Meet the Governors

Kim Archer

I am passionate about all children receiving an education which develops their potential and builds their confidence to achieve their dreams. Growing up locally, I went to St John's Primary School, Friern Barnet and later Copthall County Grammar School for Girls. Somewhat unexpectedly, I joined the Civil Service. This has provided a varied career working in a number of government departments and in a wide range of jobs - from a social security counter to the director of a government agency. Having retired from the Civil Service I now work on developing programmes to help disadvantaged groups find suitable employment.

Sylvia Duthie

I grew up in Birkenhead and did my BA in English and Dip Ed at Sheffield University. As a teacher, pastoral head, lecturer, parent and governor, I have a wide range of experience across the full range of educational provision.  I have also been a counsellor since 1981 and have trained many others in counselling skills.  I did my MSc in Continuing Education and Training at City University when I was fifty!  I have for several years represented Central Barnet Deanery Synod on the London Diocesan Board for Schools.  Now I am retired, it is a particular joy to serve as a governor at Wren Academy.

Linda Turner

I have lived in Finchley for 38 years and been involved in all aspects of public service in the borough.  I chaired Barnet Community Health Council, Barnet Voluntary Service Council and was a non executive director of Wellhouse NHS Trust.  I campaigned for improvements in maternity services and the founding of the Edgware Birth Centre, becoming a trustee of the National Childbirth Trust and a member on the Nursing and Midwifery Council.  I am on the PCC at All Saints, Friern Barnet and a governor at a primary school.  I work as a consultant in recruitment to the Metropolitan Police Service.

Olivia Ellah

I live in North Finchley and work at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust as a Service Transformation Project Manager. I have worked in the NHS for the past 12 years in various operational roles, and prior to that I was a Facilities and Administrative Manager in Anadrill Schlumberger Nigeria Limited, a large multinational oil servicing company for 13 years. This has enabled me to gain a broad spectrum of skills, and to work with a variety of interesting people. I had my primary and secondary education between Nigeria and Ireland, and my Business Administration degree was obtained from the University of Westminster, London. In my spare time I enjoy reading, art and going to the theatre. We are constantly learning and I believe a child’s experience in school can leave them with strong impressions and a valuable foundation for their future. 

Philip Davison

I moved to Finchley in 2008 when I became Rector of St Mary-at-Finchley. My children attended Wren. Before ordination I worked in Local Government as a systems analyst though my initial university studies were in Classics and Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. I have been a governor in church and non-church schools and am committed to inclusive high quality education. 

Rachel Korboe

I grew up in Ghana, West Africa and moved to England after my undergraduate degree in Psychology.  I then trained as a public health practitioner and currently a Screening and Immunisation Manager at NHS England/Improvement London.  In the past 13 years I have worked in governance, quality assurance, commissioning, policy development, and recently supporting the COVID response.  I bring a range of skills to the governing board; eight years of experience in school governance, actively involved with Health and safety; resources committee; progress and attainment committee.

I am driven by my passion for developing lifelong opportunities for children from all backgrounds.  Also, I have a solid understanding of the data used in assessing pupils' achievement, which gives me a sound basis for supporting and challenging the school leaders on core matters.

As a Christian parent, I have always been guided by Proverbs 22v6 'Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God's wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], even when he is old he will not depart from it.  I love that Wren is a place where all young people develop moral and spiritual values to help them become dynamic and thoughtful citizens.  I am also a member of the St Barnabas North London Congregation.  It is a privilege to serve on the governing board.

Karen O’Connor

I am currently the Headteacher of Berkhamsted Pre-Preparatory School in Hertfordshire having joined Berkhamsted Schools Group in 2015. I attended Saint Michael’s Grammar School in Finchley before going to Southampton where I studied English and History, completing my tertiary education with a PGCE. My first teaching role was in a Barnet primary school and I spent 10 years as Deputy Headteacher of a primary school in the London Borough of Camden.

As a Governor of Wren Academy, I am excited about being able to support the work of such a forward thinking school, but most importantly, it gives me the opportunity to support children and young people in my own borough. 

A good education lasts a lifetime, opens up opportunities and provides choices.  The philosophy of developing well-rounded young people, with attention to building positive relationships alongside academic excellence, ensures that Wren provides the very best start in life for every child.

