Governor Details

Maeve Baker

I had worked in education for forty-one years before I retired in 2010.

During my time I have worked in Secondary, Middle and Primary phases. I started my career in Secondary as a specialist English teacher in London and Surrey. It was while I was on maternity leave with my three boys that I developed an interest in the theory and practise of Language and Reading development. My interest led me to studying with the Open University for four years developing practise to test and match theory. Working on Action Research projects brought me into contact with Middle and First school children. My particular interest was with Special Needs and my first post after returning to teaching after my maternity break was in Dorset with groups that had complex learning problems which I found challenging and of course satisfying.

Mathematical education became the focus of my next area of study once I had a post with a class of my own. With a group of enthusiastic colleagues from local schools in Purbeck working through The Mathematical Association I took part in years of testing and trialling approaches to developing mathematical concepts and assessment. It was at this stage of my career that I decided to remain in Primary Education. The freedom to create the curriculum in an integrated form with the children’s interest leading the focus really accorded with my understanding of engaged learning. And so I took a post as class teacher for ten years, deputy head for five and head teacher for fifteen years.

Despite my many years in education when I retired in 2010 my enthusiasm for children and their learning has never faded. Every child is unique and never ceases to amaze me particularly following their progress. I feel privileged to spend time as a reading volunteer and governor at St Mary’s. RC Primary Swanage. It is a school which combines the nurturing environment and academic challenge to allow both children and staff to reach their optimum potential.

Michael Baker

We moved to Dorset in 1977 and sent our three boys to St. Mary’s RC First School (The Convent). In the days before governors I was a manager at the school for some years. I taught at Swanage Middle School for 25 years and during that time was seconded to be in charge of the Purbeck Teachers Centre for three years.  In the year 2000 my wife, Maeve, became head of St. Mary’s and I became a governor in 2006. On retiring from the Middle School in 2002 I began to work as a volunteer at St. Mary’s teaching one afternoon a week in year 4. I still do reading with year 6 and in 2015 brought out an updated version of a small history of the school which the year 4 pupils and I had originally published when the last nun, Sister Alphonsus, retired in 2004 (copies still available at a bargain £5!).

Gill Calvin-Thomas

I am delighted to have been asked to be an Associate Governor at St Marys. I have been a volunteer reader for two years now and enjoy the experience. The atmosphere in the school is so happy and the children are great to work with and eager to learn.

I have grandchildren who are growing up and no longer need me to read with them or help them with homework, so volunteering in St Mary’s has also fulfilled a need in me.

My early career was in social work. I have a social work qualification as well as an MA in Education. As a social worker, I practised with different groups of people including people with disabilities and hearing loss. I had an interest in education and eventually became a Training Officer, teaching and assessing post qualifying social workers and social work students, as well as delivering training courses. I worked for the Open University for a couple of years and then gained a post in Bournemouth University. As a Senior Lecturer in practice learning, I was involved in teaching and assessing social work students. I also taught students from other Health disciplines in the School of Health and Social Care.

My interests have always been in how we as individuals learn best and how we then assess progress helpfully and fairly. I understand educational theory and over the years have undertaken research into learning. So, I hope I will be of use to the school, lending a fresh pair of eyes and ears to learning and assessment.

Sarah DeLeon

I joined St. Mary’s Governing Body in 2012 as a Parent Governor before changing to become a Foundation Governor in 2014. I have two daughters: one still at St. Mary’s and one who has left and is now at secondary school. It was due to my interest in their education that I wanted to take an active role working alongside the staff and the other governors to ensure that each child in our school is given every opportunity to succeed while developing their full potential in an enriching and supportive environment.

I was born and raised in Swanage, before moving to London where I gained a Humanities degree, majoring in English. I have taught English both abroad and at language schools in this country. This academic and professional background has been valuable in helping me to fulfil my role as Subject Governor for English and Humanities. I am currently an HLTA at St. Mary’s.

I am delighted to be able to serve on St. Mary’s Governing Body and help support our school in every way that I can.

