Meet Our Governors
Below you’ll find a little more about each of our current governors:-
Dawn Whiteley (Local Authority Governor)
Dawn is the Chair of Governors for the Federation, a role she has undertaken since the federation came into being in January 2012, previously serving as a governor for Kirkroyds Infant School since 2002.
Dawn has lived in and around the Holme Valley all her life and now lives in Thongsbridge. Dawn worked in the enterprise support sector for over 25 years, helping people setting up and running their own businesses – work for which she received an MBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours in 2016. She now works locally supporting the running and management of an iconic community building in Holmfirth. It is this extensive business background which she brings to the Governing body, with a wide range of experience in financial, personnel and management issues.
Outside of work Dawn has interests in a variety of sports, most notably as a season ticket holder at Huddersfield Town Football Club and a regular spectator of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. She is also a devoted auntie to four nephews.
Stefan Rodgers (Co-opted Governor)
Stefan Rodgers is the Vice Chair of Governors for the Federation. Stefan became a Governor of Wooldale Junior School in 2011 and continued to sit as a governor on the new governing body for the Federation.
Stefan has worked in the business process outsourcing and digital marketing sectors for 20 years, latterly with his own business after having been the Marketing Director for a large Huddersfield based company. Stefan is highly entrepreneurial with the ability to see opportunities for improvement and drive clear communications and engagement across all stakeholders. He brings insight, challenge and support to the governing body applying skills developed in the private sector in leadership positions covering marketing, process management, commercial decision making and communication.
Stefan lives with his partner, Laura, and their two year old son, Jack, in Holmfirth. He is passionate about all forms of motorsport and has a keen interest in politics.
Chris Wood (Co-opted Governor)
Christine completed a BEd. at The College of Ripon and St John. Her course was Education and Professional Studies, with American Studies as a subsidiary subject.
Christine started her teaching career in a large primary school in Stapleford, just outside Nottingham. Three years later, she relocated to Edinburgh due to her husband’s job and began working for Mothercare as a store manager, first of all in Kirkcaldy and then, after a promotion, a brand new store in Dunfermline.
After having a short time of living in Hampshire, Huddersfield (for the first time) and Nottinghamshire, teaching in a range of schools, Christine and her family moved back to Huddersfield in December 1993 and after teaching at Greenside Infant School in Almondbury, took up a temporary part-time post at Kirkroyds Infant School.
After approximately 4 years at Kirkroyds, Christine became Deputy Head at Shelley First School and then 3 years later became Head Teacher at Kirkroyds in September 2002!
In January 2013, Kirkroyds federated with Wooldale Junior School and Christine became Head Teacher of both schools. In April 2019, Christine will be retiring and is looking forward to becoming involved in a set of new ventures!
In her spare time, Christine enjoys walking her greyhound, reading and holidaying in France.
Veronica Baldwin (Co-opted Governor)
Veronica has been part of the governing body since May 2013. She currently has two children at Wooldale and has a keen interest in every child enjoying school and developing a love of learning.
Veronica works as a freelance team and leadership coach and trainer; supporting organisations to develop their managers and staff such that they can achieve their potential at work. Prior to self-employment, Veronica held many senior roles within food manufacturing, both operational and latterly in organisational and people development.
Originally from Hertfordshire, Veronica has lived in the Holme Valley for 13 years. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, and is an active participant in the Halifax and Huddersfield Speakers’ Club.
Steven Talbot (Parent Governor)
The reason I applied to be considered for the opportunity of being a parent governor on the school’s governing body is that I am passionate about education and believe very strongly that these early years at school, as a child transitions through the infant and junior school system, are where the child’s drive and enthusiasm for learning and development are established.
My own education was varied as my family moved both within the UK as well as to Africa. Fortunately, I was consistently supported by good teaching, in well run schools following the British education system. After completing my ‘A’ levels I joined the Merchant Navy as an Engineer Officer and completed a BTEC ONC in Electrical Engineering and a BTEC HND in Marine Engineering. After leaving the Merchant Navy I went back to studying and gained a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
This education has led to career opportunities to work in a number of different and diverse countries which included 3 years working in China as well as 3 years in the United States of America. After all this travelling I eventually saw sense and 4 years ago moved to and settled in West Yorkshire where my education continues, and I now realise that a cupcake is actually a bun and that there is only one form of rugby and that’s Rugby League.
More seriously, I believe that my varied educational and work related background gives me a diverse experience and cultural base that I can bring to the role as a parent governor.
Louise Armitage (Co-opted Governor)
Louise Armitage is the teacher governor for Kirkroyds Infant School, and has been serving on the Governing Body for the last 13 years. She previously served on the Linthwaite Ardron School Governing Body, where she was Early Years Co-ordinator.
Louise has been Deputy Headteacher at Kirkroyds since 2001. She was a class teacher in Year 1 and Year 2 until September 2013, when, after the Federation she became more involved in the leadership and management of the two schools. She no longer has a class responsibility, but provides cover across Kirkroyds for PPA as well as when staff attend courses. This ensures Louise teaches in every classroom and so has an insightful overview of the whole school.
