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Essendon C of E (VC) Primary School

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works

Governor Biographies

Pete Hanna, Chair of Governors

I’ve been a Governor since the start of 2017 and Chair of Governors since Spring 2018. While I now live some distance from Essendon village, both my children attend the school and are thriving in the caring educational environment provided by our wonderful stafff.


I'm a highly experience project manager, having run large scale projects and organisational change programmes across different sectors including finance, civil engineering and in not for profit organisations like UNICEF UK. My current role at the University of Hertfordshire involves conducting research, influencing strategy and managing major projects aimed at improving the educational experiences of the University's students.


I'm really proud of the way the school has developed since I joined the governing body - we've introduced new outdoor learning spaces, new in-house catering services, improved technology in the classrooms and introduced full wrap around child care to support our families. Most importantly for the long term viability of the school, we've also enhanced our reputation as a caring and nurturing environment resulting in a significant increase in pupil numbers.


Lesley Reith, Vice Chair of Governors

I have lived in Essendon with my family for fourteen years and have now been a governor of Essendon School for nine years and was chair of governors for the last six years.


I studied engineering at university and worked in the engineering industry for the first four years of my career before taking those skills into The City where I worked for The Stock Exchange building their first generation trading systems and databases. When my children were growing up, I retrained as a teacher and have taught physics at different secondary schools across Hertfordshire since qualifying. I am now retired from teaching and devote my time to our family businesses, my role at Essendon School, village life and travelling.


I became a governor in the hope that some of my skills would be helpful in supporting the development of the school. I have not been disappointed and have found my role really stimulating. I am always learning and always striving to sustain our school as a wonderful asset for the village.


Pauline Alleyne, Foundation Governor

My family and I have lived in the village of Essendon for over 30 years and during this time I have been an active member the Church and community. I have helped run St Mary’s Sunday School for over 20 years and have got to know many of the local children and their families. As a Foundation Governor, I hope to make a positive contribution and assist with the link between school, church and community.


Katie Bedi, Co–opted Governor

I was part of the teaching team at Essendon for 15 years and part of the governing body for 9 of those years. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to see the school grow and change during the time that I have worked there, and to be part of a team who have a shared vision to give children a firm foundation in the skills, experiences and values that will be important to them as they grow up in an ever changing and challenging world. In July 2018, I left my teaching role but wanted to continue to support the school as a governor.


I have worked with all age groups in the school but I have been particularly involved in developing the early years provision and building links between home and school for all our families as they begin their school journey. As a Church of England school it is important to show the difference that the values of the Christian faith make to everything that we do. These principles also make our links with St. Mary’s Church and the local community important as we live and work together.


Vicky Craig, Co-opted Governor

I moved to Essendon in 2014, having lived in the local area all my life. I am married to Tom and we have two children, Ted and Harry, both of whom are pupils at the school. We feel very privileged to live in such a beautiful and welcoming village. We were married at St Mary’s Church in 2012 by Reverend Pauline and both children have also been christened there.


I became a governor as I am passionate about children’s education and want to support the school in being the best it can be and to help our children achieve their potential. I feel it is important to create a school environment whereby each child is valued and develops their own ideas, self-esteem and confidence, so they can excel both academically and creatively.


Antonia Wild, Ex-officio, Acting Headteacher

I have been a member of the Essendon staff for four years. Since September 2017, I have had the exciting roles of Inclusion Manager and Deputy Headteacher, as well as being lucky enough to retain my class teaching role in Homewood. I consider it a privilege to be Acting Headteacher of this wonderful, caring and loving school.


Away from Essendon, I am Mum to two (very different) boys. At the weekends I am often found at the side of a football pitch due to my husband running a football club as well as the boys playing for it. We spend a lot of our ‘free’ time watching matches and supporting all of the teams.