Governors

Chair: Mr Richard Hubble

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I have worked in finance in the City for over 30 years, currently as a Portfolio Manager, after graduating with a BSc in Biochemistry. All three of my daughters attended TGS. I have lived in the Tonbridge area for the over 30 years and have always had a strong interest in education having been actively involved in graduate selection and recruitment. I was elected as a Parent Governor in February 2002 and I am currently Chairman of Governors and serve on the Finance & General Purposes and Personnel Committees. 


Annalise Firth

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I live in Sevenoaks with my husband and three children, two of whom are at TGS.  Previously I was a barrister in London specialising in medical negligence. Since then, alongside raising the family I have become a political activist and I am currently Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing, Welfare & Community Safety at Sevenoaks District Council.

I have always taken an active interest in schools and education, being involved with the Parent Teacher Associations of three primary schools in Sevenoaks and appearing before  Parliament’s Education Select Committee speaking on the early years “toddler” curriculum. I am also an active supporter of the “Go Givers” citizenship programme.

I feel privileged to have the chance to make a contribution to TGS, including introducing an annual Career’s Fair which enables the school to capitalise upon the considerable parental and alumni talent available to develop career and mentoring opportunities. 

In my spare time I love collapsing on the sofa with my family and our dog, going to concerts, visiting historical buildings, meeting friends or simply walking through the Kent countryside.


Andrea Senior

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I have more than 25 years international business experience in senior HR and training roles in a variety of blue chip companies, from technology to fashion. I am passionate about employee engagement and people development. I founded and now run a specialist Change Management and Human Resources Consultancy which helps businesses drive change and get the most for, and from, their people. I am an external coach to a number of senior business leaders and professionals.
I have a degree in teaching and taught Mathematics at secondary school in South Africa. 
I have been a governor since March 2012, am the Chair of the Personnel Committee, serve on the Curriculum Committee and am the governor responsible for training. I am married, with a daughter who attends TGS and a son who is at school in Tunbridge Wells. I love travelling, cooking and reading, and am passionate about making a difference to our world. I am actively involved in charity work and lobbying for causes close to my heart. 


Julia Wheeler

I am a journalist by profession, working mostly for the BBC and freelancing for national newspapers.  I was the BBC Gulf Correspondent based in the United Arab Emirates from 2000-2010 covering news, business and sport for TV, radio and the web.  During this time I also wrote a book, ‘Telling Tales,’ about the history of Dubai.  I am now a freelance writer and broadcaster and I chair events at Literature Festivals.  

I grew up in Canterbury and attended Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar.  I am passionate about the grammar system and a big believer in the ethos of schools inspiring life-long learning.  I read Economic and Social History at University before gaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism.

My husband and I have a daughter at TGS and our son is also at school in Tonbridge.  I became a governor in October 2012.  I serve on the Curriculum and Personnel Committees and I am a member of the Building Development Plan Steering Group.  

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Michael Joyner

I was elected as a Community Governor in 2008 and chair the Finance and General Purposes Committee. Married with three children I am now in my seventh year of association with TGS with one daughter attending the school, and another having just completed her time there. Beyond TGS my family has other connections with Tonbridge; my wife runs a business and my son attends school in the town. Following university my career has been based in the City, in the banking industry. Outside work my interests include golf, cricket, cycling and running as well as supporting my children from the sidelines.

During 2007/8 I became more closely involved with TGS by becoming a parent volunteer member of the Campaign Board for the Gift for Learning Campaign. I gained a much closer insight into the way that the school operates. The Campaign Board helped engage with the school community which combined to raise a significant sum towards the new school building which the school had deserved for so long.

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Steve Seagrove

I live in Sevenoaks and have a daughter at Tonbridge Grammar School and a son at Skinners'.  After graduating from Loughborough University I spent 25 years in the banking sector, mainly with Standard Chartered Bank where I held a series of senior positions.  I have lived and worked both in the UK and in Asia.  I was a board director of nine of the Bank's subsidiaries in Asia, Europe and Africa.   

I was elected a Parent Governor in April 2012.  I am Vice Chairperson of the Personnel Committee, a member of both the Finance and General Purposes Committee and the Building Development Plan Steering Group. 

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Nicola Hoban

I joined TGS as a Teacher of History in September 2011 after completing the graduate teacher programme at another Kent grammar school. Since joining TGS I have also started teaching Theory of Knowledge and have taken on the role of Assistant Curriculum Director. I became a staff governor in September 2013 and am a member of the curriculum committee.

I thrive on challenge, continually strive to achieve new and exciting goals and have a love of learning, which are just some of the reasons why I enjoy teaching at such a forward thinking school as TGS.

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Sally Dyson

I was elected to the TGS Governing Body as a Parent Governor in March 2012. 
I trained as a teacher of Human Movement Studies (PE) and History at Bedford College and following this I taught for 10 years at a school in Streatham, South London. We moved to Kent after our daughter was born and although I did a stint teaching in a school in Surrey I now look after the family and fill the remainder of my time with various pursuits which include managing the giftshop at our local museum and quilt making. I try to exercise regularly, walk our dog and playing tennis when the weather permits. 

I passionately believe that schools should be an environment where children should be inspired, are allowed to aspire and are given as many opportunities as possible.  

I am chairperson of the Curriculum Committee, a member of the Building Development Plan Steering Group and Governor with responsibility for SEN, and Safeguarding.

