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Meet the Governors

Frances Strickley - Chair - Co-Opted Governor

I have lived in Copthorne for 13 years and both my children have been to Fairway Infant School and then attended Copthorne Junior School.  When my eldest started at Fairway I became a Governor there, going on to become Chair during the time that the school was rated good in its Ofsted inspection. 


My background is in law, having qualified and worked as a solicitor specialising in employment law for 15 years.  I now work full time heading a global governance function for an international bank. 


Terry Chippington - Co-Opted Governor



Laura Dunn - LA Governor


I am delighted to have had the opportunity to become a Governor at Copthorne CE Junior School. Having spent almost 10 years of my career working in management roles for a global FMCG company, I have a number of transferable skills that I believe can help me to make a difference in this role. Shaping the education and future of children is so important and I am honoured to be able to play a part in this myself. 


In my free time I volunteer for Blind Veterans and a local cat rescue. Some of my personal interests are travelling and aviation, strength training and spending time with my loved ones. 


Lee Laflain - Co-Opted Governor



Aelwen Lavictoire - Parent Governor

As a parent and primary school teacher living in the village, I am proud to be able to play a part in the governance of Copthorne Junior School and to chair the Quality and Standards committee.  Having sent my two sons to the school and with my daughter joining year 3, I fully understand the importance of ensuring that our local village school offers the best learning experiences and opportunity for every child to be challenged to fulfil their full potential.


I have worked as a volunteer at Copthorne Junior School for over 8 years now, helping at Forest School, on school trips and with activities in school, supporting reading in the school and helping with clubs and booster groups.  Throughout this time, I have been able to immerse myself in school life and to develop a strong knowledge of the whole school community.  I am also actively involved in Scouting in the village.


I am passionate about ensuring that our village school is the very best it can be for every child that attends, and as a governor will continue to challenge and work with the school to ensure that this happens.


Wim Mauritz - Ex Officio Foundation Governor

As the new incumbent vicar of St John's Church in Copthorne I am thrilled to also take on the role as foundation governor of the Junior School. I am really looking forward to building new relationships with the pupils, parents, staff and the wider community in Copthorne. 


Before I became a priest in the Church of England I worked as a manager in various disaster relief and development programmes in countries overseas. I am originally from Holland but have been in living in the UK since 2002. 


I am passionate about the unique role that the local church school has in continuing God's mission to bring good news and healthy education to all. When I am not at work I love spending time with my family, like to cycle, enjoy a good film, a fitness work-out, baking, gardening and when times allows me, some stained-glass window making.


Mario Monella - Co-Opted Governor

I moved to Copthorne village in 2015 and became a Governor shortly after my eldest child began attending Copthorne Junior School. Initial as part of the Quality and Standards committee and now aligned with the Finance committee adding value where possible to the school. 


I spent the early part of my career in teaching before transitioning into the Pharmaceutical industry at Regional and Global levels, delivering complex projects, solutions and strategies ranging from launch excellence through to AI/behavioural change web based educational solutions. 


I believe it is important to contribute to our village life and help our children achieve their full potential. You will often find me on a football pitch coaching or supporting Scouting within our village. 


Fionna Thomson - Vice Chair - Co-Opted Governor

I have lived in the village with my 3 children since 2008 and am delighted to have the opportunity to become a Co-Opted Governor with Copthorne CE Junior School.  My twin sons attended local special educational needs schools and my youngest son has just completed studies at Worth.  All the boys have greatly enjoyed being part of village life, including being busy members of the Copthorne Scout Group, playing golf and equestrian activities. 


Hannah Warsap - Staff Governor

Copthorne Junior School holds a very special place in my heart. I grew up in the village and came to this school as a pupil! Now a teacher at Copthorne, I am thrilled to also be part of the Governing Body. 


I've always been interested in people and society and studied Sociology at Cardiff University, where I gained my First-Class Honours Degree. I then worked as a Teaching Assistant at a local school and loved working with children so much, I soon gained my Post-Graduate Certificate of Education with Sussex University.


I've had various leadership roles in schools over the years and continue to at Copthorne. I joined the Copthorne teaching team in 2020 and I am proud to work alongside such resilient and supportive members of staff and serve our community.


Jennifer Wharton - Foundation Governor

I moved to Copthorne 41 years ago as a single parent of two children.  They both attended Fairway Infants and Copthorne Junior School.  At St John's Church I serve in diverse areas underpinned through prayer.  We saw a need for an international cafe welcoming people of different nationalities and faiths from the Copthorne Hotel.


I worked for Air Europe setting up a QAR system monitoring flights for our fleets of aircraft comprising Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK.  I then worked for the Regional Centre (United Bible Societies) Europe & the Middle East.


As a new Foundation Governor I look forward to working in this remarkable school.  I attend regularly in a team of Open the Book, taking Biblical stories to the school's assemblies.


Melissa Ash - Associate Member

I started my working life in the area of finance before my passion for children's education led me to gain my Post Graduate Certificate of Education for Oxford Brookes University. I have been a teacher for over 25 years and have taught in every primary year group.


I joined Copthorne CE Junior School in September 2019  in the role of Deputy Headteacher and SenCo. My previous school experiences have largely been in East Sussex, where I have had a range of leadership roles. I am proud to serve the community that make Copthorne CE Junior School a special place to be.