Our Governors

   Karen Gordon, Co-Chair of Governors
(Parent Governor)

Karen has been a parent at Mary Exton for nine years and in that time has enjoyed watching her two children grow and develop through their positive experiences at school. She often refers to being part of the 'Mary Exton family'. Karen is a qualified Secondary Maths Teacher and is currently a consultant and tutor.  

Karen wanted to be a Governor to 'give back' to the school and community as well as bringing some of her professional skills to the role. Karen believes a child’s education is crucial to their academic achievements and – just as importantly – to the development of their social and other life skills. She wants the very best for all children. Karen says that by being part of Mary Exton’s Governing Board "I can contribute to ensuring we deliver a high-quality provision of teaching, in a nurturing setting, that will inspire our children to reach their full potential.” 

   Kirstie Buckridge, Co-Chair of Governors
(Co-opted Governor)

Kirstie became a Co-opted Governor in December 2019 and has two children at the school. She has worked at University College London in various professional roles since 2011 and prior to that worked for two educational charities, managing national programmes of CPD for primary and secondary science teachers. She is motivated by a desire to support her local community and contribute to creating an inspirational, creative, and caring environment for children at Mary Exton. After a challenging time for everyone during lockdown, she has really enjoyed being able to make visits to the school in person again and talk to the children and staff.

   Jenny Morgan, Special Educational Needs Link Governor
(Co-opted Governor)

Jenny worked for 39 years in primary education as well as being a governor of a large secondary school for seven years.  In May 2012, a few months after retiring, Jenny began volunteering at Mary Exton. During the Spring Term of 2014, she was invited to join the Governing Board as a Co-opted governor. With Jenny's previous experience in education, she has a lot of experience to offer. Jenny is interested in all aspects of the work of the Governing Board and especially enjoys being part of the Mary Exton School community.

  Philippa Cahill, Vice Chair of Governors & Chair of Resources Committee
(Parent Governor)

Philippa became a Parent Governor in 2022. She has lived in Hitchin for over a decade and has been a parent at the school since 2017. She has worked in healthcare communications for over twenty-five years, working variously in industry, for professional associations and in the charity sector, on health promotion, public health and disease awareness campaigning. Her healthcare experience incorporates work on children’s health and nutrition, paediatric illness and conditions including ADHD. Philippa wants to serve as a Governor to help Mary Exton do well for everybody involved with the school, the children, staff and families, and to augment its reputation in the community.

  Julia Reffell, Health & Safety Link Governor
(Co-opted Governor)

Julia became a Co-opted Governor in October 2021. Julia has lived in Hitchin all her life and her nephew attends Mary Exton school. She passionately believes a child’s experience in primary school can determine their whole future and she is therefore keen to support primary education that promotes positive, caring, kind and inclusive values whilst delivering good academic results.

Julia works for a global professional services firm, her role is leading a team providing risk management and insurance advice to UK public sector entities.

  Diane Graham, Finance Link Governor
(Local Authority Governor)

Diane joined our Governing Body in October 2021. She is a Local Authority Governor. She works in financial services and therefore has a valuable role to play as Finance Link Governor for the school. She sits on our Resources Committee.


   Danika Williams, Chair of Curriculum and Standards Committee
(Parent Governor)

Danika became Parent Governor in 2022. She currently has a child at the school and is looking forward to watching him grow and flourish. Danika has worked in education for over ten years and currently works at a large primary school in Hertfordshire as a Primary Teacher with a PE specialism. Danika understands the importance of education and physical and mental wellbeing and wants to be able to use her skills and knowledge to support children, families and staff at Mary Exton. She also wants to be a role model for children from an ethnic background and give children inspiration to strive for the best.


  Mrs. Day, Mental Health and Wellbeing Link Governor 
(Staff Governor)

Mrs. Day has been a parent at Mary Exton since 2005 and has seen both her children through the school. She began working at the school as a volunteer, initially listening to reading, and then additionally covering lunchtime duty, before going on to work as a teaching assistant. Mrs Day joined the Governing Body in 2020 as a Staff Governor. She is currently Mental Health & Wellbeing Governor and as such strives to ensure that mental health and wellbeing provision is appropriately embedded and prioritised throughout the school. 

  Mrs. Paterson

Mrs. Paterson has been Headteacher at Mary Exton since April 2017. She has been teaching since 2000 and has worked across all Primary Key Stages, specialising in SEND. She has been a Headteacher since 2009 and has held various responsibilities on different Governing Bodies.  Along with Mrs. Clements, Mrs. Paterson has an active role on the Governing Board, attending Full Governing Board meetings and also sitting on the Resources Committee.

  Mrs. Clements

Mrs. Clements joined Mary Exton in April 2022 and became Co-Headteacher along with Mrs. Paterson. Mrs. Clements has been in teaching since 2002 and has gained experience across all primary phases, specialising in KS2.  She has been a Headteacher since 2016 and has also been part of various Governing Bodies since 2008. Like Mrs. Paterson, Mrs. Clements plays an active role on the Governing Board, attending Full Governing Body meetings and sitting on the Curriculum and Standards Committee.