Headteacher - Justin Peoples
My aspirations and expectations of the school, staff and pupils are unwaveringly high- even a pandemic did not take us off our path of rapid improvement. I am fortunate to lead a team of caring and effective staff who share my passion and drive; I am also supported and challenged by an exceptional governing body. We have the capacity and strategy in place to continue on this trajectory- what we have achieved so far is only the beginning. From a personal point of view, it is a privilege to have my name on the sign at the school entrance. Growing up in Whitby, I am a proud Yorkshireman (and Seasider!). It is a pleasure and a privilege to serve such a wonderful school community in the heart of my home county, North Yorkshire.
Chair of Governors - Rev. Claire Soderman
I was brought up in a village not too far from Northallerton so knew the area but as an adult I moved to Redcar where I had obtained my first teaching post. There, I enjoyed a wonderfully rewarding career at Wheatlands Primary School, most latterly as Deputy Head Teacher. I taught mostly in Key Stage Two, often in Year 6, and had responsibility for assessment and Pupil Premium. I was a long serving member of the Governing Body during my time teaching, serving on both staffing and finance, and curriculum and standards committees. Living, working and worshipping in the area for a sustained period of time, enabled me to become heavily involved in all aspects of school and community life, particularly enjoying leading PE and school sport as part of the local School Sports Partnership, taking the choir and organising residential visits as well as my involvement in the local church and as a Cub Scout Leader. Life in Redcar also inspired my main interest beyond ministry, that of going to the beach, where I can be found watching the waves, walking along the water’s edge or swimming in the sea. During my thirties, I began to explore faith more deeply, and so began the first steps of a long journey towards a change of vocation. After a sustained process of discernment, I left Wheatlands in summer 2019 and moved to full time theological college at Cranmer Hall, St John’s College, Durham for two years. Following ordination in the Church of England in June 2021, I then moved to Northallerton Parish as Assistant Curate to continue my training in parish ministry and am based in and around All Saints Church, Northallerton, St James, Romanby and St Lawrence, Kirby Sigston. I was delighted to join the strong governing body team here at Applegarth shortly after moving here as, from my experience, I have seen the way positive partnerships between all involved in a school can enhance the wider educational journey. Moving forwards, my role as Chair, along with the committed work of all governors, will be to continue to offer much encouragement alongside challenge and accountability as together we continue in the drive to be a school at the heart of the community, to improve outcomes for all pupils and to keep children at the heart of everything we do.
Vice Chair of Governors - Jo Burnside
I became an LA Governor in 2019 and have been fortunate in being reappointed in 2022. I have an MA in Human Resources Management and am currently the HR Manager in another school in North Yorkshire. I have a significant number of years working in education and have spent the last 14 years supporting schools and working with the children’s workforce. In addition, I have volunteered as a Civilian Instructor with the Air Cadets when my children were younger. I have a passion for safeguarding and student welfare and am currently the safeguarding link governor which fits well with my experience.
Staff Governor - Emily Burrell
Since a young age, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. Over the last 9 years, I have had the privilege of working with amazing colleagues, children, parents and families in multiple school. They have all developed me as a teacher and now as I embark on my role as staff governor, I look forward to seeing how I can support and develop the school and myself further. My husband and I work and live on a busy working farm and I love bringing my passion of farming and outdoor learning into school. We have recently had a baby and it has strengthened my view on how important it is for parents and school to work together to maximise the learning opportunities for our children. I am honoured to be part of the Applegarth family and am passionate about working with our families and children to strive for the best for all of our children.
Co-opted Governor - Diane Parsons
I have been a governor at Applegarth School since 2017, when my eldest child was in Reception. I have worn various hats in my time on the board; as both a parent and community co-opted governor, as Vice Chair and as Chair. I bring experience in governance and scrutiny from a local authority background and am passionate about improving school life for all of our pupils. I was a link governor on Early Years for a number of years and am currently linked to curriculum development and leadership.
Co-opted Governor - Brian Robson
I've been a co-opted Governor at Applegarth since 2017, and have led for Governors on our use of the Pupil Premium throughout. From 2019-2022, I served as Vice Chair of the Governing Body. My son attends Applegarth, and he has loved his time at the school. Professionally, I am Executive Director responsible for policy, member engagement and communications at a network representing 140 councils and housing associations across the North of England. Prior to this, I spent four years at a leading anti-poverty charity, running their housing programme and contributing to the first independent long-term strategy to solve poverty in the UK.
Co-opted Governor - Jill Pawluk
After completing a first class honours degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London, I worked as a professional cellist for twenty years in the Midlands. In 1989, I was appointed as sub-principal cello in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Following the birth of my children, I combined freelance performing with cello teaching at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. During the time my two children attended primary school, I became actively involved in their school in a voluntary capacity and I also served as a parent governor for a number of years. This experience inspired me to consider changing careers and I completed a Post Graduate Certificate of Education at the University of Wolverhampton in 2006. Since then, I have held a number of primary school teaching roles, both in the state and independent sectors, and in 2015 I moved to Northallerton to take up the role of Director of Teaching and Learning at a local Prep School. I was delighted when the opportunity arose for me to serve as a co-opted governor at Applegarth School in December 2020. It is a privilege to support the head teacher, dedicated staff and governing body as the school moves forward to ensure the best outcomes for all children.
Co-opted Governor - Cllr. Amanda Eames
I was brought up in Northern Ireland and qualified as a doctor in 1984. I moved to England in 1986 and became a GP in Northallerton in 1990, retiring in 2017. I was elected as a Northallerton Town Councillor in May 2021 and, when the Town Council was approached by Applegarth School in respect of a school governor vacancy, I was interested; I have always felt an affection for Applegarth School, as both my children attended the school and enjoyed their time there. I am strong supporter of good quality state education and so I was happy to become a governor in February 2022. My hobbies are cycling, walking and running.