It is an honour to be able to support this philosophy as a Governor.

Diana Pinto

I was educated at La Sainte Union (North London), and then went on to complete a degree in French & Management, followed by a Masters degree in European Business. On completing full-time education, I went on to work for a number of Market Insight consultancies, including KPMG Nunwood and Incite Marketing Planning, where I was an Account Director advising clients such as Danone, Reckitt Benckiser, Vodafone and Samsung on their product and brand strategies.

In the last couple of years, I have tried to get a greater balance between family life and work, and as such, am now running my own freelance consultancy business, where I continue to work with big brands to help them use consumer data and insight to develop their future strategies.

I really enjoy the work that I do, and believe that every child should both enjoy their school life, but go on to do a job that they feel passionate about and get a buzz from. From a parent’s point of view, I am looking to help the school in ensuring that every pupil at Wren achieves their true potential, feels fulfilled, feels self-worth and is valued for who they are as an individual.

Fred Newman

I was part of the first ever cohort of Year 7 students to join Wren in 2008, and spent seven years at the Academy through to the completion of my A-Levels in 2015, during which time I was fortunate enough to have many great experiences and to serve as Wren’s first Head Boy. Following the conclusion of my time at Wren, I studied History and Politics at Warwick University, graduating in 2018. I joined the Civil Service in September 2018, and now work for HM Treasury as a policy adviser, following roles with the Government Legal Department and the Home Office.

I am excited by the opportunity to return to Wren as a governor, and hope to be able to make a valuable contribution alongside the rest of governing body. I had a great experience at Wren, and I am looking forward to being able to support the school in providing similar experiences for current students, ensuring that all pupils are supported during their studies and encouraged to pursue their future ambitions.

Romil Depala

I grew up just around the corner from Wren and joined as part of the first Sixth Form cohort in 2013. Thanks to the exceptional mentoring and support from the school I went on to read Psychology, Philosophy & Linguistics at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and now work as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co., serving clients on strategic priorities in a range of sectors from banking and private equity to the public sector and education, both in the UK and throughout Europe, North and South America.

Over the past few years, I have continued to work on creative endeavours as a magician, putting on shows throughout the UK and India, and working on production projects in my free time. I am passionate about mental health, neurodiversity and social mobility. I look forward to helping the school in any way I can.

Mary Findlow

I grew up in Hackney, East London and studied for my B.Ed. at Bishop Otter College, Chichester.  My qualifications include an M.A in Educational Management; a Certificate in Counselling Skills and also a Certificate in Personal Development. I am now a retired secondary school teacher having spent all my career in education. Over the years as an Assistant Head, I had responsibility for a variety of whole school priorities. I have experience of serving on two different governing bodies.

For a number of years, I have been an assessor for the Licenced Lay Ministry. I am also an assessor as part of the discernment process for the Ordained Ministry and a consultant for Ministerial Development Reviews.  I am a member of the LDBS as a representative of the Bishop of London.

I have worshipped in Edmonton for over 25 years. In that time, I have been a Churchwarden and I am still a member of the PCC.

My voluntary work also includes being a Trustee and Executive Committee member of two charities, a community organisation for people from the island of Montserrat where I was born and also for the UK branch of the Hillcrest AIDS charity which is based in South Africa. As a Mothers’ Union member, I organise a group which offers informal support to people who come into the chapel at GOSH.

I am married with twins in their late twenties. I enjoy travelling, hill walking, the theatre, reading and films.

Stephanie Ortelli

Having grown up in North London and educated locally, I have always been interested in local education matters. As an undergraduate in Psychology and as a postgraduate in Human Resource Management, I have always been very interested in human behaviour and in particular helping individuals achieve their full potential.

I worked for 15 years at an American Global Bank, my most recent position was as a Senior Vice President in Human Resources looking after the EMEA region. Working across different countries made me appreciate the huge differences in learning and behaviour. 10 years ago, I took a step back from my career to bring up my family and have held various roles in my local community. Over the last 10 years I have served as a Governor at two other schools and I am currently serving as a foundation governor at Bishop Stopford secondary  school in Enfield.

I truly believe that each individual should be able to reach their full potential with the right amount of support and guidance, particularly with the critical partnership of school, parent and child.  I am extremely proud and privileged to serve as a Parent Governor at this outstanding school, where I watch my own children flourish,  and I am keen to support Wren grow and go from strength to strength.

