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Governor Profiles

Dr Steve Ellison

Steve Ellison joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor in 2000. He stayed with the school as an LDBS appointee after both children moved on, after a happy time at St Nicholas, to secondary school and then to university.  As a Governor, he chaired the Standards committee for several years before becoming Chair of Governors in  2009. Steve is a qualified chemist, and has done and managed research, analytical and forensic chemistry, consultancy, and training, and done a stint as the laboratory computing manager. He is currently lead statistician at a large analytical chemistry organisation, and contributes to international standards for laboratory assessment and data analysis. Outside work, he is active in sports administration and coaching - his sport is Target Archery. In administration, he likes to see people properly consulted, and looks for consensus wherever possible. In education he wants to see everybody reach their potential, and believes St Nicholas is good at supporting that and always improving.


Ann Squire

I have been a governor for many years and have enjoyed every minute of it. Watching the children progress from reception through to year 6 is amazing. I used to be the literacy governor and now I have a much wider view of their education. I currently chair the Admissions Committee.  I spend a fair amount time in school, the teachers are an amazing team and make the children's learning environment, a safe and happy place. I am also able to support them in assemblies and nativities.


Sylvia Carter
Sylvia joined the governing body as a Foundation Governor in February 2021.  She has lived in Shepperton since 2005 and is a regular congregant at St Nicholas Church, serving on the PCC and a past Churchwarden.  Sylvia has worked in the global media industry for 30+ years and is a specialist in Operations, Project Management and both People and Systems Development.  Sylvia's interests include art, theatre, singing in local choirs and travelling the world to gain a greater understanding diverse cultures.  She is a member of the Staffing & Pay Committee.


Vicky Cunningham

Vicky is currently studying MSc Applied Clinical Psychology at the University of Bath after graduating with First Class Honours in BSc Psychology from Royal Holloway (Egham) in the Summer of 2021. She hopes to secure a place on the Clinical Psychology Doctorate in the near future. She has experience of working with a wide range of people within the fields of Clinical and Educational Psychology including with children on the Autistic Spectrum. She has also delivered over 70 resilience building workshops to young people, a programme for which she is now the region coordinator. Vicky joined the governing body as an LDBS Foundation Governor in January 2021 and looks forward to bringing her unique experience and perspective to the governing body.


Louise Hirst
Louise joined St Nicholas as a co opted Governor in December 2020 but has been involved in Governance for many years. Growing up in Spelthorne, she went on to follow a career in education, teaching music to children with multiple special needs. Louise’s interests include Choral singing, cooking and travel. She is a member of the Standards and Staffing committees.


Richard Lazell

Rich was appointed Governor by Surrey County Council in January 2021 to support the continued success of St Nicholas School.

With nearly 20 years working in commercial roles with fast growing, global organisations, Rich brings a corporate perspective to the School's Governing Board. Particular interests include personal development, leadership, technology and D.E.I (diversity, equality and inclusivity).

On a personal level, Rich has an interest in mental wellbeing and the concept of a ‘growth mindset’. In addition, Rich has a passion for physical health and as an endurance sports enthusiast he competes in running and triathlon events.

Finally, Rich is keen on sustainability and the role we play in protecting our environment.


Dr Catherine James

Dr Catherine James is a consultant anaesthetist specialising in the management of long term pain. She has two children that currently attend St Nicholas school and one that has just started secondary school. She joined as a governor in 2021 and is a member of the Curriculum and Standards committee. She is the designated safeguarding governor.



Kathryn Abate

My name is Kathryn Abate and I am a Parent Governor with one child at the school. My background is in finance and technology. I have worked for accountancy firms, where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant, and technology companies for over 15 years. Outside work I enjoy walking in the countryside, horse riding and beekeeping. I am currently the Chair of the Governors' Resources Committee.


Shivali Mathur

I joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor and stayed at school as vice chair after my child has moved on, after a good time at St Nicholas school. As a Governor, I have enjoyed discussions with subject teachers and also being supportive to sub-committees, to work alongside with the Head of school and staff on effective governance of the school. I am passionate about heat and clean energy sector with a degree in electronics engineering and MBA(Finance). I started my career as a project engineer on government funded projects after MBS, entered the world of renewables and heat pumps. I enjoy working with people and on creative, innovative ventures. Currently, I am in Heat Networks Market Growth department at BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) with a drive to contribute to heat sector as multi-vector approach (generation, storage, transport) that can lead to smarter cities. I immerse myself fully in new, immediate experiences. I am social and like being surrounded by other people. Outside work, I enjoy time with my family and play cricket.


Rev Carole George

Rev Carole became a foundation governor when she was appointed as Incumbent of St Nicholas Church, Shepperton in September 2022.  Carole was ordained in 2018 and served her curacy just up the road at St Mary’s Sunbury.  Prior to ordination Carole spent many years working in the  commercial insurance industry. She joined the governing body during the challenging times of the Covid pandemic and as restrictions lift she is looking forward to both being able to spend more time in school with the children and staff and also welcoming them to St Nicholas Church for curriculum visits and services to celebrate the major Christian festivals. Carole is a member of the admissions committee.

Together we learn,together we grow, with faith, love and God beside us