Meet the Governors
Natalie Wilson (Headteacher, Wheatley Nursery School – Governor ex-officio)
Natalie is a member of the Resources Committee, the Teaching, Learning, & Safeguarding Committee, the Pay Committee and the Transition Working Party.
She is the headteacher of both Wheatley Nursery School and Headington Quarry Foundation Stage School. Prior to her appointment to Wheatley Nursery School in September 2022, Natalie provided support to the then leadership of the school as well as taking on the role of special educational needs coordinator. Before becoming the headteacher of Headington Quarry Foundation Stage School, she was the early years lead in an Oxfordshire Primary School and has worked with the Local Authority supporting early years.
Stephen Passey (Headteacher, John Watson School – Governor ex-officio)
Stephen is a member of the Resources Committee, the Teaching, Learning, & Safeguarding Committee, the Pay Committee and the Transition Working Party.
He has been headteacher of John Watson School since 2013 and was, between September 2013 and August 2022, also the headteacher of Wheatley Nursery School.
Stephen has worked for the Local Authority since 1989, first teaching in the primary school sector, becoming deputy head in 1996. Whilst completing his Masters in Education and National Professional Qualification of Headship, he worked in several local special schools and became headteacher at Bishopswood Special School in 2011.
Lynn Wong (Chair of Governors) (Co-Opted Governor)
Lynn is Chair of Governors, Chair of the Transition Working Party, Chair of the Headteacher Appraisal Sub-Committee, a member of the Teaching, Learning and Safeguarding Committee, joint Health & Safety Governor, joint Swimming Governor and the Wellbeing Governor.
She is an experienced corporate adviser who has had an international career with a successful track record in both the legal and financial services industry. She is admitted to practice as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales and as an Attorney & Counselor at Law in New York. As well as having practiced as a lawyer at a leading international law firm, Lynn has also worked in venture capital, private equity, hedge funds and investment banking and is the co-founder of a medical technology company.
Lynn’s roles have ranged from group general counsel to chief operating officer, managing partner and board director, both executive and non-executive and she has extensive experience in advising on the development of good corporate governance practices and accountability. In these roles, Lynn has represented and advised high net worth individuals, early stage companies of all types, investment funds, asset managers, global investment banks and multinational corporations.
Her experience spans the breadth of regulation, risk, investments, financial markets trading, structured finance, corporate governance, corporate affairs and mergers and acquisitions. She has also served as a trustee of a philanthropic foundation, as a goodwill ambassador to Wellchild, the national charity for seriously ill children, and as an adviser to individuals in the entertainment and media industry, the third sector and a social enterprise.
Liz Elsom (Vice-Chair of Governors) (Co-Opted Governor)
Liz Elsom is the Vice-Chair of Governors, Chair of the Teaching, Learning & Safeguarding Committee, a member of the Headteacher Appraisal Sub-Committee, a member of the Transition Working Party, the Safeguarding Governor, Whistleblowing Governor and Attendance Governor.
She is an early years consultant who has a long history of supporting quality in the early years. Liz worked for Ofsted for fourteen years, in various roles including inspection framework development, training inspectors and latterly as head of early years policy. Since taking early retirement in 2013 Liz has worked as a consultant on various early years projects in England and internationally. She has a keen interest in building links in the local community and is currently a governor at Wheatley Primary School and a trustee of the Maple Tree children’s centre.
Elena Hesse (Local Authority Governor)
Elena (“Ellen”) is a member of the Resources Committee, the Pay Committee and the Headteacher Appraisal Sub-Committee.
She holds an MSc degree from the University of Matej Bel, Banska Bystrica in Biology and English,and a pedagogical doctorate from Konstantine the Philosopher University in Nitra.
She is a fully qualified HR professional and ISI inspector.
Her early teaching career started in her native Slovakia as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and early on she became Head of English as a Foreign Language Department.
Her desire to widen her teaching and management experience in an international setting brought her to the United Kingdom. Her first appointment in the UK was as a participant in the HMC Projects Eastern European Teachers scheme at King’s School, Ely. She also worked at Cobham Hall in Kent for nine years where she taught Science and was Head of Boarding. From 2014 to 2018, she was Head of Pastoral Care, Director of Boarding and Designated Safeguarding Lead at the Royal School in Haslemere, Surrey. From September 2018, she has served as Vice Principal Pastoral at St Clare’s Oxford.
In her school years, she competed in high jump at a national level. She now runs full marathons, half-marathons and does trail running.
Ellen is also fascinated by different cultural perspectives and travels extensively as a result.
Shah Chaudhry (Co-Opted Governor)
Shah is a member of the Resources Committee and originally joined the governing body as a parent governor in 2018.
Shah is the Head of Clinical Coding and Clinical Data Quality at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, having previously worked as a Clinical Coding Manager at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Shah moved to Oxford in January 2011. Apart from medicine he holds Masters in Education and MSc in Computer Science.
Clea Lees (Co-Opted Governor)
Clea is a member of the Resources Committee.
She has had a long connection with the school, with over 13 years teaching experience across the age range and has been on the governing body since 2015 as a co-opted governor. Clea is a part time teacher at the school, based on the primary site, with a particular interest in family and community engagement.
Lois ward (Staff Governor)
Lois is a member of the Teaching, Learning and Safeguarding Committee and the Equality Governor.
She joined John Watson School in September 2018 and is a Key Stage 1 teacher and part of the extended leadership team. Lois was initially a Teaching Assistant and progressed to the role of Higher Level Teaching Assistant in KS1. Lois completed a degree in Psychology in Barbados and, during this time, volunteered at a special school. She moved to the UK in 2016 and has worked in schools in Oxford.
Samuel Gormley (Parent Governor)
Samuel is Chair of the Resources Committee and is a member of the Pay Committee and the Pupil Premium Governor.
He joined the governing body as a parent governor in October 2021. Samuel is a qualified account with more than 20 years working experience. He has always been passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, joining Leo’s and Lions International in his teens and volunteering with Rotary international for a short while.
Samuel grew up in South Africa and prior to moving to the UK 7 years ago, worked for TAFTA (The Association For The Aged) as Divisional Manager of Finance and Divisional Manager of Admin and Income Development. Samuel also holds a fractional appointment with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he works as the Director of Operations for the Health Economics and HIV/Aids Research Division, working on strategic projects and partnerships and overseeing the finance department.
In the UK, Samuel is employed as finance manager of two companies based in Oxford. He previously served on a school board in South Africa at the Browns School and also served as a board member for the African Capacity Alliance based in Nairobi, Kenya.
James Keeley (Parent Governor)
James is a member of the Teaching, Learning and Safeguarding Committee, the SEND governor, joint Health & Safety Governor and joint Swimming Governor.
He joined the governing body as a parent governor in October 2021. James has had a career as a researcher, consultant and project manager, focusing on agriculture in Africa, and China and international development. After graduating, he spent four years as a VSO language teacher in China, before returning to the UK to undertake postgraduate study, and then to work as a researcher at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. He recently relocated to the UK with his family after ten years in Ethiopia and China, where he managed a collaboration between the UK and Chinese governments supporting agricultural development in Africa. He was previously a Senior Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development. He speaks Mandarin.
James has two daughters, one in the senior school at John Watson. He likes gardening, swimming in the local river and playing guitar, which his family tolerate.
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