Meet the current members of our Trust Board.
Click below to open the Pecuniary Interests for the Governors below:
Jenny Howarth – Chair
Jenny has been a Trustee at Katherine Warington School since the pre-opening phase, working with the Members, the local community and the DfE to build the groundwork for the school. In 2021 she became Chair having previously chaired the Education Committee and been Vice Chair of Trustees.
Jenny passionately believes that all children deserve an excellent state education providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in our ever changing world. She is proud to see those values reflected so strongly at KWS.
Alan Henshall – Member representative of Roundwood Park School Academy Trust
As an experienced educationalist, having worked in five different secondary schools, three of them in the St Albans and Harpenden area, Alan has a strong understanding of what students and parents expect from their local school. Alan has senior leadership experience in three high performing schools and as the Headteacher of Roundwood Park School he really enjoys his involvement in the school, having been the Executive Headteacher in its inaugural year.
Helen Barton – Member representative of St George’s (Harpenden) Academy Trust
Helen is the Headmistress of St George’s School in Harpenden, taking up the post in September 2017. Having studied for a degree in Geography, Helen went on to train as an Accountant in industry. Realising accounting wasn’t for her; she returned to full time study and gained her PGCE in 1993 teaching at a number of schools, both independent and state sectors, within the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire areas. Arriving at St George’s in January 2005 as an Assistant Headteacher whilst studying for her Master’s in Education, she became Deputy Headteacher in September 2008. Helen is a hugely passionate and skilled educator, who’s greatest desire is to see our children grow up to lead fulfilled lives, enjoy healthy lifestyles and make a positive contribution to the wider community.
Helen is looking forward to working with the trust and supporting the development of the new free school.
Julie Newlan –Member representative of The University of Hertfordshire
Professor Julie Newlan MBE, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of
Professor Newlan is engaged in all strategic and operational decisions which underpin the
positioning and success of the University of Hertfordshire. Julie has overall responsibility for
University planning, including the development of all academic areas through the respective
deans, staff development, international and regional partnerships, recruitment, induction and
retention of students, student experience and student outcomes.
Julie’s academic career began at the London Institute in 1993, after achieving management
success in retail and strategy. She joined the University of Hertfordshire Business School in
1996 as a Senior Lecturer in Business Strategy and held various posts before being
appointed Head of the Business School in 2006. She became Pro Vice-Chancellor for
Business and International Development in 2011 and was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor
in February 2022.
Julie was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2014
for her services to higher education. She represents the University externally at the Higher
Education Funding Council for England, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP),
the East of England Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Department for
Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Angela Karp – Member representative of Rothamsted Reaserch Limited
Angela was appointed Director & Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research in July 2020; the first female Director since the Institute was founded in 1843. In her previous role of Director for Science Innovation, Engagement and Partnerships, she developed new initiatives for collaborative innovation including FarmInn, which has involved co-developing farmer-led innovations, and AGRIA, a regionally funded programme supporting collaborations between SMEs and researchers for co-developing innovative solutions to challenges in agri-food. Working closely with Cranfield University as well as UCL and University of Hertfordshire, Angela is also the Programme Director of SHAKE Climate Change, which currently has eight ventures in the portfolio. She has always focused on ensuring science delivers impact, whether this is to farmers, policy-makers, industry or society and is a member of numerous panels and committees, including the Defra Innovation R&D panel and BBC Rural Affairs Committee.
Angela has a first degree in Genetics and completed her PhD in cytogenetics at Aberystwyth. She has an impressive research background with more than 40 years’ experience in crop genetics improvement for sustainable agriculture and bio-renewables. She has over 130 refereed publications, co-authored a genetics text book and is co-editor of books on genetic diversity and bioenergy. In 2007 she received the Royal Agricultural Society of England Research Medal and, in 2008, the Alfred-Toepfer Prize for her research achievements.
