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Crosshall Infant School Academy Trust

Meet the Governors

Keith Martin (Chair of Governors -Community Governor and Member) 

My Wife and I moved to St Neots in 2003, I joined the Governing Body initially as a Parent Governor in 2004. Soon after joining the Governing Body I became Vice Chair. I transitioned to the position of a Community Governor and I have been the Chair of Governors and a Trustee of the school now for a number of years.

I am very proud to say that both my daughter and son have attended the Infant School, both also attended the Kids Club. I have a lot to thank the Infant School for their education. They both transitioned through the Crosshall Junior School and are now both at Longsands Academy Trust.

I come from a Defence and Information Technology back ground. I am performing a Programme Managers role for a large computer consultancy company and manage large complex projects. I am used to working at all levels within both in Public and Private sectors across various industries across the UK.

I hope to utilise my skills and knowledge that I have gained in my career to provide support to the school and the various committees of which I am a member. I hope to help maintain the high standards that have been achieved and support the children and the Local community.


Mariyam Azher (Local Authority Governor and Member)

I have a daughter who attends Crosshall Infant School. Having lived in St Neots for many years, I take a keen interest in local affairs and its schools and wish to put my skills and effort into being active in the Crosshall Governing Body and making sure that every child has the best education possible.


I am currently a HR Manager in a company that specialises in providing HR services to schools, a post which I've held for nearly 10 years.  I am familiar with the workings of a school, the legal side and what works best for schools. I am keen to use this experience which I believe will be beneficial for Crosshall. 


Kelly Garner (Community Governor)

Education and the Arts have been my primary focus since university, which alongside my daughter beginning her school career at Crosshall in 2020, gives me great motivation to offer any support that I can.

Having been a secondary school teacher for 15 years (including 9 years as Head of Department for Film/Media) has provided me with a wealth of experience and opportunities to support student growth, for example I was lucky enough to work alongside Arts Council England on many student projects highlighting social issues, work as an Exam moderator for AQA, take students on residential trips to Los Angeles, create news broadcasts for parents and the community and develop a wide variety of visual resources.

Currently I work freelance as a Videographer/Photographer for my own business which has a wide client base but specialises in capturing school-based events, such as music lessons and concerts. I have a wide number of hobbies such as set design, running, and toy design.

Karen Hurrell (Staff Governor)

I have been a qualified teacher for 29 years. I am an Assistant Headteacher and SENCo for both the Infant and Nursery School.


Mike Jackson (Community Governor)

My wife and I have lived in Eaton Ford for over 30 years and our three children attended Crosshall School.  I believe strongly in the importance of providing a good education to all children from the earliest age and am pleased to have the opportunity to support the school and its staff through working as a Governor.


Most recently I was a Professor at the University of Nottingham running a research group of PhD students and Post-doctoral researchers. I have also worked in Government and industry in the space and software sectors. I have been a CEO and Company Director and have experience sitting on many different Boards and Committees across Government, industry and the voluntary sectors.


Stephanie Kemp (Parent Governor)

I am pleased to be a Parent Governor and to be able to support this amazing school. I work in the town with the general public, and I feel  like I have a voice that can be a real asset to the school. I'm not afraid to get involved, I think it is my duty as a parent to get involved and show I care about my child's education. Crosshall staff have helped my child and myself so much already, it's not my turn to give back.


Paul-Jason Lawrence (Vice-Chair-Parent Governor)

My name is Paul Lawrence and was elected to be a Parent Governor in 2020.

My Wife, children and I moved to Eaton Ford in 2016. A year after moving in our eldest son attended both the Infant School and the Kids Club. Our youngest son will be joining the Nursery in 2021, and we know his experience will be as wonderful as it was for his brother.

I come from a Procurement and Computer Science background. In my current role is as a Senior Account Director for a spend analytics software company, I am used to working at all levels; within both in Public and Private sectors across all verticals, with clients throughout the world.

Coming from a family of Teachers and Teaching Support workers, I have always admired the work that our Teachers do for our children. I believe I am supportive & objective when it comes to making the tough choices. I am one for challenging decisions which I believe could be questionable. You will get honest answers to tough questions from me and I will always be there to support and champion the school in any way I am able.



Tom McCormick (Governor and Member)
I have had a long association with Crosshall Infant School over many years.  My children attended both the infant and junior schools, my wife is a former governor and helped establish the nursery, and I have been on the governing body since 2006.  My work experience includes roles in central, regional and local government as well as a wide range of business sectors.  I am passionate about learning and try to use my experience to help the school develop and improve in order to provide the best possible learning environment for all our children.


Kimberly McGrath (Vice-Chair - Parent Governor)

I have a legal background and currently work as an English as a Foreign Language teacher, both of which I believe will be helpful on the Board of Governors. With these qualifications I am able to understand all three points of view – the school and its regulations, the teachers and their needs, and the students and what is best for them. I have two young children, one in Reception and one due to start in a few years. As such, I truly have a vested interest in making Crosshall the best it can be. I look forward to serving as one of the Parent Governors.


Gillian Mitchell (Community Governor and Member (Resigned being a Community Governor from 1st September 2021)

I qualified from Liverpool university in 2003, working for a year in adult medicine, then transferred to Sheffield Children's Hospital in 2004 working in a variety of specialist areas of paediatric medicine and neonatology. I moved to Cambridgeshire in 2009 after meeting my husband, and worked as a paediatric registrar at Hinchingbrooke Hospital till 2012. I rotated to Addenbrooke's hospital to work in tertiary neonates, then started to specialise in community paediatrics, based at Welwyn Garden City, Luton and Cambridge.


