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Governor Biographies

Governors for the academic year 2023/2024



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.

Mr. Louis Bone

Louis is an online school manager at Cambridge University Press & Assessment. Having started his career at Abel Smith in 2010, Louis went on to teach internationally in the Netherlands for 8 years, during which time he worked as a lead teacher and school development manager across Key Stages 1 & 2. Now located back in the UK, Louis was keen to reconnect with the school that gave him his start in the field of education and seeks to support Abel Smith continue in its development.

Mrs. Anna Cockley

Anna is a Staff Governor and represents the staff body on the governing board. In addition to this Anna teaches in year 6. Anna supports the headteacher in 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 13 years.

Mrs. Nicola Law

Nicola is an associate governor. She is the deputy head and is the Early Years leader. She currently teaches our Nursery children. She has experience teaching across the primary phase and has previously led a range of different subjects. She was the SENCO for 4 years prior to taking on the Early Years leadership. She is passionate about ensuring our youngest children have the very best start to their education.

Ms. Alison Mahoney

Alison began her career in biomedical science, becoming a regional business manager for Public Health England.  For the last 20 years, she’s been involved in the education sector, first as a teacher, then in commissioning and managing county-wide adult education and family learning services. Alison joined the governing body in September 2021 and enjoys supporting the school and its vision for children to become independent lifelong learners, able to thrive in today's world.

Mrs. Philippa Sexton

Philippa is a chartered surveyor with both private and public sector experience. She also has a policy background researching the delivery of public services. She is a long-time resident of Hertford and wants to support her local community by being an Abel Smith school governor.

Mrs. Maddie Waller

Maddie has been a school governor for 12 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 9 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.