Meet our Governors
John Sloan / Chair of Governors
An accountant by profession I have been a school governor for almost 15 years, 12 at St Margaret Clitherow where I was Chair of Governors for 10 years, and then here at St Vincent de Paul, where I am now into my 3rd year as Chair of Governors. I live locally and attend Mass at St Hilda’s. I am married with four children who all went to Catholic schools in Stevenage. It is my mission, along with the Headteacher and my other fellow Governors, to provide the best possible education for our children at St Vincent de Paul.
Jon White / Headteacher
Appointed to the role of Headteacher at St Vincent de Paul School in 2017, I am delighted to be able to continue to serve the Parishes of Stevenage and the Diocese of Westminster in providing the best possible Catholic education that can be offered for our children. My role on the Governing Body is to provide Governors with effective, timely and accurate information and advice and to work with them to strategically plan for the future of our school. I sit on each of the sub committees and I am held to account for the work of the school, its standards and its Catholic mission. Married to Nicole (also a teacher in Stevenage), I have three children all attending local Catholic schools.
Rosemary Sherry / Associate Governor
I began my governor “career” in 1991 when I was elected as parent governor at St Vincent de Paul School. Over the years I have enjoyed a wide range of experiences and governor roles at primary and secondary schools. As Deputy Head, I am an Associate governor supporting the Head teacher and other governors in establishing the strategic direction of the school.
Michelle Ambrose / Staff Governor
Since joining St Vincent de Paul school in 2002 I have gained an insight into the challenges and rewards that Primary school education can offer.
My role as a Teaching Assistant has enabled me to contribute to the inspiring environment this school provides to children and staff alike. My role as staff governor allows me to communicate productively with Staff, Senior Leadership team and the Governing body for a continued successful environment.
Bernie Bullock / Parent Governor
I am Bernadette Bullock. I have always lived in Stevenage, attending St Margaret Clitherow School and the John Henry Newman School. After my A-Levels I studied for my Theology degree at St Mary’s College in Twickenham. My life journey took me back to the John Henry Newman School where I trained to become a teacher and I have taught Religious Education at John Henry for over 10 years.
I wanted to become a governor as 2 of my children attend this school and I wanted to work in partnership with Mr Keane, the Senior Leadership team, and along with other governors, to help raise standards and improve outcomes for all children at the St Vincent De Paul School. I also attend the Teaching and Learning meetings in hope that my teaching experience will give another view to the discussions.
Elizabeth Marshall / Parent Governor
My name is Liz, I am married and our son and daughter are pupils at the school in year 4 & 3 respectively. We moved to Stevenage in 2011 and I set up my cake making business shortly afterwards. My previous working experience has been within Property Management where I managed a portfolio of multi occupancy buildings in the city of London. I am your newly appointed Parent Governor. I have personal knowledge and experience of SEN as both of my children are Autistic. I am looking forward to supporting the school, Governors, children, parents and to be your voice on the governing body.
Mary Hewitson / Foundation Governor
I have a long connection with St Vincent de Paul School as I was the Deputy Headteacher from 1996-1998. I left St Vincent's to become a Headteacher of another Catholic primary school and continued this role until 2013. Since then I have been, once again, closely involved with life at this wonderful school.
I am married with four children who like me have benefitted enormously from Catholic education. Being a governor is a small way of giving service to our Catholic community and giving thanks for all that the community has given to myself and my family.
Geraldine Cartwright / Foundation Governor
My name is Geraldine Cartwright and I was appointed as a Foundation Governor in May 2014.
I serve the community of St Vincent de Paul School as a governor because I have close links with both the school and the parish. As the retired Headteacher of a Catholic school, I uphold the values of Catholic education and work with the leadership team to provide the best quality of education for all pupils.
I have 4 adult children who have all benefitted from Catholic schools and 7 grandchildren who are either attending a Catholic school or who, hopefully, will do so in the future.
