Welcome To Our New Website!
Welcome To Our New Website!
Russell Lower School

Members of the Governing Body

Members of Russell Lower School Governing Board  

Graeme Armstrong  Graeme joined the governing body as a co-opted governor in March 2017. He has experience working in schools in inner-London and Central Bedfordshire. Currently Graeme works locally at Redborne as an Assistant Headteacher. He lives locally and has two children, who attend local schools. He serves on the Curriculum, Learning and Standards Sub-Committee.  

Amy Beeken  Amy was elected as a parent governor in July 2023. Through her work as a Strategic Director at an independent advertising agency, Amy has a comprehensive understanding of business operations, strategic planning and financial management and the ability to analyse complex information and derive actionable insights. She is passionate about utilising these skills to evaluate the school’s performance and implement evidence-based strategies that inspire growth and enhance the educational experience of the children. As a parent she is impressed by the commitment to excellence demonstrated by the school and is eager to contribute towards creating the best possible circumstances for the school’s development; through effective governance and strategic decision-making she was to ensure that every child thrives and reaches their full potential.  

Dawn Clarke  Dawn was co-opted onto the Governing Body towards the end of 2021. She has experience of being a governor in both a secondary and middle school. She worked for over 30 years for Anglian Water/Environment Agency in a range of roles, many of which involved stakeholder engagement/communication. Dawn has lived in Ampthill now for several years and would like to put something into the community.  

Mariella Cook  Mariella joined the Board of Governors in September 2018 as LA governor and was elected Chair of Governors in July 2024. Although now retired, she has experience in both leadership, management and education. Latterly, she was joint managing director of a small training consultancy and has also worked as a Senior Lecturer within universities. Mariella developed a strong partnership ethos, and experience in managing and developing partnership working for many funded projects and initiatives during her professional working life, she continues to apply this in her volunteering, working with different community groups; she is Publicity Officer for Ampthill and District Preservation Society, Volunteer Coordination Team leader for Ampthill Festival and committee member for Friends of Ampthill Great Park. Other volunteering roles have included: a lay member of the Bedfordshire Advisory Committee to the Magistracy, including interviewing and selecting new magistrates, and a Beanstalk volunteer working at Flitwick Lower school helping children to gain confidence in reading and learning. Although, she had no prior experience as a school governor, she believes that the skills and experience that she has gained in her professional life, her involvement in the community, together with more than 40 years of being a loving, caring and hands-on parent and in recent years grand-parent, can be used to further enhance the Governing body to allow Russell Lower School to be the best education provider it can be both now and in the future. 

Richard Gallagher Richard Gallagher was initially elected to join the governing body as a parent governor in November 2019 and then subsequently re-elected in July 2023. He undertook the role of Chair of Governors in July 2022 to July 2024, he is currently vice-chair. Richard has two young children; one who has been through Russell and is now at middle school, and another in KS1 at Russell. He joined the board as he is keen to support the invaluable work of the school's governing board. Richard's career in education has involved numerous roles, including specialist Computing teacher for Early Years, KS1 and KS2, Head of Year, Head of House, KS2 class teacher and Head of KS2 SMT member in prep schools in London and St Albans. Richard has experience of day to day school routines, management and pastoral care. As well as particular experience in developing ICT and Computing curricula, and computer hardware across whole schools, he has had involvement with schools' governing bodies elsewhere too. He hopes to further extend his involvement in education in this role, sharing his knowledge, experience and ideas to support the school from both a teacher and parent perspective.  