Outside work, Louise is a keen tennis player, playing in the Huddersfield league and providing coaching at Oakfield Tennis Club in Birkby. She also goes tap dancing, and takes part in the Annual Tapathon in aid of Roy Castle’s Lung Cancer Foundation.
Rebecca Starrett (Staff Governor)
Rebecca Starrett is staff governor and senior manager at Wooldale, Year Six class teacher and has responsibility for Special Educational Needs and Modern Foreign Languages across the Federation.
Originating from Huddersfield, she graduated in Classics and intended a career in museum curatorship, working at The British Museum in London, then relocating to establish a new hands-on educational provision in Calderdale; within the Education Department creating Eureka! The Museum for Children. This led to her becoming self-employed as a professional storyteller and arts practitioner in museums and educational provisions, this then led to working for Kirklees Exclusions in schools across the LEA.
She gained her post-graduate Certificate in Education at Leeds University in 1998, and since teaching at Wooldale has pursued additional teaching qualifications in French, plus cricket, rugby and athletics coaching whilst P.E. Co-ordinator. Rebecca is currently undertaking a post-graduate qualification in Special Needs Education to support her role as SENCO.
Passionate about promoting the Arts and celebrating the creativity inherent in our children, she believes in educating and nurturing the whole child.
When she retires, Rebecca intends undertaking a Masters in Art History, painting and writing more, ’having a go’ at stand-up, leading tour groups around the Parthenon and getting professional acting work.
Maggie White (Co-opted Governor)
Maggie is a mother of two children, who attended Kirkroyds and Wooldale some years ago. Since September 2006, Maggie has worked as a teaching assistant at Kirkroyds and has completed an NVQ Level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development. She has worked with children with a range of additional needs and is now the teaching assistant with Class 5, a year 2 class.
Before having a family, Maggie worked for an electrical components company and managed a crèche.
Maggie is a staff governor for Kirkroyds and volunteered to take on this role in March 2015 to become more involved in the strategic planning and management of the schools, as well as being able to put forward the perspective of school support staff.
In her spare time Maggie enjoys swimming, walking her dog and spending time with family.
Sean Robertshaw (Co-opted Governor)
Rev Canon Sean Robertshaw has been ordained as a Church of England minister for 25 years. He presently leads the Anglican Church in the Holme Valley. He is committed to prayer, following Jesus’ example and caring for the community spiritually, ethically and pastorally: through worship, service and practical care.
Sean enjoys spending time with family, mountain biking, walking the dog, strumming the guitar, serving local people through the local church and worship, and studying theology. He is married to Sally; they have two children, one in a local school, the other at university.
Leigh Fleming (Co-opted Governor)
Leigh Fleming joined as a community co-opted governor in 2014, she has lived in New Mill since 2003.
Leigh Works as The Subject Area Leader for Mechanical and Automotive Engineering at The University of Huddersfield, she is also active in research into a range of engineering applications including medical, automotive and aerospace. She is passionate about encouraging young people to consider Science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and careers, in particular encourage girls and young women who are underrepresented in this area. She hopes that her knowledge of the education system at University level, and the links she has with STEM will be of benefit to the governing body, along with a general passion and a belief that every child deserves the chance of a world class education.
Leigh has a daughter who is currently at Kirkroyds Infants school, and a step son who is at high school in Lancaster, she enjoys swimming and last year completed the Great North Swim in Windermere, this balances her love of baking and eating cake.
Ann Barnes (Associate Governor)
Ann Barnes has been on the governing body since joining the Federation as Deputy Headteacher for Wooldale Junior School in September 2014.
Ann began her teaching career over 30 years ago, teaching in two schools in London before moving up to Kirklees in 1989 where she has taught, in a range of primary schools, ever since. She has taught mainly in Key Stage 2, where she feels happiest, but has briefly taught in Key Stage 1 as well. Part of her time with Kirklees, was as an Advanced Skills Teacher for Science, in which roll she supported many schools and individuals improve standards in science teaching. In this role she was awarded Science Teacher of the Year by the Institute of Physics which she considers as a great honour.
In 2008 Ann took her first role as a teaching deputy head at Nields Primary School before being appointed to the post of Deputy Head at Wooldale Junior School in September 2014. She is married with two children at university and enjoys spending time, with her husband, on their river cruiser on the River Ouse.
Gillian Holden (Co-opted Staff Governor)
After an initial career in Banking, Gillian decided to embark upon a career change and opted to volunteer at Wooldale Junior School.
Having extended her experience in other local primary schools, she then successfully applied to work at Wooldale as a one to one ETA, supporting a child with complex needs and full time Statement of Special Educational Needs.
Gillian enjoys the challenge of working in an ever-changing educational environment, supporting children across the curriculum and being part of a professional, cohesive team. Due to her specific interest and specialism in Special Needs Education, she joined the governing body as co-opted Governor in 2017 and is Federation Early Years Governor, in addition to being an active member of the Resources Committee.
Outside of school, Gillian enjoys reading, walking her dog and is an active member of Holmfirth W.I.