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Meet the Governors

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



Kieron Extence - Staff Governor

I am now in my sixth year of teaching at St Mary’s having started teaching here in September 2015, although my affiliation with the school goes back almost ten years to when I was 16 and volunteering at the school by helping at sports clubs. I also spent a year volunteering in the classroom at St Mary’s prior to attending Plymouth University, where I completed my BEd degree in Primary Education.

Outside of school I am a keen footballer and avid Chelsea supporter. I play regularly but I also coach at a local club too, running an Under 12’s team. I have recently taken on the role of Youth Chairman at the club too, which certainly keeps me busy in my ‘spare time’!

I currently teach Year 1 but have taught in Year 2 and Year 4 during my time at St Mary’s. I am also the P.E Coordinator. I love all things sport, so I also run the school football and athletics teams.

I became staff governor in September 2018 and continue to enjoy fulfilling the responsibilities that the role entails. I am part of the ‘Standards and Curriculum Committee’, and endeavour to use my position to provide a useful, purposeful link between the governors and the rest of the St Mary’s team.


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!



Joyce Purkiss – Foundation Governor

I have enjoyed a close association with St Mary's for 21years, for 19 years working in the Office until my retirement. I was a Staff Governor for 2 years and am now a Foundation Governor appointed by the Diocesan Board of Education. I work closely with the Maths co-ordinator and am a member of the Standards and Curriculum Committee. I have always had a deep interest in primary education, perhaps particularly now as my 4 grandchildren are all attending local primary schools. The time I spend at St Mary's watching all the children there flourish and mature in a caring inclusive environment, always being encouraged by all the staff to do their best is very rewarding and the reason I am happy to serve as a governor.