Governor Biographies

Amanda Hawkins

I have two children, Trinity who has had a very happy and enjoyable time at Framfield School and is starting her Key Stage 2 journey and Ethan who has just embarked on his school life in Reception. My professional background before becoming a full time mum was as a Group Human Resources Manager in the retail motor industry. Within this role I dealt with all aspects of Human Resources including: recruitment, writing and reviewing policies, managing performance and sitting on the company board. I undertook my professional qualifications and have retained my chartered membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Since Trinity started school I have been an active and supportive parent within the School. For the past two years I have been the Chair of the Friends of Framfield Pre-School which has been a very successful fund raising group. I feel that in bringing together my professional HR experience, my approachability, with the experience of being a Framfield parent I can contribute to supporting our Schools in delivering the best educational opportunities for all our children.

Chris Lawrence (Rev.)

I have been an ordained clergyman for ten years with a previous career as a research engineer within the Ministry of Defence. As Vicar of St Thomas à Becket Church, Framfield and Blackboys CE Schools naturally fall within my parish remit to provide assemblies and services that are Christian based and in keeping with the ethos of both schools. Apart from the usual church duties I see my role as helping the children, parents and staff to take a wider view of life and how the spiritual side helps us to make greater sense of the world we live in and how we address real life issues. From a personal point of view I see my calling unfolding mainly in the area of relationships. I came to faith eighteen years ago from a largely unchurched background and as such can empathise with the ups and downs of life. I am always happy to provide pastoral support and a confidential listening ear to individuals or families, particularly when life is challenging or complicated. Contact can be made directly or via the church website: Focus for Religious Instruction.

Gillian Clark

I have lived in Blackboys for the past 6 years and am very active in my local Church – New Life Blackboys. I have assisted at Crusaders after school club and presented the charity that I work for at School Assemblies in Blackboys School. I am married with 3 grown up children and have 2 small grandsons. My daughter is a year 1 teacher at a faith school in Morden. I work part time for the Quicken Trust and initially I regularly visited many local schools informing them about the work we do in a small village in Uganda. Having visited the project 3 times I still very much have a heart for the people there. I am now more involved with the orphan sponsorship scheme but will be retiring in April 2017 and would therefore like to be able to offer some of my skills to the schools in Blackboys and Framfield.

Graham Sullivan

Headteacher at Blackboys

Heather West

I am a Mum of two grown up daughters and have lived in the parish for nigh on thirty years. My husband and girls attended Framfield School. Back in the day I was Chair of the PTA and a committed volunteer, giving ten hours per week to helping in school. I have been employed at Framfield since 2000 and am now the SEND HLTA (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator graded as a Highert Level Teaching Assistant), working with children from all year groups. I work closely with our SENDCO and Class Teachers to implement individual and group programmes of support, as well as providing in class support. I am passionate about our Federation and excited to see what happens to us in the future. Supporting and nurturing all of our children is paramount and it’s a privilege to be part of this.

Katharine Rabson Stark

I am a mum of three children and they all attend Framfield School. I have worked at King’s College London for 16 years in strategic planning, partnership development and fixing tricky problems through consultation. I have worked on the restructure of the medical schools, the development of a Student Entrepreneurship Institute and the renovation of the East Wing of Somerset House, and am currently responsible for the University’s innovation agenda. My experience, particularly in establishing partnerships and representing the views of all parties concerned can, I hope, benefit the St Thomas à Becket Federation. I am passionate about education and want to work as hard as I can to support our Schools to give our children the best possible opportunities.

Lisa Pestell

Headteacher at Framfield

Mark Filsell

I am a Chartered Accountant, working with a local accountancy firm. Throughout my 30-year career I have worked with schools and charities as auditor, accountant and advisor. In my current role I work with a variety of different types of school in Sussex and Kent so have a good understanding of how school finances should operate. I served as a parent governor on the Blackboys School governing body for one year before federation and am now an Associate governor, serving on the Finance & Resources committee. Through my wide-ranging financial expertise and experience I hope to make a useful contribution to the work of the governing body.

Phil Wilmowski TD

The Clerk holds an historic appointment going back 400 years and works closely with the Chair of Governors, the Headteachers, and the other Governors to support the Governing Body. I advise the Governing Body on constitutional and procedural matters, duties, and powers. I am accountable to the Governing Body, maintain its information management system, record minutes of meetings, and undertake the role of historian.

I have been a Clerk to the Governors in East Sussex since 2005, and obtained a nationally recognised accreditation (for Clerks to Governors) in September 2008. I currently provide Clerking services to St Thomas a Becket Church of England Federation (Blackboys CEP School and Framfield CEP School) only.

Before taking early retirement, I worked as a BT manager (planning, customer service, staff management, and project management) for 36 years, and spent 42 years in the Territorial Army (rising from Pte to Major). In addition to Clerking, I also work as a Pharmacy Assistant in Morrisons Pharmacy (Crowborough) and am the Hon. Secretary of Crowborough Table Tennis Club.