Phil Newbery – Member representative of Sir
John Lawes School (Scholars Education Trust)
currently the Headteacher of Sir John Lawes School and his ethos is centred around achievement, care and excellence. He has been a Deputy Head in two different schools and has a passion for teaching and learning and school improvement.
David Martin – Trustee
David gained his Bachelor of Science degree in biological science, whilst studying in Edinburgh, before completing his PGCE at the University of Hertfordshire. David has been working in the education sector of Hertfordshire schools for over 19 years. He started his teaching career in Harpenden, working at Roundwood Park School, where he progressed to be a successful Head of Science and later seconded onto the school’s senior leadership team, in a role that supported other local secondary schools.
David moved to The Nobel School to take up the position of Assistant Headteacher where he was given responsibility for raising standards at KS4. He line-managed all three core subjects of English, maths and science and was responsible for assessments and exams. David has experience in Initial Teacher Training, co-ordinating the set-up of The Nobel School as a Lead Training school in partnership with UH.
David joined Katherine Warington School as its first Deputy Headteacher with overall responsibility for the quality of education, overseeing the curriculum, teaching and learning, behaviour for learning, reporting, assessment and data analysis. David succeeded to the position of acting Headetacher from September 2023.
Donna Witter – Trustee
Donna currently serves as a parent governor at KWS and sits on the Education Committee. She is an experienced educationalist having worked in the sector for the past 16 years starting out as a teacher. She spent much of her career working in a large London Comprehensive School in Hampstead before moving to Bedfordshire and taking up a post as an Assistant Head in a Secondary School. From there she moved to another large comprehensive school and on both occasions was Head of the English Department. In addition, she has trained as an English examiner and has overseen the marking of a plethora of English GCSE language scripts over the years.
Presently Donna works in a department within Hertfordshire Local Authority as an Education Advisor tracking the progress and attainment of a cohort of vulnerable children across East Hertfordshire, Welwyn, Hatfield, Bedfordshire and Lincolnshire. Her role sees her travelling across counties offering support to schools and teachers in positions of Senior Leadership – a role that she finds extremely fulfilling and rewarding.
Having three children of her own Donna is no stranger to governance and has also served as a parent governor for the past 8 years at her youngest son’s Primary School. Highlights have included helping the school to grow into two separate sites and championing the transition of this ‘Outstanding’ Primary to Academy status; additionally, serving as vice chair and then being voted to the post of Chair of Governors in the last academic year.
Previous pursuits have included stints in children’s television and for many years competing in brass bands competitions around the country and entertaining abroad. She is therefore proud to be a member of the ‘Brent Brass’ alumni.
Charlotte Zacharia – Trustee
Charlotte is an ACCA qualified Chartered Certified Accountant with over 18 years’ experience working in practice. Having now run her own accountancy practice for 7 years as well as having her technical knowledge and keen eye for statistics, Charlotte now spends the majority of her working life undertaking business growth and development work with her clients.
Over the last few years, Research and Development has played a major role in Charlotte’s skill set and she has managed to secure over £5.6 million in Research and Development tax for innovative companies in the local area.
Charlotte has undertaken 3 years as Parent Governor for a school in Barnet as well as 3 years treasurer for that school’s PTA
Charlotte has been a trustee at KWS since November 2020. She thoroughly enjoys her involvement at KWS and giving back to the community and the pupils of the school, including her own son currently in Year 11 and daughter in Year 7.
Alex Vickers – Trustee
Alex joined the board in late 2020 as a finance trustee. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (England and Wales) having qualified over 10 years ago with a Big 4 Accountancy practice. He currently works for a multinational Financial Services Company as the UK Financial Controller in London and holds several Directorships within the Group. In this role, he is primarily responsible for financial reporting, financial process improvement and analysing annual performance against budgets.
Alex moved to Harpenden with his wife and two daughters three years ago and is excited about giving back to the local community through his role on the Board.
