STAHS is fortunate to have a very active governing body, who are referred to collectively as the Council. Our Governors are selected for their individual experience and skills. Together they offer a unique and unparalleled fund of knowledge and expertise that the School is able to draw on to ensure it maintains its outstanding performance. Our Governors attend many school events throughout the academic year.
The Chair of Governors, Ms Arnold, may be contacted by writing to her confidentially c/o The Clerk to the Governors, St Albans High School for Girls, Townsend Avenue, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 3SJ.
Enquiries about or for the Governors may be sent by email to GovernorAdmin@STAHS.org.uk.
Ms Alison Arnold - Chair of Governors
UMIST University, Manchester BSc (Hons) 2:1 degree Management Sciences 1989
London Business School Executive Development Programme 2002
Alison has enjoyed a successful career in marketing, working on leading consumer brands at large multinational companies such as Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo based in the UK and internationally. She took the opportunity to change path in 2012 and joined an international education group in Dubai to lead their global marketing team. Having always held a fascination for the education sector, she then went on to work with schools in the GCC to support start-up and expansion plans before joining Amity Education Group as Vice President of Strategic Development.
Alison came back to the UK with her family in August having spent 17 years living and working internationally and is now Group Director of Marketing and Admissions for Orbital Education. She sits on the Education and Strategy Committees.
In her spare time she can be found either watching her daughter riding horses or meeting up with friends.
Ms Lara Bernard
Lara is an Experience Consultant working at technology firm Slack (part of the Salesforce family). Her work focuses on experience design and employee experience for large enterprise-wide transformations.
After reading Economics and Geography at the University of Leeds, Lara started her career in Professional Services as a Management Consultant at Accenture. Whilst at Accenture for seven years, Lara’s work focused predominantly on organisational change management, people change, employee experience and organisational design. In addition, she was one of the leads of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion practice, helping clients to develop and strengthen their ED&I strategies and practices.
Lara attended STAHS from 2004-2010. She was also an active member of the STAHS Curriculum Review Working Party 2020-2021, whose role it was to look at the inclusion of more diverse stories into the curriculum.
Lara sits on the Strategy Committee.
Dr Maria Carradice
BSc (Hons) MA PhD (Cantab) ACA CTA ACT
Maria is a qualified accountant, tax and treasury adviser, has a first-class honours degree in Chemistry from the University of Surrey, an MA in Modern Languages from the Open University, a PhD in Nanotechnology from Cambridge University and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Maria is also a member of the British Venture Capital Association’s Tax and Environmental, Social and Governance Committees.
As a portfolio director at Mayfair Equity partners, a leading private equity firm, Maria works alongside companies to identify, quantify and unlock business process improvement activities. Maria’s expertise as both a former practitioner and a former consultant allows her to focus on opportunities to drive incremental value in areas such as tax and finance, with the aim of supporting companies to deliver their plans faster or with less risk. Prior to her current role, Maria worked for both Deloitte and Arthur Andersen in their private equity and international M&A groups.
Maria is an avid reader and advocate for lifelong learning and currently has a daughter in the Prep School. Maria sits on the Finance Committee.
Mr Edward Charlesworth
BSc (Hons), MRICS
Edward is a chartered surveyor and has worked within the commercial real estate industry for over 15 years at ING Real Estate and CBRE Investment Management, with a particular focus on asset management and transactions. He was educated at St Albans School and read Land Management at Reading University.
Edward lives in St Albans with his young family and became a Governor in 2023 and is a member of the Estates and Strategy Committees.
Mr Neil Enright
MA (Oxon) MBA NPQH FRSA
Chair of Education Committee, Chair of the Safeguarding Committee.
Neil is the Headmaster of Queen Elizabeth’s School in Barnet, which has consistently been named in the national press in recent years as the country’s top state school for A Level results. He was appointed the 40th Headmaster of this selective boys’ school in September 2011.
