Governor Pen Portraits
Mr Byron Preece
I have enjoyed being a Governor at Gorsemoor for 13 years along with a similar role at Erasmus Darwin Academy for five years. It has been useful to see how differently primary and secondary schools operate on a daily basis and also in relation to local authority control and academisation.
I am now happily retired but during my career in Finance I have enjoyed roles as a Financial Accountant and Group Treasurer for a multi national company. In later life I took a role as Financial Controller within a family owned business, which gave me the opportunity to become involved with all aspects of a business. My final job before retirement was with a charity fund raising company.
Although retired I somehow appear to be busier now than when I was in full employment, but my wife probably has something to do with that. Retirement has allowed me the time to tick off items on my bucket list re. travel and attending sporting events, but my wife and I also enjoy our cooking duties at a local lunch club for the elderly.
Mrs Karen Fraser
I am a co-opted Governor with a background in education, particularly science and IT. I have been involved in various roles at school since my children attended; volunteer, PTFA member, Governor (initially as a parent) and teaching assistant.
I’ve always enjoyed being a Governor as it gives a fascinating insight into the way a school is run but is more work than many people realise, with its increasing challenges.
I am now retired but continue to be involved in primary science assessment work with NFER. In my ‘spare’ time I enjoy gardening, DIY and crosswords, when I’m not looking after grandchildren.
Mrs Clare Walton
I am a co opted governor who works as a TA within school and have done so since 2001, where I am now experienced working in most of the year groups.
I am also a parent at the school with two children who currently attend. As a person who lives locally to school, I often try to support local community events.
I enjoy long walks (at speed), gardening and swimming. I thrive on being organised and planning ahead. My personal motto is “ A tidy space, a tidy mind”.
For the past 5 years, I have been the staff elected governor at Gorsemoor. My background is in Mathematics – a subject which I am extremely passionate about. I have worked at Gorsemoor for the past 8 years and the school, its staff and pupils hold a very special place in my heart. Consequently, I feel passionately about the development of the school and take a great deal of pride in my role as staff governor. In my free time, I enjoy snowboarding, baking and spending time with my family. I have recently moved from Stafford to the local area and have enjoyed integrating myself more into the community.
My name is Darren Duffy and am relatively new to the Governing board here at Gorsemoor Primary School, however am very experienced in Education and School Leadership. My current professional role is an Assistant Headteacher in a local Secondary School with responsibility for attainment and progress at GCSE and Curriculum and timetabling. I started my career in 2002 at a School in Walsall as a mathematics teacher, then progressed up to head of mathematics and have been involved in Whole-School leadership since 2017. I hope my skill-set and experience in School leadership can bring something valuable to the board here at Gorsemoor.
I have two girls currently on roll at Gorsemoor and am fully committed to ensuring not only my girls, but all your children get the best experience possible here at Gorsemoor. I look forward to working closely with the current leadership of the school in my role Vice Chair of Governors.
I have been a Parent Governor at Gorsemoor since 2015 with my eldest of two daughters attending the school and my youngest looking forward to following in her big Sister's footsteps.
Professionally I have worked in Finance for over twenty years and am qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant. The majority of my career has been spent with my current employer, a global security products manufacturer in the West Midlands. My role as UK Financial Reporting Manager includes responsibility for the company's financial planning and budgetary control which are skills that I bring to the already highly skilled and devoted team of Governors and Staff at Gorsemoor.
Outside of work I am first and foremost a devoted Father but I also play the drums and am an avid collector of vinyl records. In earlier years I played tennis representing many of our local club teams and still have a love for the sport but these days you are more likely to see me walking or mountain biking at Cannock Chase.
Dr Matt O’Leary
I am a Professor of Education at Birmingham City University. I have worked in education for over 25 years as a teacher, teacher educator, head of department, educational researcher and director of research in colleges, schools and universities in the UK and abroad. I teach and supervise students at postgraduate level, though most of my time is taken up with research. My main research interests focus on the impact of education policy on teaching and learning and the relationship between the two, especially in the context of professional learning and teacher development. I am well known internationally for my work on classroom observation, which has been instrumental in influencing policy and practice across education sectors. My books include Classroom observation: A guide to the effective observation of teaching and learning (Routledge 2014), Reclaiming lesson observation: supporting excellence in teacher learning (Routledge 2016) and Teaching Excellence in Higher Education: Challenges, Changes and the Teaching Excellence Framework (Emerald 2017).
I have two daughters who are currently at the school, one in Year 5 and the other in Year 3. I believe strongly in the longstanding ethos of Gorsemoor as a school and am committed to supporting it to provide the best possible experience for all its pupils and staff. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking and cycling.