Sam Sharples

I am Mum of 3 children at Framfield CEP School and I live in Blackboys Village. I was secretary to the Framfield PTFA for 2 years and I am a Parish Councillor for Framfield, Blackboys and Palehouse Common. So, I know parents across both schools in the Federation and I hope that all those parents find me approachable; I am willing to represent them and their views. I would love the opportunity to join the Governors and continue to be an active member of the Federation Schools and our villages’ community.

I bring IT skills and experience to the role having a Doctorate in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence and having worked as a computer forensics expert witness for 15 years. I also bring organisational and management skills having been a company director since 2002. More recently I have been teaching adults IT as a tutor for ACRES and I have recently passed my certificate in Adult Education and Training, so I have some education experience.

With my work experience and my committee experience on the PTFA and Parish Council I think that I have the knowledge and experience to be a committed and valuable member of the Federation Governorship. I would love the opportunity!

Samatha Butler

I grew up in East Sussex and attended a local primary school and then St. Leonards Mayfield. I studied English Literature at Durham University then after a CPE conversion course at the College of Law, Guildford and Legal Practice Course at the College of Law, London, qualified as a lawyer. I have worked at law firms in London, Norfolk and Kent but most recently in the City where I practised in the area of Commercial Litigation specialising in Construction industry disputes. Currently I look after my three small children, the eldest of whom is in year 1 at Blackboys CEP, and manage a number of properties which we rent to tenants in London. I am on the PCC in Buxted but we will shortly be moving to Framfield where I am looking forward to being a part of our new parish.

Sarah Cottingham

I am a full time Mum of 7 children whose ages range from 16 Year to 23 months. I have links with Blackboys School dating back to 1980, as my husband and all his siblings attended the school. I grew up in Wiltshire and moved to Sussex in 1994 to work in a residential care home for the elderly. I then moved on to Brighton University to train as a Staff Nurse. I graduated in 1998 and worked at Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH) on the Opthalmic Surgery ward until our eldest children (twins) wewre born, when i gave up nursing to become a full time Mum. During the past 16 years I have found my nursing skills an invaluable help! Amongst my many duties as Mum, I also help my husband, working in the family business in Halland. Four of our children have now passed through Blackboys CEP School (receiving an excellent education on the way!!) and on to Secondary School and Colege. I still have 2 children attending Blackboys at present and therefore have a keen interest in the continued progress and developmenmt of both schools in the partnership. I have a wealth of experience from my nursing background which has proved very useful in manmy different situations. I have current experience of a large variety of issues associated with children passing through Primary (and Secondary) education and also have a long “history” at Blackboys School. I have been a witness to the changes and developments there during the time of then 2 previous Headteachers and now the present Executive Headteacher. I hope that this experience will stand me in good stead for the challenges of being a Foundation Governor.

Tjadine Ullmann-Carp

Since 2011 I have been living in East-Sussex. We moved from Holland, where I was born, raised and had a full on career as partner of a consultancy firm, to follow my husband’s job and choose this area to live because of Blackboys School. I love to be as involved as you can in the school and social life of my children. As such I have sat on the Committee of the preschool, started after school hockeyclub, one of my own passions, and for the last 3 years was co-chair of the PTA. I strongly believe a community has the responsibility to help a child find its place in society as well as it possibly can, socially, educationally and happily. I feel very honoured to have been asked to become a foundation Governor, to assist the federation to keep its high standards when the world around us brings so many challenges. Professionally I believe I can bring some helpful experience. I have been involved in the management of a large primary school federation (9 schools) in Amsterdam, worked for the largest commercial real estate company in the world, was chair of the Preschool Committee in Rotterdam and advised several companies and governmental departments on how to reduce costs and find ways to improve their financial outlook. Momentarily I work for Wizenoze, a Tech Company, that makes the Internet a better place for children, which will launch its products in the UK this year. Personally I hope to be able to act as a helpful and active soundboard to the Staff, Management and parents. I hope to bring a bit of matter of fact Dutchness, obviously with the appropriate English touch and based on Christian values.

Zoe Holland

Parent to Daisy in Year 4 at Framfield (as well as Logan who will start school next year). I have also supported my 2 x step-sons through their Primary schooling (also at Framfield. The boys came to live with us full time 5 years ago and we found Framfield incredibly supportive throughout this process.

I gained a PGCE in 7-14 Geography 13 years ago at Canterbury Christ Church University. I taught in both Primary and Secondary schools in my placements. During my secondary placement I had the opportunity to teach a group of SEN students which has led me to a career in teaching young people with a range of barriers to learning.

I currently teach Primary and Post 16 students at “Step by Step School” for children with autism in Sharpethorne near East Grinstead. In 2014 I completed my National Professional Qualification in Middle Leadership (NPQML) whic has allowed me to develop knowledge, skills, and confidence in leading teams within education.

Additional knowledge and skills I have gained include …. Lead Coordinator for ASDAN (award organisation regulated by Ofqual), Team Teach handling techniques, First Aid in a educational setting, Up to date on current Child Protection/Safeguarding/On Line Safety training, and trained in teaching children with autism supported by Applied Behaviour Therapy.