Paul Volske / Foundation Governor
My name is Paul Volske. I grew up in Stevenage and am an old pupil of the Blessed John Southworth School - the precursor to St Vincent's - before going to St Michael's; originally in Hitchin before its own move to Stevenage. Some of you will recall that St Michael's merged with St. Angela's to form the current John Henry Newman School. I am married to a (recently retired) midwife and we have one daughter who is at John Henry Newman. I retired from commercial life during 2018 after 43 years working for a family owned private bank. Retirement has given me the opportunity to join the Governing Board and I hope to be able to contribute to the on-going development of the school and its pupils.
Christine Shimali / Foundation Governor
My name is Christine Shimali and I am proud to be a Foundation Governor of St Vincent de Paul Catholic School. I have lived in the North Herts area for 10 years and my children attended local Primary schools and are currently in the John Henry Newman Catholic School. I am a member of the Safeguarding and Admission committees.
I work in Stevenage and volunteer in the community and surrounding areas from time to time. In my spare time I love going for long walks, running and jogging around our lovely and scenic parks and recreational grounds, with friends and family. I very much love, love, love music and enjoy participating in local church choirs.
Ryan Pearse / LA Governor
My name is Ryan Pearse, I am married to Victoria a local Nurse Practitioner we have two children. I am very proud to say that I am a past pupil of John Henry Newman and an active member of the Old Town parish. I am also Commercial Director within a Global Corporation. My skills and experience are focused on management, commercial negotiation, mentorship, strategy and delivery. However, I also spent several years in NHS hospital pharmacy practice to management level so have significant public sector experience of audit, compliance and service re-design. I hold a strong belief that outstanding primary schooling is the critical foundation to our children’s future successes. I hope to contribute to this foundation and working with the staff and fellow governors to ensure our children have the same pride in their education that I feel blessed to have had.
Siobhan Morgan / Parent Governor
A former civil servant I worked for the Home Office for 11 years formulating government policy and legislation. As a Classics graduate from King’s College London I was able to study theology, ethics and philosophy as part of the Associateship of King’s College (the original qualification awarded by the university).
I am married with three children, two of whom attend St. Vincent de Paul School and my family attends St. Joseph’s Church. I live locally but grew up in North London attending my local Convent School. I feel very privileged to have enjoyed a Catholic education, and am very grateful that my children are able to experience this too.
Monica Kelly / Parent Governor
I was appointed as a Foundation Governor in April 2018. I am married and have two boys, one at St Vincent de Paul Catholic School and one at John Henry Newman.
I have worked in senior roles in Higher Education for over ten years and l bring my skills, knowledge and experience to serve our school and the community as a Governor with commitment and dedication, guided by my Catholic Faith. I am passionate about education and I believe that all children should have equal access and opportunities to education so they can achieve their potential in life.
Catherine Tollington / Foundation Governor, Parent
My name is Catherine and I am married with 2 daughters, one at SVDP and one at JHN. I have been a governor at St Vincent De Paul since 2011. Being a governor is both a challenging yet very rewarding role. I bring to this role my experience as a manager from a business background. I share a firm commitment and desire with the rest of the governing body to help develop, nurture, improve the academic and spiritual lives of our children here at St Vincent de Paul.
Theresa Taylor-Brookes / Associate Governor
I was appointed as a Foundation Governor in January 2018 and prior to this I chaired the Parent Staff Association helping to raise well needed funds for the School.
I am very proud to be a Governor working alongside the rest of the Governing body of our school and dedicating time to making sure the Catholic Education of our Children is the Best it can be.
I am married with two children who both attend St Vincent de Paul School. I currently work for the Diocese of Westminster within the Knebworth Parish as the Office Manager and PA to the Parish Priest. I am dedicated to my faith and attend the parish of St Joseph’s. I am also a past Student of The John Henry Newman School and past pupil of Our Lady’s School in Hitchin.
Melanie Farr / Governor Clerk
I have recently taken over as clerk to the governors and am looking forward to working with the governors and staff at St Vincent's. I have three children, two of whom attend St Margaret Clitherow School. I am a parishioner at St Thomas More Church in Knebworth where I have lived for a number of years. My background is legal and as such I hope to bring relevant experience to the roll.
Fr Brian / Co opted H&S
Bio to follow