Simon Laing – Trustee
Simon has worked in the financial sector since graduating in Engineering Science. He is a CFA charterholder with over 22 years of experience at large multi-national firms. He has been responsible for teams managing US and Global Equity investment portfolios and has expertise in Socially Responsible Investing. In his roles, he has interacted with and advised public company managements and boards. In his current role he manages multi-asset investment portfolios for clients including schools and charities.
Simon and his wife have three sons and moved to the Harpenden area twenty years ago. He has coached local rugby and cricket teams and is delighted to have the opportunity to help KWS achieve its purpose.
Suzy Lawrence – Trustee
Suzy spent eight years working as a solicitor in London specialising in Construction law before changing career to work in academia. She is now studying for a PhD in Shakespeare and teaching undergraduate students at a London university. She is also involved in wider participation work which focuses on encouraging and enabling sixth form students to apply to university. She believes in the importance of opening up higher education to make it accessible to every student possible.
Suzy moved to Wheathampstead ten years ago and has a son and a daughter currently at primary school. She is very excited about helping Katherine Warington School continue to grow and to help it achieve its aims of providing an inspiring and fulfilling education to all of its pupils.
Dani Cook – Trustee
Dani has an MBA from Oxford University, 20 years of ecommerce business experience, and has worked in 4 different countries in her career. She currently leads Commerce Partnerships for a global social media platform and co-chairs a company mentorship programme helping year-12 students gain the soft and technical skills needed for a career in STEM.
Dani joined the KWS Trustee board in early 2022 and is excited to be part of the team. She has lived in Harpenden for 10 years and has two children, one currently attending KWS. She previously served on the parent committee of her children’s Primary school.
Sally Pearson – Trustee
Sally is a qualified secondary school teacher of Modern Foreign Languages and has worked in various schools in her long career. The last 18 years she has taught at one of the other secondary schools in Harpenden. Sally has taught at GCSE and A Level, and has been an examiner for one of the examination boards.
Sally is no stranger to trusteeship and governance. She has been a trustee and administrator of a local church. She is very pleased to serve on the Education Committee as a trustee at KWS. She also has experience of running bereavement support groups for students, running extra-curricular activities, and going on school trips, both abroad and in the UK.
Sally has 3 grown-up children who have passed through the Harpenden school system. She supports the KWS ethos that young people have the right to a transformational educational experience that will enable them to fulfil their potential and realise their ambitions. She is excited to see students succeed as they are given the right support and opportunities as she has seen this in action so many times in her teaching career.
In her spare time, Sally enjoys reading, swimming, walking, and travelling.
Jamie Washburn – Trustee
Jamie has been an operations specialist for over 15 years. With a background in multiple industries
including Banking, Professional services and Adult education he looks forward to bringing that
experience to the school where he hopes to be part of the exciting journey as the school grows and
flourishes. Jamie also spent almost 15 years as a uniformed member of staff for the Royal Air Force
Cadets, having to recently retire due to a house move, he has spent a a lot of time working with the
11-18 age group, helping them to develop a wider range of skills for the wider world.
Jamie has a wife and 3 children, his eldest son has recently joined KWS after having moved to the
Wheathampstead area at the beginning of 2021
Adam Badi – Trustee
Adam Badi Is a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) with nearly 2 decades experience in the music industry. His accounting experience covers Royalties, Album, Video and Music Tour production liaising with major worldwide music giants such as Universal, EMI, Sony, BMG and Live Nation. He has also worked in the charity sector for humanitarian and grant giving organisations.
Rebecca Robertson – Governance Professional
Rebecca worked in banking for 17 years before entering the world of education. She is currently School Business Manager in a large primary school near St Albans. She reports to their Governors and has worked with 3 different leadership teams over the last 10 years. She is the Founder and current Chair of the Hertfordshire Association of School Business Managers which has over 170 members.
Rebecca was a parent Governor for 6 years (2 1/2 years as Vice Chair) in a St Albans school, the Treasurer of the PTA for several years and has also clerked for over 2 years in her own school.
Rebecca is very happy to be joining KWS on its exciting journey.