Meet the Governors of North Mymms St Mary’s Primary School
Sheila Hoile MBE - Chair of Governors
I joined the Governing Body at St Mary’s in October 2017. I am privileged to work with governors and staff who are passionate and committed to making sure that the children at St Mary’s fulfil their potential in a safe and caring environment. I am married with two children and four grandchildren. I have been an active member of St Mary’s Church for over 40 years.
I am now retired. I graduated as an aeronautical engineer and spent my early career teaching Physics and working in the aerospace industry. I have a Masters Degree in Education and Industry from University of Warwick. The latter part of my career has been spent working with major engineering consultancy practices developing and delivering technician and degree engineering apprenticeships. I was honoured to be awarded the MBE in 2001 New Year’s Honours List for my contribution to construction education and training.
Jenisa Altink – Vice Chair - Foundation Governor
I joined St. Mary’s as a foundation governor in July 2017 and was appointed as Vice Chair in September 2020. I am also the link governor for English, which is a particular area of interest for me as I have over 14 years’ experience in legal publishing. In my current role I specialise in corporate governance, which gives me a fresh perspective on the challenges faced in school governance.
I have two young children, which allows me to approach the matters dealt with by the Governing Body with objectivity, while still having an awareness of the issues relevant to both parents and children of primary school age. I am passionate about the provision of free, high quality education for all, and am delighted to be able to contribute to that via my role on the school governing body.
Rev Ruth Barr Ex officio Governor
I was appointed as an Ex Officio governor in September 2019 when I came to St Mary’s Church to be their new team vicar, as a member of the Bishop’s Hatfield Team Ministry.
Before I was ordained in 2016, I worked in education in various roles. I was a sign language communicator at West Herts College supporting Deaf students for five years. Then I changed to supporting children on a 1:1 basis at 3 different mainstream Primary Schools, pupils who had diverse medical needs, ranging from hypermobility, autism, profound deafness, Perthes disease and Transverse Myelitis.
I like to ‘think outside the box’ and am passionate about what needs to be done to facilitate full inclusion for everyone. I was responsible for setting up social groups for children isolated due to their circumstances, within the school environment.
I hope that I will bring a wealth of experience of understanding the needs of those who maybe do not fit the norm, those with challenging needs and behaviours, to see what St Mary’s school can do to best support them.
I enjoy visiting the school every Tuesday to lead the Collective worship Assembly and then stay for break time to get to know the children better on the playground.
Penny Beale – Parent Governor
I am a parent of two children currently attending St Mary’s School. My son is in Year 6 and my daughter in in Year 1. Having a background in safeguarding, I spent 5 years as part of a multi-agency team in East London. I feel strongly about the important role education plays in all our children’s lives but specifically during these formative years. I believe my combined experience affords me a unique and positive perspective as a parent governor
Dr Stephane Farenga – Local Authority Governor
I became a Governor here in 2018 with the intention of supporting and developing a culture that enables pupils and staff to excel, both at St Mary’s and beyond. As a Local Authority Governor, I try to bring more of an external perspective to St Mary’s. I’m also part of the Resources Committee and very keen on making sure our staff and pupils are well resourced and supported. I’ve worked at the University of Hertfordshire since 2013, in our Widening Access and Student Success department. I help lead teams delivering outreach work into Hertfordshire schools with low attainment and low progression to higher education, as well as, supporting student from under-represented backgrounds to transition into, through and beyond the University. I live in St Albans but you might see my wife and I out and about in the local countryside (and pubs) with our husky dog, Juno!
Ciaran Diver - Foundation Governor
I was appointed Foundation Governor at St Mary’s in September 2021. I have 40 years’ experience of working within the IT industry across all market sectors which has given me a great appreciation of the skills required by many of today’s employers. I have been involved in recruitment, apprenticeship and graduate training schemes as well as personal development programmes to help people achieve to their full potential.
I have four children, two of whom are now teachers and one still in secondary education, which has given me a good insight into the current challenges of the education system.
I am an active church member where I have taken on many roles including Churchwarden, member of the Parochial Church Council, Magazine Editor, Children’s Church, Youth Group and Messy Church Leader.
I am proud to be able to contribute to St Mary’s school where I hope to share my skills and experience to help further the children’s development from both a religious and educational context.
Helen Lee - Foundation Governor
I have recently joined the Governing Body of St Mary’s school and I am looking forward to getting to know the school community better and to learning how to be a useful and effective Governor.
I have been an active member of St Mary’s church for 25 years and my husband, Rupert is one of the Church Wardens. We have three children, all grown up now, either working or at university.
My background is in Science and Primary school teaching and more recently, in teaching Forest school to primary-aged children. I am most happy when I am outside and I am hoping that my experience and practical skills will be put to good use at St Mary’s.
Music is also very important in my life; I play the ‘cello in the Finchley Symphony Orchestra and I love the process of rehearsing a piece of music over several weeks so that we can play it to the best of our ability.