Meet Our Governors

Mr Steven Johnson - Chair & Local Authority Governor

I am a Local Authority Governor and have been on the Governing Body at Felton C of E Primary School since October 2013. I was humbled to be asked to take over the role of Chair of Governors in September 2023 and to lead a very experienced, dedicated and supportive governing body. 

I graduated from the University of Northumbria in 1997 with a B.Ed (Hons) Primary Education degree and have had the pleasure of working in four middle schools in Northumberland, including as Head of School at Chantry Middle School, until August 2019. Since then, I am working as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Northumbria. My responsibilities include  to support and monitor students on placement for the postgraduate PGCE course and the undergraduate BA course as well as an Academic Guidance tutor on School Direct and the Masters in Education programmes. I am passionate about Initial Teacher Training and the role of our schools in educating our future teachers.  

It is a very interesting time to be part of the Felton C of E Primary School Governing Body as we celebrate our successful OFSTED inspection in the summer of 2023 and continue to realise our school vision through loving, learning and living well together to enable everyone in our school community to flourish.

Mrs Rachel Murphy - Co-Opted Community Governor

I have been a Parent Governor since 2014 and became Chair of Governors in 2016.  My son joined the school in 2012 and I also have two grown-up step-children.  My passion as a Governor is to ensure our children develop into confident, well-rounded individuals that have fulfilled their potential, and to ensure Felton C of E Primary School provides a safe, supportive and inspiring environment for our children and staff.  I am also focussed on communication with parents and carers and wider community engagement and am keen to represent the views and wishes of our families.  Having retired from the Royal Air Force in 2012 we settled in Felton and I currently work for the Ministry of Defence as a Test & Evaluation Engineer.  I enjoy the outdoors, house renovation and being busy. 

Elodie Gair - Parent Governor
I am a mother of two boys whom attend Felton primary, as well as a Senior Clinical Psychologist in the NHS. I started as a Parent Governor in 2019 as my eldest transitioned between years. My son has needed time to consolidate his learning and has received individually designed support, with his emotional health being at the forefront. This triggered my wish to be involved and work with the school faculty and governing body. I am passionate about the aims of Felton primary, in addition to the mental wellbeing and development of personal identity with a positive core. From here children can achieve any academic or vocational goals they wish.

Mrs Elle Walter - Parent Governor

I am new to the parent governor role, having started in 2017.  I have two children at the school. They both enjoy attending and I am hoping my role can help support the school in continuing to provide the best opportunities to learn and grow. I feel that school life is such an important part of our children’s world that making this time fun, safe, interesting and meaningful should be our priority, both as a school and as a parent. I’m hoping this role can help me be part of this even more. 

I work in healthcare and have awareness of the how talking with others, sharing ideas and feedback can influence the way we work.  Talking with children, parents and teachers – all those involved in the school, will be part of this role I will particularly enjoy and look forward to the years ahead. 

Mrs Susan Marsh - Foundation Governor
I have recently become a Foundation Governor having moved to Swarland, from Derbyshire, at the end of 2019. I am an active member of St Michael and All Angels Church and whole heartedly support the school’s vision of ‘Loving, Learning, Living’. I care deeply about the holistic education of children and delight in seeing individuals realise their potential, whatever that may be for themselves. I feel privileged to be the Governor Champion for SEND and very much look forward to being part of the Felton School Community.
In Derbyshire, I enjoyed volunteering to support a programme of social activities for autistic young people and others with additional needs, and had great fun as a Girl Guiding leader.
My career has been in secondary education, teaching biology and also having a number of leadership roles in school.  I have also had experience working for one of the Examinations Boards, and continue to do some work relating to A-level practical science. I have coached students and have previously been a school governor at a rural primary school. I am married, have two daughters and enjoy a wide range of interests, primarily rambling, gardening and embroidery!
Dr Kathy McConnachie - Parent Governor
I am a mum of two boys, both joining the school when we moved from Durham in 2019. I grew up in the village, and love being back in this wonderful warm community with my family.  I am a GP, and feel strongly that communication and mental health are key in supporting both children and staff within the school and beyond.
I am new to the governor role, but feel the school is a great place to be. I feel privileged to be able to support the school in meeting the needs of our children, and encouraging their individual growth. 
Mr Chris Green - Co-opted Community Governor
I have lived in the village since 2013 and currently have two children at the school.  I was honoured to be invited to join the governing body as a Community Governor.  I am committed to helping our school deliver an environment that allows every child to reach their full potential, and to have the school journey they deserve.

 Professionally, I am a Veterinary Surgeon and Clinical Director of a local referral hospital.  I am a keen musician and Chairman of the Ponteland Community Band, a group that brings together musicians of all ages.  In any remaining spare time, I enjoy running and also exploring our wonderful local countryside and coast at a slightly slower pace with my elderly dog and family.

Reverend Richard Townend - Foundation Governor
I am a Foundation Governor, which comes as part of my role as Priest-in-Charge of St Michael’s and All Angels Church. I took up the role as governor when I was licensed as priest in Felton in March 2023.
I am also involved in school life on a weekly basis by delivering collective worship and as part of the Open the Book team. I am the lead Governor for SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools), and as such am always looking out for ways that the church can support the school as we journey together to enable everyone to flourish. I am also the Priest-in-Charge of Longframlington with Brinkburn; and Whittingham with Edlingham and Bolton Chapel. This means I hold a similar position on the Governing Body of Whittingham CE School.
I am a Yorkshireman, and moved to Northumberland with my family after serving as a Curate in Bridlington. Prior to this, I was a primary school teacher near York. I have been a School Governor before, in a number of roles, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. My youngest daughter will be starting school at Felton in 2024, and so I’ll get to spend even more time here!
Mr John Horseman - Foundation Governor
I have been living in Felton since 2013, having worked for many years in the financial sector in London where I ran my own business.  My wife and I have three grown up children. 
I was recently privileged to be asked to be a Foundation Governor at Felton Primary and am committed to supporting the school in meeting the needs and aspirations of the children. 
I run the chess club at the school and also play for the Alnwick club chess team.  My other interests are walking, gardening and playing the trumpet
Stephanie Whaley - Parent Governor
I have just joined the school community as my oldest child started nursery last September and attends every morning. From the onset,  I was so impressed with the strong sense of community, inclusivity and warmth I felt from school drop-offs, parents evening and coffee mornings, and so I look forward to following her and her younger brother’s journey through their school careers.  Now, in my position of governor, I am pleased to be able to have a more active role in this special community.

I have been in education for around 15 years, teaching in primary and middle schools both in Northumberland and Newcastle. Currently, I am Assistant Principal at Gosforth Junior High Academy, where I am responsible for Key Stage 2. This is a very large middle school (around 750 pupils) from very diverse communities. I am passionate about supporting children  to become the best version of themselves, regardless of background or ability. As educators, we are responsible for empowering pupils to become active, respectful and responsible citizens, with a thirst for learning. I love working with children and I am grateful to have a job I truly believe in.

Having previously worked at Dr Thomlinson’s C of E Middle School in Rothbury, I recognise the important role the school has in the rural community and believe the strong Christian ethos and links with the church are very important. Since moving to Felton 5 years ago, I feel privileged to live in a community where the church plays such an important part. With my family, we enjoy attending Messy Church, family church services and the weekly Food & Fun group.