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Andre Wessels

My wife and I immigrated to the United Kingdom from South Africa in 1999 and have lived in Tonbridge and the surrounding area for all but one year. All five of our children were born at the local hospital. My eldest daughter attends TGS. The two boys attend a local day nursery school and two of our girls are at St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School. I work as a commercial lawyer for an American pharmaceutical company and my wife is the finance controller for EMEA of an international IT company. I am currently the chairman of the Tonbridge Swimming Club and have a very keen interest in sport and swim, play golf, tennis and squash socially, time permitting. I also like to try my hand at fly-fishing.

I have long felt the need to give something back to the community which has welcomed us and of which we now form an integral part. I accordingly volunteered to become a school governor and was appointed in March 2009 as a Community Governor to TGS. I chose TGS for its ethos of excellence in education and learning, principles I encountered and followed throughout my own primary, secondary and tertiary education. As a member of the Finance and General Purposes as well as the Curriculum Committee of the Governing Body I hope to provide a valuable contribution to the future of TGS. 

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Steven Holdcroft

I have over 20 years’ experience working in Higher Education, currently as Head of Recruitment & Admissions for the University of Kent. I have always been a strong advocate of the IB qualification and the fantastic opportunities this can provide to students, particularly those wishing to progress onto University. As a member of the Curriculum Committee I hope to support the School as it further embeds the MYP and strengthens the Sixth Form IB offer.

Originally from Staffordshire, I studied Economics at the University of East Anglia and Education Management at Keele University. I live in Hythe with my wife and children, my eldest child attends Highworth Grammar School in Ashford. In my spare time I indulge my passion for football by taking my son to watch as many Norwich City games as possible.

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Mark Davis

I have lived in Hildenborough and Tonbridge all my life, currently in the Old Hadlow Road with my wife, Bridget, and two children. After school at Judd, I qualified as a solicitor, training at Warners in Tonbridge. After a short spell in London, I returned to Warners to become a partner in 1988.

I specialise in commercial property work and am now in Warners’ Sevenoaks office. I am a councillor on Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, representing the Cage Green ward in Tonbridge. When time allows I enjoy long-distance walking, genealogy, watching cricket and playing hockey and am Treasurer to Tonbridge Black Knights Hockey Club.

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Ben Pennells

I have taught French and Spanish at Tonbridge Grammar School since June 2011 and am currently Subject Leader of French.

 After leaving University, I worked for seven years in marketing and advertising, but my passion for languages and my belief in their importance in today's society brought me to teaching. 

I live in the Tonbridge area with my wife and daughter and became a Teacher Governor in November 2013

 


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Suzette Thorpe

My association with Tonbridge Grammar School began in 2009 when my daughter became a year 7 student. I volunteered to help with the PTA in June 2010 and became Chair in November of the same year. 

It seemed a natural progression to stand for the post of Parent Governor when the opportunity arose in October 2012.

I serve on the Financial and General Purposes Committee and regularly attend Curriculum and Personnel committee meetings.


Jose Luis Parody

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor and have been involved with TGS since 2001, initially in a professional capacity as Project Manager for the development of the site and culminating in the construction of the Hands Building.

I have been a Governor at the School since January 2011 and I am actively involved in the Personnel, and Finance and General Purposes Committees. I also chair the Building Development Plan Steering Group, focused on driving the school’s development plans to fruition.

My interests are varied and include playing tennis and choral singing.

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Geraldine Hughes

I have been a Governor and member of the Finance and General Purposes Committee at TGS since 2008. I have two daughters and they are both currently studying at TGS. 

I graduated from Loughborough University in 1986 with a degree in Chemistry and then trained as an accountant with Unilever plc. During my 13 years with Unilever I had a variety of financial roles including 2 years with their Internal Audit department.  

I left Unilever in 1999, following the arrival of my second daughter, and now work on a part-time basis as an Accounts Adviser for the Diocese of Rochester.  This role has given me experience of the financial reporting requirements specific to the Charity sector. This has proved to be particularly useful since the School’s conversion to Academy status.

My previous financial experience also enables me to act as the Responsible Officer for TGS.

 

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Rowan Connell

I am a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals.  I live between Maidstone and Tonbridge in Hunton, with my wife and four children.  Both daughters are at TGS and my sons attend the Judd School. 

My father was a secondary school teacher and I was educated at a comprehensive school in Mid-Wales before winning a scholarship to board at Shrewsbury School when I was 13.  So, from an early age I gained experiences of education at different levels. I entered St Thomas' Hospital for my undergraduate medical degrees.

I believe we are very lucky to have schools of the calibre of TGS in our area and I wish to help to contribute to support this great school.  I love the ethos of excellence in education and learning and the confidence that the students develop as a result.  This conviction has been enhanced by the interaction with the pupils, for example at the annual Careers Fair.

I became a governor in 2012 and am a member of the Curriculum Committee. 


Melanie Gailey

I am a Staff Governor and have worked at TGS, where I am Director of Admissions, since 2011. My role brings me into contact with students across the School; introducing primary school families to TGS, supporting current students in their decisions about Sixth Form study, and finally helping students launch themselves into their futures in Higher Education. As a result, I am privileged to have a very broad overview of the needs of all our students and was keen to become a Staff Governor in order to usefully bring this experience to strategic decision-making.

My career before children was in international corporate communications where I managed publications, conferences, exhibitions and press and investor relations for a Blue Chip company. I have one child at secondary school in Tunbridge Wells and the other at university.

I have joined the Personnel Committee and both serve on, and regularly present information to, the Curriculum Committee.

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