Bruce Hunt

I was born and raised in Southgate, and attended St Ignatius College in Enfield.  I studied Public Administration and Management at the University of Kent at Canterbury and, on graduation, I joined the City of London Corporation working in their parliamentary affairs team.  I now lead the parliamentary team, co-ordinating the City of London’s relations with Parliament and ensuring the City’s voice is heard among the London diplomatic corps.

In my role I have been lucky enough to work across a broad spectrum of policy areas – from the promotion of international trade and soft power, to major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, to the fight against major international economic crime – but now, more than ever, the importance of education, and ensuring our young people are equipped with the right skills for the future, cannot be underestimated.

I previously served as a Governor in another Barnet primary school with particular involvement in admissions and personnel matters.  That experience reinforced to me how important the role of Governors is to support the school in providing an environment to allow the staff to deliver the best possible education to the students.

I am so pleased that my children have the opportunity to benefit from the enthusiasm and commitment from the staff at Wren. I have seen them grow as individuals and flourish as students.  It is an honour now, as Parent Governor, to be part of Wren too.

Gavin Smith

My secondary education was divided between schools in Stockport and Poole before I completed a degree in Geography at UCL. This led to a teaching career which started in Croydon where I worked in a number of schools across the borough before heading back north of the river.  Prior to joining Wren Academy Finchley as Vice Principal in 2008 I was an Assistant Headteacher at East Barnet School for six years.

I have been at Wren since it first opened, taking a lead in developing the curriculum, assessment and reporting systems before then becoming Secondary Principal and then Executive Principal in 2017. In that time the school has grown from just one year group to become ‘all through’ with highly successful Primary, Secondary and Sixth Form phases. Exceptional academic results combined with the creation of a happy and supportive community has resulted in three outstanding Ofsted judgements and Wren Academy Finchley becoming one of the most over-subscribed schools in London. This success has led to the opening of Wren Academy Enfield, a new secondary school which is on track to matching the high standards set at Finchley.

John Keohane

I am currently the Interim Secondary Principal at Wren Academy Finchley. I joined the Academy when it opened in 2008 and previously led on Teaching and Learning, Initial teacher Training and Early Career progression, and staff CPD. I am proud of the Academy’s outstanding reputation that I have helped to create, not least as a result of the excellent teaching that we deliver on a daily basis.

Prior to joining Wren Finchley, I originally studied Geography at the University of Manchester before completing my PGCE at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. I started my teaching career in 1993 and have always worked in London schools.

As Interim Principal I am determined to ensure that Wren Finchley continues to provide the best social and academic outcomes for our students. I am excited by the growth of the Wren MAT and work closely with my counterparts at Wren Enfield, as well building positive and collaborative relationships with other Barnet headteachers.

Louisa Taylor

After growing up in Mid-Wales, I left at 18 to study Psychology and Sociology at Brunel University. This was a four year degree which included two work placements. One of these placements was in a school for Autistic children which I loved and continued to work there throughout my degree and afterwards.  I moved to a school for children with severe emotional and behaviour difficulties which is where I completed my Teacher Training whilst also studying at Kingston University. I loved seeing the difference we could make to these vulnerable children’s lives. Once I completed my teacher training, I decided I needed some more mainstream experience and I worked in a school in Ealing and Croydon before coming to Wren. I was here before the school opened and felt so lucky to be able to design the building, curriculum and hand pick the staff. It has been such an exciting journey where we received an Outstanding all though Ofsted report and continue to achieve academically. I am determined to ensure the transition from the primary phase to the secondary phase is as effective and supportive for the children as possible.

Ryan Head

I have enjoyed being a teacher at Wren Academy Finchley as a member of the Physical Education department since 2017, and Head of House from September 2018.  My secondary education was in Norwich until 2011 where I then completed my BA with Honours in Physical Education and Sports Coaching at the University of Chichester in 2014.  During this time I pursued my passion of working with young people and held an Assistant Manager position in the leisure industry.  After gaining experience in an business environment a move back into education was a natural progression.  I began my career at Wren Academy after completing my SCITT in the local area in 2016 where Wren was my main placement.  I am looking forward to my term serving as Staff Governor where I will be able to work with the other members to continue to build the development of our students.