After reading Geography at St John’s College, Oxford and a PGCE at London’s Institute of Education, Neil started teaching in 2000 in a mixed comprehensive in the London Borough of Brent. He moved to Queen Elizabeth’s in 2002. Before his appointment as Headmaster, he has been Head of Geography, Head of Year, Assistant Head and Deputy Head. Neil was awarded his National Professional Qualification for Headship in 2007 and an MBA in 2010.
He is Chairman of Governors at Northgate School, a Pupil Referral Unit for young people with severe mental health conditions, and his other current voluntary roles include being a governor of Longfield Primary School in Harrow and of his alma mater, The John Lyon School.
Ms Ellie de Galleani
Ellie attended the Senior School between 1990 and 1997. After completing a History degree at the University of Bristol, she went on to qualify as a solicitor specialising in Commercial Real Estate. She worked at Macfarlanes LLP for nine years and is currently taking a career break to look after her three young daughters.
Ellie is Chair of the Old Girls’ Association. She became a Governor in 2014 and is a member of the Estates Committee and sits on the Safeguarding Committee.
Mr Bjorn Hobart
BSc (Hons), MA, MRICS
Bjorn is a chartered surveyor and has worked in commercial real estate for the past 20 years. Bjorn is an Equity Partners at Tritax Management LLP. Bjorn’s principal responsibility is Chief Investment Officer of Tritax Big Box REIT, which is a FTSE 250 listed company specialising in Logistics investment and development.
Bjorn was educated at Watford Grammar School for Boys and studied Geography at the University of Leeds followed by a Master in Property Valuation and Law at Bayes Business School, City University of London. Bjorn lives in St Albans with his wife and two daughters and became a Governor in September 2023 and is a member of the Estates Committee.
Mrs Carol Jewell - Vice Chair of Governors
MA (Hons) NPQH
Carol is recently retired as Head of Old Palace of John Whitgift School, Croydon where she held several leadership roles over a period of twenty-two years.
After reading music at St Andrews University and completing a PGCE at Trinity College Cambridge, Carol started teaching in 1982 in a mixed comprehensive in Banbury. She moved to Llandrindod Wells, Powys in 1984 and then to Edinburgh in 1986 where she taught music at St George’s School for Girls for eight years. Before becoming Head at Old Palace, she was Director of Music, Senior Teacher and Deputy Head. She was Head from 2011 to 2019.
After studying at the National College for School Leadership she achieved her National Professional Qualification for Headship and a further award for School Business Management.
Currently she is an advisor to Mindful Healthcare, an organisation supporting young people with mental health conditions. Other current voluntary roles include singing with Croydon Minster Choir where she is one of the Lay Clerks.
Carol sits on the Education Committee, Governance Committee and Safeguarding Committee.
Mrs Sara Kironde-Strain
Sara is educated to postgraduate level in Management.
She is a former governor of Penhurst School (Action for Children Charity) in Oxfordshire and an ambassador for Ripple Effect, an African charity based in Bath. She is also a vice-president for the International Students House alumni in London and sits on Trestle theatre company’s All About Us committee that aims to celebrate the creative side of disabled people.
She worked as a researcher for European Citizens Action Service in Brussels and for Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw (Brussels and London) as Office Manager/Finance Administrator. She also worked as donor administrator for the Bishop Simeon Trust, UK.
Sara gave up work to bring up her disabled son. She became a volunteer, working with charities like Earthworks, Passport to Leisure and Special Olympics, to support post-education disabled people with inclusion in the community.
Her husband’s sister, mother and grandmother are STAHS alumnae. Family time is divided between the UK, France and Uganda. Sara sits on the Strategy Committee.
Mr Simon Martin
Chair of Governance Committee
Simon is a lawyer by profession and was a partner in a City law firm, Macfarlanes, for over 20 years, including stints as head of the Corporate Department and Managing Partner. He was educated at St Albans School and read law at Oxford.
Simon is now busy in the charity sector. He was, until recently, a trustee and Vice Chairman of ABF The Soldiers Charity, the Army’s national charity, and the Protector (a quasi trustee role) of two charitable trusts funded by the Big Lottery Fund: the Forces in Mind Trust and the Centre for Ageing Better. Simon is also Deputy Master of a Livery Company in the City of London, having served as Master in the 2021-2022 year.
