Mr Owen Gardner
Chair of Governors; Local Authority Governor
I’m Owen, and I joined the governing body at the start of the 2015 school year, when my eldest son joined the school. I work in the delivery of software and IT services, and am keen to use my experience and industry contacts to support the development of the school’s capabilities through the Governing Body.
Mr Mark Whitehead
Co-opted Governor, Chair of F&P and Pay
Hello, I’m Mark Whitehead and have been a governor here since 2009: for five years as Chair and have also been Chair of Finance & Personnel. My four children all spent their primary school years here and during that time, I witnessed first hand the extraordinary progress that the school made due to the commitment, skills and dedication of the entire staff team.
I love spending time at the school watching the children learn, and as an independent qualified accountant am lucky enough to be able to make time available during the school day. Through this, I know first-hand that all the children, not just my own, love the school and feel safe and cared for. Apart from juggling figures, I am a keen cyclist, enjoy painting whenever time allows, and am an avid if nervous supporter of Newcastle United – despite often being reminded that I am a southerner (well, 50%!).
I believe our school provides a great platform for our children’s futures, ensuring that the curriculum is filled with opportunities for all. I would like to think that my financial experience is of benefit to the Governing Body in ensuring that we really do provide ‘value for money’. Tower Hill is an outstanding school and I feel hugely privileged and proud to be a part of it – and know that we made the right choice for our children all those years ago.
Mr Terry Genis
Co-opted Governor, Chair of Premises
Hi, I am Terence Genis and I became a Parent Governor when my daughter was in Year 3 at Tower Hill, but time flies past and she graduated from university four years ago! My son also went to Tower Hill and is still busy studying A-levels.
I moved to Farnborough over 30 years ago. We live near Cove Green with our dog Mollie and a couple of goldfish. I am a 'man in a shed' (actually three sheds!), but I do come out to help my wife grow vegetables on our allotment, and so I am very impressed by the work in the school's Eco-Hub. Since I was a boy I have supported Reading F.C.
I am a retired town planner, having worked at Rushmoor Borough Council. My work was about the future of the area and our children are very much part of that future, so I will continue to see as important that they get the best of schooling in readiness to deal with life.
Mrs Nicola Ward
Deputy Headteacher & Co-opted Governor
Hi, I am Nicola Ward, the Deputy Headteacher at Tower Hill. I have been a member of staff for a number of years and am very proud to have seen the many changes that have taken place over those years to make our school the warm, welcoming place that it is. I have had a number of roles during my time here including Year 6 Class Teacher, Key Stage Two Leader and Assistant Headteacher before being appointed the Deputy Headtecher in 2019. Tower Hill is a truly wonderful place to work. We have a great teaching team and support staff as well as the most brilliant children.
Miss Laura Ovenden
Headteacher and Co-opted Governor
I am Laura Ovenden, Headteacher and a Governor at our school. I have been a member of staff at Tower Hill for many years now and have seen it go through several positive changes. At the beginning of my career I spent a number of years teaching in the Early Years classroom which I loved as the children are so eager and enthusiastic about learning. Looking for a new challenge I became Early Years and Key Stage Manager at Tower Hill which I enjoyed greatly before being appointed as Deputy Headteacher by the previous Headteacher, Linda Tansley. This role led to me having greater experience in the Key Stage 2 classroom which was extremely rewarding and fun. I feel immensely proud of the achievement of being part of an amazing team that contributed in us gaining 'Outstanding' status by Ofsted in October 2011 but mostly feel lucky to work every day with inspiring and talented young people that we have here at our school. I enjoy reading novels and frequently like to go to the cinema or theatre in my free time.
Mrs Gemma McDermid
Vice-Chair of Governors, Co-opted Governor
My name is Gemma James-Moore and I became a co-opted governor at Tower Hill in May 2014. This year I have taken on the role of Vice-Chair of Governors, as well as being a member of the Finance & Personnel Committee, the Headteacher’s Performance Management Committee and I am the governor responsible for the provision of SEND. When I first visited the school I was bowled over by the vibrancy that bounced off the walls and the infectious enthusiasm of staff and pupils alike. I feel very privileged to be a part of the governing body at this outstanding school. By day, I work in London at a large commercial bank as a structured finance lawyer and I hope that my legal and financial background will prove beneficial in the help I can offer to the Governing Body. At home, I have two primary age children to keep me on my toes. I am excited to be part of their educational journeys and as a governor I look forward to providing support and challenge to the excellent team at Tower Hill to assist in ensuring that the education of each of its pupils is the best it possibly can be.
Miss Camilla Collins
Hi, I’m Camilla Collins and joined Tower Hill’s Governing Body in May 2018. I am the Vice Chair of the Finance & Personnel Committee, a member of the Head Teacher’s Performance Management Committee and act as the Development & Training Governor. With a background in strategic consulting across the energy industry, I enjoy bringing my skills to the phenomenal environment of Tower Hill to support the vision to equip children for life.
Mr Kieran Collins
Assistant Headteacher and Co-opted Governor
I joined Tower Hill as Assistant Headteacher in September 2016 and have been an Associate Member of the Governing Body since September 2017, having served as a Governor at my previous school for six years. I am a sports enthusiast and enjoy working to provide the children with a wide range of academic and extra-curricular opportunities.
Mrs Helen Kinal
My name is Helen Kinal and last year I joined the Governing Body as a Parent Governor. I have two children. My son has recently started secondary school having gone through Tower Hill for all of his primary career and my daughter is in Year 3, she has also been at Tower Hill since her reception year. Throughout their years at the school, I have been so impressed at how enthusiastic the staff are about the children’s development, both learning and socially. In my day job I work for a trade union, representing members both individually and collectively. Before that I was a forensic scientist, having studied chemistry at university.