I obtained the role of Consultant Community Paediatrician in November 2017 with Cambridgeshire Community Services, and I currently work based in Huntingdon and Doddington. My role involves specialising in child development, and I see children through the Early Support process (under 5 year olds with developmental delay), school aged children with developmental difficulties (including ADHD and Autism) and I perform looked after children medicals. I am the designated Dr for Spring Common Special school as well as doing safeguarding medicals as part of an on call rota and have links in my role with CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health service).


I am currently completing my Masters in Health science (Child Health) which has covered research, safeguarding, child development, public health and my final project which I am completing now, about assessing nutrition in children with cerebral palsy.


We have two children at Crosshall Infants School in Year 2 and reception. 


I have a strong interest in maximising every child's development, and am keen to pursue the Community Governor role and to support the school in anyway I can.


Dr Michael Newell (Community Governor)

My partner Stephanie and I moved to St Neots in 2014 and now live in the Eaton Socon area with our 2 children, the eldest of which attends Crosshall Infant School. I am a Senior Lecturer in Health, Nutrition and Exercise at the University of Bedfordshire. My personal interests are in physical activity and nutrition where I am a member of the Physiological Society and a Registered Nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition.


Of particular interest to me is the school aim to ‘provide a challenging, stimulating, safe and secure environment’ and, in particular, how the school supports physical activity, sport and healthy living in general – an area where my expertise would add value. I hope to work with the school to help develop an active travel policy for the benefit of students, parents, surrounding environment, and neighbours of the school and integrate this into the existing offering of Crosshall Infant School.


The school forms a valuable role in shaping the future of our family and, as with all parents, I would like school to be a place where our children learn and develop as free thinking intelligent young minds. Critical to that is their wellness, and awareness of the space and people around them.


Kimberley Pearson (Community Governor)

My eldest daughter is in reception so, my family and I are just embarking on our journey with Crosshall Infant School. Professionally I work as an Institutional Fundraiser in the environment sector.  Using skills in project management, advocacy, compliance and writing, together with a passion for the environment and building a just and sustainable future, I raise funds from government and private grant makers to support our conservation and people projects in the UK and overseas.

I have worked and volunteered within the local community for the last few years, most formally as the membership coordinator for NCT (National Childbirth Trust) St Neots. As a committee we organise local drop-in and community groups for all new local parents, as well as fundraising events. I also use my people skills to volunteer for the RSPB and lobby government through The Climate Coalition. Having lived and worked abroad for many years, I have experience engaging with diverse communities and overcoming barriers in culture, language and understanding.

I have a fundamental interest in education and how we can equip and empower young people to take on the challenges that the future will bring. 


Rebecca Sawford (Staff Governor)

I am an experienced qualified teacher. I am also an Assistant Headteacher.


Emma Sibthorpe (Parent Governor)

My family and I moved to St Neots in 2016, and my daughter started in Reception this year, after previously attending Crosshall Nursery. I have a doctorate in astrophysics and worked as a research astronomer for 13 years, both in the UK and in the Netherlands, before taking a career break to look after my children. I’ve also volunteered at public astronomy events, and worked on an astro-information phone line, giving me science education experience too. I believe that science and engineering should be accessible, interesting and fun for young children to foster their interest in the world around them, and to help them develop vital critical thinking skills from an early age. My personal experience means I have a particular interest in encouraging girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.

I want to help and support the head and staff at Crosshall as part of the Governing Body. I understand that the role of a Governor is to act as a critical friend to the head and senior management team; I feel that the analytical skills I developed as part of my previous career would allow me to fulfil this role to the best of my ability.


Giles Smith (Community Governor)

My wife and son Jesse moved to St Neots in March 2021. I am passionate about education, history, sport and technology – but most of all wanted to support our community and help integrate and contribute through becoming a governor at  Crosshall. Professionally I am a Digital Technology leader at our luxury fashion brand Burberry. Prior to that I have worked for 10+ major retail and consumer goods brands, based in Europe, South East Asia and the Americas. I hope to bring some of my industry knowledge and experiences to the running of our school and support the staff and team as much as I can. Academically I achieved a Computer Science degree at Loughborough University after having an incredible state education experience in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Whilst my work is enjoyable, nothing rivals the privilege of being a dedicated and attentive parent and supporting our education system.


Sarah Weldon (Community Governor)

I have 15 years of working with and supporting families and young people.

Between 2013-19 I worked as the Safeguarding, Attendance and Family Support Lead, as well as Head of House in an education setting (Middle School). In this role I was promoted to SMT and consequently gained vast experience in the ‘mechanics’ of an educational setting; this including not only day to day running but future planning.


I am now a Connected Foster Carer. In these past two years, my eyes have been opened extensively to the vital role schools play in providing the best supportive, nurturing learning environment for children, and especially those from disadvantaged/vulnerable backgrounds. I have now sat in the seat of professional, parent and guardian and gained such vital insight.


I have and continue to dedicate my time and career in supporting young people and their families. Ensuring that families have the right support so that children can access their education and truly be able to get the best out of what is to offer.  I hope that my experience will be of credit to the board.