Governor Bios - St Mary's and St John's CE School

Governor Bios

Revd Roy Hutchinson

I became a foundation governor of SMSJ when I became the Vicar of St John's Church, West Hendon in 2021. I am currently the chairperson for the governing board and presently on the other committees too.

I have a background in faith based work with churches and charities initially with a youth and childrens background which grew to leadership roles in a number of charities in London and more latterly in change management.  As a vicar, I am able to continue a role that helps to serve local communities across all age ranges and my role as a governor gives a focus to young people and children.

Outside of my usual roles, I have a love of sport (more watching these days!) especially football and basketball, in which I am a qualified coach.

Simon Benson

I am the current Vice Chair and Local Authority governor.

I am an ex-teacher of 7 years (secondary and primary) and have also worked within the third sector for a number of years. I currently work in Special Educational Needs for a number of different local authorities across the country. I also sit on Barnet's SEND & AP Strategic Board. 

I am passionate about education in general, but particularly for children who have SEND. 

Through being a governor, I hope to help the school ensure children and young people at SMSJ are encouraged and enabled to reach their full potential along with being well prepared for adulthood. 

I also have a child at SMSJ. 

Revd Dr Julie Gittoes

I am a Foundation Governor of SMSJ - taking up that role when I was installed as Vicar of St Mary's and Christ Church, Hendon in June 2019. I chair the Christian Ethos Committee and am also a member of the Curriculum Committee. 

I was ordained in 2003 and served in two parishes in West London before spending 7 years as a Residentiary Canon at Guildford Cathedral where I was responsible for education (including our schools' programme, public lectures and art).  I continue to engage with the social and civic life of the Brough including interfaith work. I was part of the Archbishops' Commission on Families and Households which was concerned with what helped children and adults flourish (the final report called "Love Matters" was published in 2023).  My other interests include film, theatre, novels, music and politics - as well as writing and teaching theology - and I share the vicarage with two cats!

Nigel Wildish

I was appointed a governor of SMSJ by the Church of England Deanery of Barnet in February 2021. I am currently chair of the Admissions Committee and a member of the Christian Ethos Committee.

I am a lay minister in Finchley and a former chair of governors of two primary schools in Barnet. I used to be a family magistrate and a trustee of Spurgeons, a Christian charity concerned with children. In addition, I sit on a committee at Barnet Council which is concerned with all provisions for children, and I am part of a group which is reviewing the Council's provision for children who are home educated. All  these activities follow my passion for helping children. I am a father and grandfather too!

As a retired lawyer, I can bring to the governing body an understanding and a lot of experience of good governance.

Gavin Smith

My secondary education was divided between schools in Stockport and Poole before I completed a degree in Geography at UCL. This led to a teaching career which started in Croydon where I worked in a number of schools across the borough before heading back north of the river.  I have worked at Wren Academy Finchley since 2008 when the school opened before becoming became Principal in 2015. I then stepped up to be Executive Principal of the Wren Academies Trust as well as being the founding Principal of Wren Academy Enfield which opened in 2020.  

In January 2023 I was appointed Executive Principal of Saint Mary’s and Saint John’s CE School in addition to remaining as the Executive Principal of the Wren Academies Trust. Since then, I have worked closely with the leadership of SMSJ to ensure that the school thrives as it collaborates effectively with the Wren Academies Trust to deliver the very best education for all children. It has been a privilege to be working with my colleagues at SMSJ to demonstrate that ‘………….with God, all things are possible.’(Matthew 19:26).

Kyriacos Papasavva

I am a father of three, husband to an amazing wife (Proverbs 31s), and Head of Department for Religious Studies, at SMSJ since 2019. As such, I had to stand for election to hold this public office - something I have done twice; I am also an elected Church Councilman for a local Orthodox Christian church. I stood because I believe it is incumbent upon us, as professional educators, to do everything within our power to improve education.  I thought, where better than as a Head of Department, and a Governor?

I hold a degree in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics, a Masters in Christian Theology, a PGCE obtained from the IOE at UCL, and hold QTS status.  Currently, I am studying for my NPQSL and writing a second book on my teaching experiences.  I also have a qualification in mental health first aid, and I am a qualified dyslexia specialist teacher.

I was a tutor at the University of London (Heythrop College) for 5 years; realizing an undergraduate's dream of standing on the other side of room.  I have also worked prolifically in Music Education, teaching at the secondary school I attended just a year after leaving (peripatetic piano teacher), and as a teacher there at 22.  I have also, as part of the SMSJ RS Department’s excellent national reputation, mentored student teachers with the LSJL (the London School of Jewish Learning) and the IIS (The Institute of Ismaili Studies).

