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'Education for life in its fullness'

Meet the Governors

Mrs J Craig

 Chair of Governors & Parent Governor

Jane Craig

I am a parent of two lively children at St Mary’s, Finley and Leela, and have been a governor since early 2016. In September I took on the position of Chair.

I have a background in Human Resources and, in particular, in the field of adult development, all driven by a passion for learning. So, it’s been a great privilege to work with some great teaching professionals at St Mary’s and share in the responsibility we all hold for the education of our children. I have a particular interest in how we encourage as many people as possible to be involved in that education, and how our school can, in return, support the well being of every member of our Washington community.

Mrs P Thomas

 Foundation Governor, Vice Chair & Governor Lead for Safeguarding

Pam Thomas

I am the Church appointed Foundation Governor. This means I am the link between the School and the Church. I was originally appointed in 2012 for 4 years. The Church then asked me if I would continue for another 4 years, so my present term of office finishes in 2020.

I am a mother of 3 children, and grandmother to 2 children. We moved from Buckinghamshire in 2011, so are relatively new to the area! We love it here...

I have a passion for education, having taught since 1974!!  I am keen to help the School continue to grow and develop, as it strives to meet the challenges of today's education system. I help to run the Pre-school group ‘Little Lambs’, held in the church. I am a volunteer for the RSPB, helping mainly with their many children's activities.

Revd James Di Castiglione

 Ex Officio & Foundation Governor

Rev James(2)

I have been Rector of the Chanctonbury Churches (Ashington, Washington & Wiston-with-Buncton) since 2013. I have been privileged to serve as a Governor at St Mary’s, Washington during that time and am contstantly inspired by the talents and personalities of our pupils!

I am married to Louise and we have four school age children. Prior to arriving here, I served as Chaplain in a large secondary Academy school on the South Coast, completed a Curacy in Hurstpierpoint, and moved down to Sussex in 2008 from London.

I am excited to see our Christian foundation catalyse the flourishing of every member of the school community – and generally to support and encourage the children, staff, parents and carers, and wider village community.

Mrs K Houston

Headteacher Governor


I am thrilled to be Head Teacher at St Mary’s CE Primary  School, Washington; having recently been appointed. I am passionate about education and inspiring young hearts and minds to become life long learners.

I have been a teacher for almost 20 years and have worked mostly in the Primary sector.  For the past 10 years I have worked in schools, in both West Sussex and Brighton and Hove; leading middle leaders and as a Deputy Head Teacher.  

I have two daughters (identical twin girls) who keep me busy at the weekend, either in the swimming pool or on the football field!

Mrs L Goldsmith

Staff Governor


Content to follow.

Mr R Beard

Co-Opted Governor

Ralph Beard(3)

I have lived in Washington for thirty years. My son, Benjamin, was at St Mary’s and currently my two grandchildren Jacob and Oliver are at the school.

I was a consultant surgeon at Western Sussex Foundation Hospital Trust before moving to Guy's hospital. Having retired from clinical practice I remain a registered doctor. I am now on the Governing Body of Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for commissioning the healthcare for the local population.

I have been involved in education, albeit medical, all my professional life and the time has now come for me to do what I can for our local Primary School. I have a lot to learn but hope to master my ‘brief’.

Miss H Dean

Co-Opted Governor

I have lived in the parish of Washington for seventeen years. My background is in education having taught in a number of secondary schools before becoming Senior Tutor and Director of Studies at a local College.  In retirement I became a volunteer at Washington School helping with the reading in Year One. I have done this now for twelve years and it has given me a lot of pleasure seeing these children develop a fluency and a love of reading.

I have been a  governor at Washington for ten years serving under four head teachers. I count it a great privilege to give back to the community in this way.

Mr D Simpson

Co-Opted Governor

David Simpson

I've been a governor at St Marys for a few years now and decided to get involved as I had two children attending the school and wanted to know more about how the school worked.

I am a local Police Officer but have a background in accounting and the sports industry. I always enjoyed a passion for learning and wish to encourage this for the children of St Marys. Working for Sussex Police I experience on a daily basis the need and the benefits of working successfully with other agencies and feel this is something St Marys does particularly well. Whether it be through the local church, the community cafe, Washington Village day (which was organised and run by the wonderful school PTA) or our governing body, the enthusiasm by everyone involved is inspiring.

Mrs S Vaughan

Co-Opted Governor

Chair of Resources Committee

Sue Vaughan(1)

My husband , Tony and I have 4 children all of whom have grown up and have their own families. When the children were young we travelled working in many overseas countries and experienced the many different educational systems. On our return to the UK our youngest son became a pupil  at St Mary’s where he had 6 very happy years. I became a Governor to continue providing an excellent village school environment for the children. I have now been a Governor for 4 years.  My background is in financial management and  prior to my retirement, I was the business manager at Steyning Health Centre for nearly 20 years. Currently I am the Finance Lead on the Board of Governors.

Mrs I Wismount-Lesinska

Co-Opted Governor

Chair of School Effectiveness Committee

Inka Wismount Lesinska(1)

I moved to Storrington three years ago from Pembrokeshire and wanted to contribute to my new community, so when the opportunity arose to become a school governor for St Mary’s I was very glad to accept. My background is in computer programming and mental health nursing. At retirement my time is shared between singing, playing saxophones, playing bridge and training a puppy, as well as my duties as a school governor. I believe passionately that life should be lived to the full and learning never stops. I enjoy the lively atmosphere at St Mary’s and feel that all the staff and governors have the best interests of the children at heart. I feel privileged to be a school governor.

Mrs N Woodage

Associate Governor

Nicki Woodage

Initially attracted to Washington by the beautiful Sussex countryside, I've enjoyed becoming part of the local community here. I am married, work part time as an airline pilot and have two young boys who are just starting their educational journeys.  I'm delighted to be involved in influencing the future of our primary school and hope that, as the children of this village grow up, they will feel part of the community here, able to take advantage of every opportunity open to them, and that the village as a whole will flourish.

Mrs G Holton

Parent Governor

Georgina Holton

I am very pleased to be a Governor and play an active role in the community in which I live. I have two children, one currently at St Mary’s and one I hope will be there soon.

As a family we enjoy being part of an active church family here in Washington with Chanctonbury Churches. I am passionate about developing links between the school and the church further. The local church environment is very welcoming and family friendly and there is so much potential for the future.

Professionally, I am a qualified Human Resources practioner and I possess experience in a range of sectors and sized organisations including both public and private organisations. I hope to bring both community insight and my knowledge and experience of HR best practice to bear in my role as a Governor.

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