Philip Warner: Chair Co-opted Governor

Why did you become a Governor at How Wood School?

I became a Governor at How Wood in 2018 to offer a balanced view when supporting the school to continue to grow and develop within the local community. I also felt that my background in the Aerospace and Technology industry would provide a rounded skillset to help strengthen the existing Governing Board at the time, particularly when considering financial or resource driven aspects of the school.

I also felt that I had/have a good relationship with the staff at the school, and I was keen to understand and learn from those at the heart of the school, to ensure I could offer my best self when undertaking the role of Chair (since 2020).

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I have always played most sports throughout my life, however I particularly enjoy running, football and squash.

Who is your favourite super-hero or character?

This is a difficult one to answer as I do love super hero films, comics and stories! I would have to say that Spider-Man has always been one of my  favourites.

Spider-Man introduced a young character who was modest and quiet, yet had brilliant powers and most importantly, a kind heart with the courage to do so much good in the world, especially when faced with very scary challenges!

Nicola Winch: Vice-Chair Co-opted Governor

Why did you become a Governor at How Wood School?

I grew up in St Albans and have lived in Park Street for the last 15 years; I have been a Governor at How Wood School for just over 3 years. It allows me to combine my love of the local community, education (tutor at Oxford University during my Biochemistry PhD; volunteer with vulnerable children for >30 years) and my background in Strategy and Governance. However, our three children who have Special Educational Needs (SEN) and are not enthusiastic learners have really strengthened that commitment. Our three children moved to the school in 2021.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to walk, play games, do puzzles (jigsaws, Sudoku, logic problems), build LEGO kits, read or watch films.

Who is your favourite superhero?

I love lots of superheroes and reformed villains however Wonder Woman is my absolute favourite; she is an emissary of the Amazons, a founder member of the Justice League and has a magical lasso and an invisible jet – what’s not to like?

Naomi Parkins: Staff Governor

Why did you become a Governor at How Wood School?

I have worked at How Wood Primary School for over 17 years as a class teacher and now Deputy Head.  I am passionate about providing our children with the best possible education so that each individual reaches their true potential.  I have previously worked in Key Stage 1 and am now based in EYFS where I have been teaching Reception for the last 9 years.  I am excited by my role as staff governor as I feel it provides me with further opportunity to work alongside staff and families whilst ensuring the children receive an enriching, inspiring and varied curriculum in a warm and inviting environment.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with my friends and family.  I also like to be active by walking my golden retriever and horse riding.

Who is your favourite super-hero or character?

I love all superhero films, but Supergirl has always been a favourite of mine from a very young age, she empowers girls and women to be strong, confident and fearless.

Niki Rowland: Parent Governor

Why did you become a Governor at How Wood School?

As a mum of three children at How Wood School, I am passionate about supporting the school and its community in any way I can. I have a legal background and now run my own small business organising events. Being part of the Governing Board has allowed me to see how How Wood school provides the children with the best opportunities for success and to reach their potential through education.  In my spare time I enjoy reading and paper-crafting.

What was your favourite subject at school?

Maths and English were my favourites, but I wasn’t very good at science or French!

Who is your favourite super-hero or character?

Mulan, because she is a fantastic role-model due to her dedicated and determined attitude. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it!

Andy Monk: Co-opted Governor

Why did you become a Governor at How Wood School?

I have lived in the St Albans area all of my life and I became a Governor at How Wood in 2020 because I felt that my background in the Building Services industry would offer a complimentary skill to the existing Governing Board in relation to the premises management.

I started and ran a fire protection business for 20 years and exited in 2019 to pursue other interests.

I have two grown up children who are now at work but attended local St Albans primary schools when they were younger.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy travelling and spending time with my family and friends.  I also have in interest in most sports with a particular passion for rugby, golf and skiing.

Who is your favourite superhero or character?

I am a fan of Iron Man as his ability to improve his inventions should mean he will always be able to reinvent himself.  Interestingly it is said that his character is based on Elon Musk so perhaps we will all be flying in the future!

Sajeel Patel: Parent Governor

Why did you become a Governor at How Wood School?

I have lived in St Albans now for 8 years moving from my previous homes in Pinner and Wembley.

I have one child who attends How Wood school.

I am a pharmacist by profession but have for many years been working as an operations manager within hospital pharmacies.

I have been on the Governing board for just under 2 years now and decided to be part of the board as I really wanted to give something back to the local community and have always had a keen interest in education.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending quality time with my friends and family through meeting up or even going out for meals. In my spare time, I like to watch films and potter around in the garden.

Who is your favourite superhero or character?

My favourite superhero character is Wonder Woman because she is strong and determined. She strives to understand others and has a special talent for bringing out the best in people. When I was a young child at school I dressed up as Wonder Woman for my first ever costume day so have loved her ever since!

Alison Shah: Local Authority Governor

Why did you become a Governor at How Wood School?

I have lived in How Wood for the last nineteen years and wanted to be a school governor for a long time in order to play what I hope will be a meaningful role in the local community in combination with my passion for education and learning.

I have three children, they are all of primary and secondary school age; they are not at How Wood School.  My daughter has SEN and I have an increasing interest in this area.

I have held senior sales and marketing positions in the hospitality and events industry and hope that I can transfer skills in organisation, negotiation and marketing.  I have always been and am a keen volunteer at my children’s schools, supporting reading, French lessons and being involved in the parents’ associations.  I understand and appreciate the value of parental involvement in school life. I believe that parents can enrich school life in so many ways and have much to contribute.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I like to run, am a really keen skier and enjoy spending time with friends and family.

Who is your favourite superhero or character?

My super heroine is definitely Wonder Woman; I try, unsuccessfully, to emulate her every day and am sure she is a good multi-tasker.  Superheroes aside I truly, often, imagine and wish I could get hold of Nanny Plum’s magic wand to use on most of my household tasks!