Maria Gadston

My three children all went to St Mary’s School and I started teaching here shortly afterwards in 1996. I became Deputy Head in 2010 when Mrs Lake was appointed Head Teacher and joined the Governing body as the staff governor. Currently I am acting head teacher and teach in year 2 part-time.

John Lejeune

I am a Foundation Governor and my youngest daughter, Suzanne, currently attends St Mary’s; I have always been impressed with the school’s ethos of being loving and truthful as per the genuine Catholic Christian tradition and see how this creates a school where the children and staff are happy and natural and the parent’s involvement is valued. I have  previously served as a Parent Link Governor at The Swanage School for four years, having my two older daughters there, during that time and have 15 years experience in PTA’s and Church Fundraising. Please approach me, if you see me around and I am always happy to listen. If I had to say what my motto is, it would be – “If we work together, anything can be achieved”.

Rebecca Meteau

I came to teaching rather later in life having completed a PGCE specialising in RE, with The Primary Catholic Partnership SCITT in 2001. I joined St Mary’s eight years ago, having taught in other local primary and first schools. I am currently acting deputy head and SENDCo, teach year 6 and co ordinate RE and English.

Tom Norman

My wife and I returned to Swanage recently having lived and worked in London. After leaving school I studied at the University of Surrey where I gained a degree in Business Studies & Geography. Following my degree I travelled extensively, before joining the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in 1998. I spent most of my police career as a Detective Constable working in serious and organised crime, including the Flying Squad. 

We moved back to Swanage the day after my second child was born. I may return to policing, but I am currently a Manager at The Salt Pig in Wareham. My daughter is at St Mary’s and my son will follow her in the next academic year. A significant number of my close relatives have been involved in teaching and my sister is currently a Deputy Head at a school in Bristol. I believe that joining the governing body as a Parent Governor will enable me to continue to make a contribution towards public life and allow me to offer my support to the dedicated staff at St Mary’s who invest so much in the education of our children. 

I will embrace the challenge and do my best to make a valuable contribution to the school.

Sandy Porter

I graduated from Bournemouth Art College where I also served as the Student Governor. I then went on to complete a post graduated degree at the Royal College of Art in London. My family and I moved from London to Swanage in 1979. My career has included undertaking assignments for international and national organisations like the Sunday Times. These involved travelling and working in many different countries. 

I am currently a board director of an IT security company that works is in the area of delivering high assurance identities to provide secure online services for the UK government and commerce. An important area of the work is the age verification of individuals and protection of their data. A major component of this work is aimed at the protection of children in the digital world. My expertise in these areas means that I am asked to speak on these topics at conferences, be a member of Uk Government advisory working groups and an EU R&D assessor.

I have joined St.Mary’s Governing Body as a Foundation Governor because the school has always had a wonderful reputation in the local community for providing an excellent all round education for young children. I hope that I can make a small contribution to maintaining and extending this by working with the other governors and staff.

Ela Tylek

I joined St. Mary’s Governing Body as a Foundation Governor in December 2017. I was born and raised in the beautiful and historical city Krakow (Poland). In 2003, I graduated from Krakow University of Technology, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology.  My specialisation is chemistry and polymer science and from 2003 to 2005 I was a PhD student, mainly concentrating on synthesis and analysis of  bioolymers. In 2004 I attended advanced biomaterials sessions in the Material Science and Technology International School in Jesi (Ancona), Italy. I have published a few scientific articles in professional journals.

Since 2011 I have been working as a Senior Health Care Assistant and have also became a Mentor and Trainer to new social care workers.

I hope my experience will be useful for the Governing Body and I will try to do my best to support our school.

Janice Williams

I have been the Clerk to the Governing body since 2006 so have seen many changes in the school since that time including a move to a two tier system of education and relocation of the school to a new premises. My three sons all attended St Mary’s but have now moved on to university and secondary school. As well as Clerking for St Mary’s I am also Clerk to the Governors for Swanage Primary School – I have been a Clerk at local schools since 2002 so have lots of experience to bring to the Governing Body. In September 2016 I became the school’s Finance Officer which allows me to ensure governors are well appraised of all financial matters. 

page last updated: 8 May 2018