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Our Governing body:


Rev'd Melanie FitzGerald - Chair of Governors

Mrs Alison Warner - Vice Chair of Governors

Mr David Clark - Foundation Governor

Miss Yvette Jackson - Foundation Parent Governor

Dr Jenny Owen - Community Governor

Dr Duncan Payne - Foundation Parent Governor

Yvette Hawksworth - Staff Governor

Rev'd Melanie FitzGerald - Chair of Governors


I have been Vicar of St Mary's, Walkley and an ex officio governor of St Mary's for 13 years, becoming Chair of Governors in 2013.  I used to be a music teacher working in several different schools and am still passionate about the value of learning music. I am keen that the Christian ethos and strong links between the school and church are maintained and that all the pupils of St Mary's Academy are given the best chance possible of achieving their full potential and becoming a responsible citizen of the 21st Century.

In my spare time I enjoy the countryside and am a keen horse rider with a specialist interest in ponies native to the British Isles, especially the Dales Pony.

Mrs Alison Warner - Vice Chair of Governors


I have spent 40 years in education in Nottingham and Sheffield and a further 7 years of my retirement, up to now, as a Governor in Sheffield schools. My teaching experience is in primary, secondary and further education, and as a Governor in maintained, federated schools and those that are academies.

I seek to be involved in the life of the school, and get to know some of the children and parents. I want the school to develop and achieve goals, however, I want to see the children have a broad education in which they develop their thirst for learning and enjoy school. 

I have friends around the country who come to Sheffield on a regular basis so I have become quite good at catering. Their reasons for coming include the countryside around which I too have always enjoyed walking in and when there is time left I get out in my garden where my love is herbaceous plants.

Mr David Clarke - Foundation Governor


Growing up in Cheltenham, Gloucester, I attended a Church of England primary school where the vicar ran the school Chess Club, a positive experience as I briefly topped the leader board!

Secondary education at a local comprehensive ending in A levels brought me to Sheffield University where I studied for a Masters Degree in Chemistry.

After 6 years of working for the Church of England, mostly at Sheffield cathedral, I went part time to study for a Masters Degree in Heritage Management, covering strategy, finance, marketing etc. 

In addition to this I am a member of the Church Council at St. Mary's, Walkley, where I oversee the website and church magazine, and bring insight from work at the Cathedral to building related matters.

Miss Yvette Jackson - Foundation Parent Governor


I first came to St Mary's when one of my daughters was admitted here 8 years ago. I also have another daughter who attended the school and have forged good relationships with staff, parents and children alike.

I became a governor three and a half years ago and have fully enjoyed being involved in school life, working together to make a difference to the lives of children in our community.

I attend St Mary's Church and fully support the Christian ethos that can be seen everyday in school.

In my spare time I love to spend time with my daughters and enjoy baking and walking.

I can teach sign language and have previously taken groups of children for lessons in school.

Dr Jenny Owen - Community Governor


I spent the first ten years of my working life as a community adult education and community worker in Sheffield and Rotherham.  After becoming a Mum myself, I went back to university for further study in sociology, and then became a lecturer and researcher at Sheffield University.

My main areas of interest have been in the health of children and young people, so for example, I have taught medical students and social work students about what they can do if they think a child is being neglected or badly-treated.

In my spare time I'm a keen gardener and photographer. I recently retired from my full-time work, and am looking forward to working with everyone at St Mary's. remembering how much my own son and daughter benefited from a great experience at primary school, I know how much difference we can make by working together.

Dr Duncan Payne - Foundation Parent Governor


My educational life has been quite varied, attending three international schools in two African countries (where my parents worked as missionaries), as well as completing my secondary education in Suffolk. 

University studies brought me to Sheffield where I studied for an undergraduate masters in Computer Science, followed by a PhD in Computational Biology. During my PhD years I had the opportunity to study for a semester in Germany and was able to pick up a fair bit of the German language.

I have really been able to see the benefits of a good education and wish, where possible, to encourage today's generation to fulfil their potential and look forward to a bright future.