I believe truth and public service matter; the common good, therefore, is something we must aspire to achieve with humility.  Education is beautiful, the tradition of The Church is beautiful - this is what I strive to embody; and it is expressed in a love of wisdom, a spirit of service and a curriculum of hope.

Feyi Osifuwa

I'm Feyi, a Londoner born and raised in Camden Town. My secondary education took place in Nigeria, with a brief stint in the UK after which my family moved to Texas, USA, where I went to high school and pursued a degree in civil engineering at university. After working in the United States for a few years, I returned to the UK and later moved to Denmark, where I earned my master's degree in environmental management and sustainability science.

Currently, I reside and work in London as a sustainability professional. In my spare time, I do super random things like starting podcasts (check out: Your Sustainable Friend), going geocaching and trying to play tennis in the summer.

Reflecting on my own educational journey, I cherish the experiences I had during my primary and secondary school years. It saddens me to hear stories of young people who had or are having a tough time in school. As a governor, my aspiration is to contribute towards ensuring that young individuals not only receive an education but also enjoy it as much, if not more, than I did.

David Nash

Born and educated in Oxfordshire, I went to University in Birmingham where I studied Geography.  During my time studying and playing sport I realised I really enjoyed working with young people, and helping them to grow and develop.  It was here I decided that I’d like to take on a career in education.  I have now been teaching for almost 20 years, and have worked in three schools, one in the Midlands, one in Hackney, and now Wren Academy Finchley in North London.  I am also an experienced examiner and help to facilitate the delivery of the National Professional Qualifications which are run by the Department for Education.

In my spare time I play tennis in the Middlesex Doubles league, and in the past have completed a number of marathons and an iron man long distance triathlon.  I also enjoy reading for pleasure, and relaxing at home with my family. I am keen to use my experience in education to support communities beyond my own school, and was delighted to take the opportunity to become a Governor at SMSJ.

Mark Roberts

I am a parent governor, the father of one current and one former SMSJ pupil. My wife and I have loved seeing our children flourish in the academic and social world of SMSJ, and are keen to support the continuing growth and success of the school.

My wife is a Londoner, and I grew up in Oxford, Southampton and Somerset. I moved to London first as a journalist, covering science and technology and later business. After ten years of that, I joined a management consultancy as a communication specialist. I helped individuals and teams within organisations to make sense of change and to turn ideas and strategies into action. Now I work independently, coaching people on communication and other skills, and facilitating workshops and meetings for teams.

I enjoy being outdoors, often to walk our dog, and I like the theatre, cinema, and reading. One of the pleasures of being an SMSJ parent has been attending musical, theatre, and dance performances at the school and elsewhere. I wanted to serve as a governor to help the school become even more effective in providing a well-rounded education for all its diverse student body.

Alvyn Kee

This is the first time I have been involved in public service in the borough and I am very thankful for the opportunity to contribute whenever I can. It is also a privilege to learn from my more experienced colleagues on the board. They all bring a wealth of experience and knowledge which can only benefit the respective schools they govern.

I do enjoy the process of working with the other governors and stakeholders in making the best decisions for the school so that all pupils are able to excel and experience school life at its best. I am a solicitor by profession 

Jim Roebuck

I was elected as a parent governor in March 2023. I am parent to 2 children attending SMSJ, and I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to represent parent's views to the Governing Body.

My professional background is in education, and I currently lead on Initial Teacher Training for a successful multi-academy trust. Previously I worked as Deputy Headteacher in two different London primary schools over 13 years, with 20 years experience working in schools in total. I have a lifelong love for learning and I am grateful to work in a field that allows me to share my passion with others.

Outside of work, I have a passion for music. I sing baritone in a choir, and play bass guitar in a rock band.

Sam Looi

I am the Co-Chief Operating Officer of my household, a role I share with my wife. We operationalise the vision set by our two children, the Co-Chief Executives, one of whom attends SMSJ. I am passionate and committed to enabling pupils to thrive and reach their full potential at SMSJ.

I have extensive senior HR experience, leading large scale strategic organisational change and transformation in complex environments. I hold a Masters in Organisational Psychology, actively using positive psychology and behavioural science to develop solutions.

My interests revolve around food, cooking new cuisines, when time allows.

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