Pen Portraits

Your Governors

Find out a little more about each of our governors who help lead the school by reading their pen portraits below:

John Kelly (Chair of Governors) 

My name is John Austin Kelly and I feel privileged to have been elected as chair of governors, a responsibility I take very seriously.  This is driven by my long association with educational provision in the area and by the fact that both my now, grown –up daughters, attended Ainderby School as children.

I have been fortunate that my passion for wanting the best learning and educational experiences for young people has meant that my professional life has included being a teacher for forty years, firstly in York, then as Vice Principal of Northallerton School and Sixth Form College and finally as the Head at Risedale Sport and Community College in Catterick for eight years before retiring.  This together with the joy my family continues to give me, has kept me pretty well occupied. Walking, reading and gardening have filled the gaps!

As it is a statutory requirement to declare any material interests arising from relationships between governors or relationships between governors and school staff it is necessary to declare that my daughter is a member of staff at the school.

Louise Kargar

I am a Staff Governor and have been teaching at Ainderby since September 2014. Prior to that, have taught in a variety of other settings. My children (now both adults themselves) attended a small, rural school similar to Ainderby and I was an active member of the PTA and a regular volunteer during the time they attended. I am also an active member of a church in Teesside where I live, so particularly value the Christian ethos of our Church school.

I love working at Ainderby and especially value the family feel of our school which I have experienced first-hand through the generosity and care of our school community when I seriously injured my leg, nearly 5 years ago, and countless times since.

In my role as a subject leader, I have worked closely with governors to monitor and report on teaching and learning and therefore appreciate the importance of the strong and supportive accountability relationship between school and the Governing Body.

Fiona Fawcett

I am first and foremost a mum to two young boys who are both part of the Ainderby Steeple School community, currently in year 1 and pre-school. I recently joined as a Parent Governor because as a family we will be involved with the school for many years and subsequently, I am invested in the success of the school. I am also secretary for FASS.

I have enjoyed my creative business since 2015 where I design, create and manufacture a range of sustainable British made paper goods and homewares, supplying a large number of retailers worldwide. I have developed a very varied skill set with my strengths in illustration/graphic design, marketing strategy and book keeping.

I volunteer for The Princes Trust, where I work closely with young people to encourage and support them in bringing their business ideas to life. I am passionate about encouraging young people to celebrate their achievements.

Children are only young once, their experiences carry them through their adult life. I am committed to helping ensure that they feel fully supported and listened to, whilst making lovely memories of primary school that they will take with them into the future.

Rebecca Peacock

I am a Parent Governor. I have a son in year 5 and a daughter that left last year to start her secondary school adventure.
I joined the Pre-School Committee and enjoyed helping with the running of it until the school took over in 2017. I am currently a member of Fass helping raise money for the school. I have worked at Northallerton college for the last 6 years, working as an
advanced teaching assistant and currently studying to be a higher level teaching assistant. I love my Job working with SEND students specializing in Autism and social and emotional needs. I look forward to being part of the school governance, watching Ainderby
Steeple school grow and students thrive.

Shawn Costello

I am a retired Nurse and Senior Lecturer in Nursing and Public Health with over forty year’s experience. As member of St Helen’s Church at Ainderby Steeple I have the role of Safeguarding Lead and have been actively involved in Children’s and Young People’s ministry for twenty years. I also represent St Helen’s Church as a member of the Parochial Church Council of the Benefice of the Lower Swale. I am a Co-opted Governor with the Link Governor shared responsibilities for Science and Religious Education and Collective Worship. I am passionate about, through learning and teaching, encouraging children to value and respect God’s wonderful world and universe and have the values of compassion and Christian love. I also believe that a culture of respect and care for others is essential for fostering children’s aspirations so that they can enjoy fulfilled lives and develop a commitment to life-long learning.

Julie Hutton

Prior to becoming a Governor, I have predominantly worked in the public sector leading stakeholder management, establishing successful relationships with politicians and other leaders in business and local authorities. In addition I have been involved in the performance management of teams and the performance of the whole organisation. My background includes corporate governance, managing finances at programme and operational level with budgets up to £240M. Policy development and Equality and Diversity, plus the development of teams have all played a part in my previous experience and current role at Hambleton District Council as a Business & Economy Officer. This role allows me to support businesses to develop and grow. I am also Deputy Chair at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (Member) supporting the Chair, Board and officers to take forward the work of the Authority.

Joan Walker

I am a Foundation Governor appointed by the Diocese and have been a governor since 2001. When I first became a governor I was still teaching at Mowbray School, Bedale and, although now retired, I still have a strong interest in achieving the best outcomes for children with special educational needs. I attend St Radegund’s Church, Scruton regularly and I’m on the Local Church Council and also the Parochial Church Council for the Benefice of the Lower Swale.

I am a volunteer for the Wensleydale Railway and have been involved in the blue plaque award winning restoration of Scruton Station and also the Marsh Trust Award winning heritage education programme at the Station.

I have 4 grandchildren who are all of school age. They help keep me up to date! Our families are very important to all of us. It’s vital that children’s time in school provides them with the tools they need to achieve and lead happy fulfilled lives.

Cathy Grant

I am passionate about supporting school leaders and school communities in providing a well-rounded primary education and understand the powerful role that effective governance can play in this. As the general manager of a small charity, I am responsible for the budget and for the delivery of a programme of work in several primary schools. As well as many formal career roles, I have held part time roles in school administration and as a Clerk to the Governors of several York schools when my children were young.

Luke Sheader

As a proud father, who’s children also happen to attend this school, I am excited to be appointed as a Co-opted Governor. Balancing my professional life as a principal structural engineer with my role as a dedicated dad has taught me the importance of a rich and happy upbringing for our children to thrive.

In my professional capacity, I have had the privilege of managing diverse projects and leading talented teams of designers. From winning new clients and negotiating project fees to ensuring smooth communication with external design teams and site managers, I have honed my skills in the dynamic world of engineering.

But let’s not forget about my equally important role as a dad! Being a father has been the greatest adventure of my life. I have learned the art of multitasking like a pro, from tying shoelaces while drafting project proposals to attending school events while reviewing design plans. My children’s education, well-being, and the success of this school are at the forefront of my heart and mind.

When it comes to being a Governor, I believe in fostering an environment where learning is not only educational but also fun and engaging. As a parent, I know first-hand the importance of creating a nurturing and inclusive atmosphere where children can thrive, feel supported, and embrace their unique talents.

With my blend of professional expertise and my innate fatherly instincts, I am excited to collaborate with fellow governors, teachers, parents, and students. I wholeheartedly embrace the opportunity to contribute to this school community, not only as a skilled professional but also as a dad who genuinely cares.