Simon has three daughters, all of whom were educated at the High School between 1998 and 2015. Simon has been a Governor since October 2016 and is a member of the Finance Committee.
Mr Chris Murray
Having begun his professional life in financial services marketing, Chris has spent the majority of his career focused on sports sponsorship, primarily within motorsport. Since stepping away from his last role as Marketing Director of the Williams Formula One team, Chris has established his own consultancy advising brands and rights holders across the sports and entertainment sectors.
Chris has one daughter who attends the Prep school. He became a Governor in 2020 and chairs the Strategy Committee and sits on the Estates Committee.
Mrs Vhari Pontin
Vhari is a Commercial Real Estate solicitor, qualifying at Hogan Lovells and working in the City until 2016, when she moved in-house to become Legal Counsel at Property Developer Related Argent. She attended STAHS between 1994 and 2004 and went on to read Modern History at the University of Oxford.
Vhari lives in North London with her young family and became a Governor in 2023. She sits on the Estates Committee.
Mr Daniel Roe
BSc (Hons) MRICS
Chair of Estates Committee
Daniel joined the Governing Body in September 2012 and sits on the Finance and Estates Committees. He is a chartered building surveyor and a director of a building surveying and project management practice operating primarily for funders, investors, developers and occupiers of commercial property. He lives close to St Albans with his young family.
Cricket is Dan’s primary focus during any spare time. He plays for the local village side during the summer months and is a playing member of the MCC. He also enjoys spoiling a good walk by playing golf.
Mrs Victoria Stockman-Black
LLB (Hons) with French, CIMA
Victoria started her career in investment banking, working for Nomura PLC, Accenture and Close Brothers’ Corporate Finance. As a qualified accountant, she first gained experience of the charitable sector by volunteering as a treasurer for Home-Start St Albans.
A lifelong love of sport led to her qualifying as a cycling and swimming coach in her spare time. These experiences sparked a new passion for working with young people and led to a change of career into education.
She is currently Head of Year at a local secondary school in the maintained sector, a role which provides valuable insight into the current education climate, as well as hands-on experience of supporting young people to achieve their potential.
A former STAHS parent, Victoria lives with her family, two dogs and ever-growing collection of bikes. Victoria sits on the Finance Committee.
The Very Revd Jo Kelly-Moore BA, LLB, BD
BA LLB BD
Jo is Dean of St Albans Cathedral. She was installed in December 2021 and in May 2022 she was elected to the Association of English Cathedrals
Executive and appointed Chair.
Jo was born in New Zealand and studied Law and French at Victoria University of Wellington. She practiced law for seven years in Wellington and London. She returned to New Zealand where she completed her theology degree and was ordained Deacon in 2000 and Priest in 2001. In 2010 Jo was appointed Dean of Auckland and Deputy Vicar General. In 2017 she returned to England to be Archdeacon of Canterbury and Residentiary Canon of Canterbury Cathedral. Jo served on the Steering Committee for the Cathedrals Measure 2021 and brings considerable governance skills to the STAHS Board of Governors.
The Dean of St Albans Cathedral is an Ex Officio Governor.
The Executive Team
The School is led by the Head and the Executive Team.
Mrs Amber Waite BSc (Hons) Texas A&M, BSc (Hons) Rutgers, MSc Oxon – Head (head@STAHS.org.uk)
Mr Mike Bryant BA (Joint Hons) Nottingham, MA London, FCCT – Head of Prep (email@example.com)
Mr Paul Daly BA(Hons) FCG – Bursar (dalyp@STAHS.org.uk)
Mr Drew Thomson BSc (Hons) Edinburgh – Deputy Head Academic (thomsond@STAHS.org.uk)
Miss Kirsty Eddison BA (Hons) Birmingham, MEd Birmingham – Deputy Head Pastoral and Designated Safeguarding Lead (EddisonK@stahs.org.uk)
Mrs Claire Schofield BSc (Hons) Durham – Director of Marketing, Admissions and Development (firstname.lastname@example.org)