nicolas' School in September 2018. Originally born in Shropshire, I have held teaching posts (including Deputy Head and Head of KS1 ) in Wolverhampton, The Bahamas, London and Hillingdon. I specialised mainly in KS1 and latterly led the Special Needs team in Early Years in a large multi cultural primary school near Heathrow. I took early retirement in 2013 after 37 years of teaching! Many of my positions were in Anglican schools and in the 1980's I was appointed one of the first Teacher Governors at a church school in London.  I have lived with my husband in Guildford for 21 years. I have been a member of St Nicolas Church congregation since 1997 and I am a Parochial Church Council member and have served as Churchwarden for 12 and a half years. I continue to help lead Children's Church at St Nicolas during the 10am Sunday Eucharist and also help with Messy Church and the summer Holiday Club. I look forward to becoming an active member of the Governing Body.

Jessica Staniforth

My name is Jessica Staniforth. I joined the school as a student at the end of my PGCE and have taught Cherry, Oak and Chestnut classes. I am also the school's Religious Education and Values Subject Leader, Forest School Leader and Staff Governor.

Akemi Nogiwa

I joined the team in September 2018 as a parent governor. I have two children in year 1 who are thriving in this school! We are very fortunate to have access to high quality education in the hands of caring teachers and I would like to see this opportunity available to all. I am happy to have joined a very engaged and positive governing team and look forward to contributing. I work in research at Imperial College London in the field of biomaterials. 

Robin Holdsworth

I trained as an analytical chemist in London.  My wife and I moved with our two young children to Guildford in 1973. I have worked for over 50 years in the construction industry in which I have managed companies at home and abroad. During my expat life I helped to set up a primary and junior school in Dubai. In between my overseas appointments I have been a regular member of All Saints’ Onslow Village holding various posts as Churchwarden, PCC Secretary and am currently chairman of the Premises Vision Group. I maintain a keen interest in cricket and hockey although I have retired as a player, trainer and umpire.

James Armstrong

I became a Foundation Governor in November 2018 and am excited to have joined a talented team of governors. I live locally and have 3 children with the eldest loving year 1 and the second itching to start in reception next year. St Nics is a small school but it plays a large part in local life, its values radiate through everything and makes it a really special place. I look forward to supporting the school in any way I can to ensure the best possible experience and outcomes for all of the children as they start their education. Away from St Nics, I work in London as Finance Director of a technology consultancy. And away from work I enjoy being active and outdoors and spending time with family and friends.

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