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Meet the Governors

Frances Strickley - Chair - Co-Opted Governor

I have lived in Copthorne for 15 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 within the investigation team of an international bank. 


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. 


Anita Findon - Foundation Governor

Education has been a thread which has run through my working life.  I was a primary school teacher for 20 years, and was a senior leader.  Currently, I am a leadership coach and many of the people I work with are school leaders.  I lived in Copthorne for some years and was married at St John’s.  It is a pleasure to apply my teaching and coaching experience to school governance in the community. 


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 currently attending, 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. As a governor, I am involved in monitoring the impact of school improvements and supporting the school in recognising it strengths and areas of developments as it continues to grow and evolve.


I have worked as a volunteer at Copthorne Junior School for many years now. In the past, I have been involved with the PTA, helped at Forest School and on school visits, and supported activities in school including reading, 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 and with the International café run at St John’s Church.


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 and that every child is encouraged to let their light shine.


Wim Mauritz - Ex Officio Foundation Governor

I am originally from Holland but have been in living in the UK since 2002. I have the privilege of being the vicar of St John's Church Copthorne and I am excited about the vision that the church has for the wider Copthorne community in discovering how to grow in love for God and each other. 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 passionate about the unique role that Copthorne CE Junior 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. 


Katie Salter - Parent Governor

I have built strong connections in Copthorne village during the last 8 years and have enjoyed building our lives in a friendly and welcoming community. My daughter attended both Fairway and Copthorne Junior school and I enjoyed her time there supporting the schools with fundraising and leading the PTA in organising some great events. Over the last 10 years I have enjoyed a career within Children’s Services and have recently moved across to join the team within Education and Skills, my roles within the service have given me the opportunity to strengthen my safeguarding knowledge and I look forward to sharing this in my role as school governor.


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 three sons are young adults now; my twin sons attended local special educational needs schools and my youngest son attended Worth.  All the boys have greatly enjoyed growing up in Copthorne, including being busy members of the Copthorne Scout Group, playing golf and equestrian activities. I work in a local Prep School and am always keen to share and learn about new ideas within Primary Education; helping children be the best versions of themselves.


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.


Sarah Davies - Associate Member

I moved to Copthorne three years ago and recently I decided it was time to get involved in the local community.  I am a qualified teacher and have worked in a Surrey primary school for 15 years, with a special interest in supporting children with additional needs.  I am a member of my own school's leadership team and the SENDCo.  Both my girls go to the school I work at but they are involved in the local Rainbow and Brownie units locally.