Revd Dominic Holroyd  Fr Dominic grew up in St Albans, and after completing his schooling began exploring ordination in the Church of England. He completed a year at St Albans Cathedral testing his vocation before beginning studies at Westcott House – an Anglican theological college – in Cambridge prior to his ordination in 2017. Fr Dominic has an interest in Christian mysticism, and his dissertation looked at Julian of Norwich and her role in a patriarchal Church during a time of great social uncertainty. His Old English Sheepdog is named after Hildegard of Bingen. Immediately following his ordination Fr Dominic served as curate in the Welwyn Team Ministry in Hertfordshire before moving to Bedfordshire in 2020 to take up the role of Rector of Ampthill, Millbrook and Steppingley. He is Chaplain to the local Air Cadet Squadron and is also Chaplain to Lady Jane Clifford – High Sheriff of Bedfordshire – for the 2022/23 Shrieval Year. Fr Dominic has two dogs, Hilda and Olaf, who he enjoys exploring the Bedfordshire countryside with. In between parish duties and dog walks, Fr Dominic will be found in one of two local watering holes – the pub or the pool! He is also a (amateur) guinea pig fancier, breeding and showing Abyssinian and Swiss guinea pigs. Fr Dominic served as a school governor at a church school in his previous parish from 2017- 2020.  

Hannah Leech  Hannah was co-opted onto the governing body in July 2022 after recently moving to the local area. She says she applied to join the board after seeing first-hand the fantastic workings of the school since her two children began here. She has a great deal of experience in primary education having held a range of leadership roles in both Luton and Hackney. She is currently a Deputy Head teacher of a large primary school in Luton. She has experience in assessment and curriculum development and is looking forward to making a positive contribution to the school. She hopes to share her knowledge and experience of education with other governors and feels proud to serve as a governor of this fantastic school.  

Katherine Gallagher Katherine has been at Russell Lower School since 2013. Prior to completing a degree in Educational Practice, Katherine worked for a large international bank using her communication and organisational skills successfully in a number of different roles over a 15-year period. Katherine initially built up her experience of working with children in other lower schools in Bedfordshire both employed and on a voluntary basis, then moved to Russell as an LSA, then took on the role of a HLTA before beginning her teaching career. Katherine lives locally and is a parent of three children. She currently serves on a number of voluntary committees including PTA, netball and football. Having previously 'seen' Education as a parent and then as a member of staff, Katherine became a member of the Governing Body in July 2014. She wanted to take another step to contribute to education and more importantly to making Russell Lower School the best possible school it can be. Katherine serves on the Curriculum, Learning and Standards Sub-Committee.  

Carrie Perrett  Carrie was co-opted onto the Governing Board in July 2022. She has worked in education for 15 years. She has served in senior management roles in primary schools and has actively been involved in contributing to her school development plans. She is committed to ensuring that all pupils at Russell receive a high-quality education and she is proud to serve the Russell Lower school community.  

Katie Prowse  Katie was co-opted on to the board in July 2022. She has worked for the last 20 years in the social housing sector, specialising in front line housing management, project management and, more recently, corporate governance and compliance. She has a passion for social sustainability. She brings passion, energy and enthusiasm to the role and is keen to support the continuing development of Russell as a community asset that offers an excellent education experience to our young people.  

Sally Whiteside  Sally was co-opted on to the board in July 2023. Sally has over 16 years’ experience in a variety of HR generalist roles at FTSE 100 companies and is currently a Senior HR Business Partner for IT, Data and Change at Easyjet. She is highly experienced in various aspects of HR including recruitment, learning and development, employee engagement and relations, inclusion and diversity, along with budgeting. Having grown up in Ampthill and as a parent she has seen first-hand the positive impact Russell has, both on its pupils and the wider community; she is keen to give something back by utilising her experience to support the school to aid its future ongoing success.  

Andrew Mayze Andrew works for a large UK wide hard facilities management (FM) company, having previously owned and managed his own local business; he has a comprehensive understanding of business operations, management, strategy and leadership. By becoming a School Governor, Andrew is continuing the efforts of his late wife, Fiona, who was an Early Years Practitioner working in a socio-economically deprived part of Luton for over 20 years, who firmly believed that children can achieve more in their entire lives with positive interventions at an early age. Andrew lives locally and has two grown up children. In his spare time, he supports Luton Town Football Club and plays pétanque competitively in a local league. 

A diversity profile is available. Should you wish to view this please contact the Clerk at marian.murray@russell-lower.co.uk.