Governors for the academic year 2020/2021
Miss. Dorothy Abel Smith MBE
Dorothy is a long-serving governor. She is interested in the early years of education, writing a short history 'Abel Smith School' in 1998. She has always lived near Hertford and seen many changes in the town's schools and educational systems. She supported retaining the original c19th building as an integral part of the School and the formation of Churchfields Children Centre and more recently the Pre-School. She strongly believes that every child should have the opportunity to receive a broad education from an early age.
Mrs. Anna Cockley
Anna is a Staff Governor and represents the staff body on the governing board. In addition to this Anna is the key stage 2 leader and teaches in year 6. Anna is part of the senior leadership team and supports many elements of the management of the school, such as safeguarding, looked after children and mentoring of new teachers and student teachers.
Cllr. Bob Deering
Bob is a commercial solicitor by profession and the Hertfordshire County councillor for the Division in which Abel Smith school is located. Bob had a great start at his own primary school and wants to help Abel Smith deliver the best opportunities possible to the children of Hertford.
Mr. Daniel Hewitt
Daniel is an Ex-Officio member of the governing body. His role as Headteacher gives him the right to sit as a serving governor. In addition to his role as headteacher, Daniel is an experienced school governor and has been a school governor in other schools for over 10 years.
Mrs. Nicola Law
Nicky is an Associate Governor and is also the Deputy Headteacher and Early Years Leader. She has been at Abel Smith since 2014 and brings a wealth of knowledge in relation to curriculum and assessment. As Deputy Headteacher Nicky supports the Headteacher in his everyday role and also undertakes a number of management roles such as safeguarding and curriculum management.
Ms. Alison Mahoney
Alison was a biomedical scientist for many years before becoming a teacher. She is currently employed by Herts County Council and responsible for the commissioning and management of adult education and family learning across Hertfordshire. As a new member of the team, Alison is looking forward to supporting the school and helping foster a love for lifelong learning in children.
Miss. Andreea Nicoll
Andree has recently joined the governing body and is part of the Resources committee as she comes from a financial background. She aims to support the school to raise educational standards. She enjoys reading, mainly about positive parenting, mental health and growth, and also plays piano and tennis.
Mr. John Palfreyman
John lives in Hatfield and was elected as a governor in February 2016. As a qualified accountant he is keen to utilise his finance experience to support Abel Smith School through the ever-changing educational and financial landscape. He is the chair of the Resources Committee and assists with ad-hoc finance-related projects. In his spare time he plays table tennis and generally enjoys all sports.
Mrs. Elizabeth Read
Liz joined the governing body two years ago as a parent governor. She brings a wealth of experience within the field of education and is committed to supporting the Abel Smith Team so every child is encouraged to reach their full potential in a safe and caring environment. Liz started her career as a primary teacher in New Zealand and has been involved in education recruitment since moving to the UK. In her current role, she leads the Leadership Recruitment Service for schools in Hertfordshire, supporting governing bodies in their appointment of Headteachers.
Mr. Nick Sheffield
Nick has been on the governing body for a number of years now and is the Chair of the School Improvement Committee. He is head of the secondary department at a large special educational needs school who specialise in sensory impairments in South London. Nick is passionate about inclusion and also is the special educational needs and disabilities link governor.
Ms. Evelyn Usifoh
Evelyn's professional background is in Architecture and Civil Engineering. She has been involved with Hertfordshire school framework programs and Hertfordshire Highway Services. Evelyn is now a Technical Manager for a Housing Association, part of which is to manage technical related matters and employ quality standards from land acquisitions, through to design, construction and after completion. Evelyn has three children, 2 of which have passed from Abel Smith School to Richard Hale School and her third child is in the final year of Abel Smith before joining his brothers. She is passionate about education and the wellbeing of every child and believes providing a conducive environment for teaching & learning is vital and the quality of teaching can make a massive difference to any child's life.
Mrs. Maddie Waller
Maddie has been a school governor for 11 years. She is an experienced and well-trained governor and has been involved in school improvement and resources across all year groups. She believes that every child should have access to the highest quality teaching, combined with a clear commitment to wellbeing, and that good schools can make a big difference to a lifetime of learning. She has a daughter at Presdales and a son at university, both of whom attended Abel Smith and benefitted from their time at the school. Maddie is also a parent governor at Presdales secondary school. Her background is in event management where she spent over 25 years working in the pharmaceutical industry.
Mrs. Emily White
Emily is a surveyor by profession and currently works for Hertfordshire County Council managing their estate. Through that role she has worked with a number of schools throughout Hertfordshire. She is a Hertford resident who has 2 sons who are both currently at Simon Balle Secondary School. She is the chair of the Molewood Residents Association and a mentor under the Hertfordshire based Safe Space programme for children.
Miss. Louise Wilmshurst
Louise has been working in primary and secondary schools, as well as alternative provisions, for the past 8 years. Louise's depth and breadth of experience allow her to provide support with challenge, offer new ideas for the future and offer advice when needed. Louise is employed by a Local Authority and works with the most challenging children who are missing a large portion of their education. Louise believes that regardless of background, race, wealth or special needs you can achieve in your own unique way in life from the knowledge you have been taught in school. She really enjoys seeing how education makes a difference to children's lives.