Governors ~ Who's who?

Teresa Cussen - Chair of Governors

I have been a Foundation Governor at St. Joseph's since September 2013. I was elected Chair at the end of March 2016 having previously been one of two vice chairs with James Kelly. We chair alternate Governing Board meetings which take place monthly, help plan the priorities for the school and the agenda for the meetings.  I am also the safeguarding governor.


Governors are responsible for ensuring the School's clarity of vision , ethos and strategic direction; supporting the Head but at the same time  holding him to account for the educational performance of the school and its pupils  and overseeing the financial performance of the school making sure its money is well spent. At St Joseph's, we are committed to ensuring every pupil is able to achieve the best they can.


I was previously a parent governor when my three children who are now in their 20s, were at primary school. I was born and brought up in Plymouth attending Notre Dame High School. I have a strong sense of connection with St.  Joseph's which my mother and her brother and sister all attended a very long time ago.


I have worked as a solicitor for most of my working life specialising in family law, dealing with relationship breakdown and arrangements for children. I hope that I will be able to bring all the listening, negotiating and management skills which I have developed throughout my career to the governing board.  


If you need to contact me as the chair of governors please address correspondence to Teresa Cussen, Chair of Governors, St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Chapel St, Devonport, Plymouth PL1 4DJ. 

Sharon Selley - Parent Governor

I was first appointed Parent Governor in 2013 and transferred to becoming a Community Governor in June 2017. I am also the Maths link Governor. I have worked part-time for Babcock International since 2009 as a PA to the Director of IT/IM and also the Administration Office Manager to the Business Administration Apprentices. I previously worked for Toshiba for 23 years until made redundant in 2009


My daughter is a past pupil of St Joseph’s. I never forget that, as a Governor, my chief care and concern is the wellbeing, safety and education of our children. I love being a Governor and consider it a privilege to be in and around our school when the building is bursting with happy children! I very much enjoy helping to make the school a better place to learn and a welcoming place for parents to come into. I thoroughly enjoy this opportunity to serve the school and local community.

James Kelly - Vice Chair of Governors

I am Michael James Kelly and I am currently the vice-chair of governors for St Joseph’s. I was invited to be a foundation governor in September 2013 and have enjoyed being part of the school community since then. As I have become more confident on the governing body, I have taken on additional responsibilities and at present I am the link governor for Religious Education and English.

I am married to Fran (who works at St Joseph’s) and we have three sons who all attend Catholic schools within Plymouth.


I left the Royal Navy in 2015 after 32 years as a Weapons Engineer and am now employed as a Community Rugby Coach for the Royal Navy Rugby Union - a constituent body of the Rugby Football Union. I am lucky to be able to combine my great passion of rugby with my job. When not on the side of a rugby pitch I enjoy the beach or the moors or a good book.

Colette Darragh - Foundation Governor

My name is Colette Darragh and I am proud to be a Foundation Governor at St. Joseph’s RC School. I am also the link governor for Special Educational Needs.

I retired as Assistant Headteacher at Notre Dame School, Plymouth in August 2016 but still work in the school at IAG and Attendance Manager. I have worked at the school for a very long time and I know that I have taught a number of former St Joseph’s students over the years and some of the mum’s of students currently at St Joseph's!

I have spent all of my life involved in Catholic Education. As a student, myself, I attended RC schools and HE college. I have spent my working life in Catholic education as I believe profoundly in the difference our ethos can make to the lives of our young people. I enjoy being part of the St. Joseph’s community and look forward to meeting as many students and parents as possible during the year ahead.

Nikola Howells - Foundation Governor

My name is Nikola Howells and I am a foundation governor at St. Joseph’s Catholic
Primary School in Plymouth. I also hold the finance link and international link
governor roles. I work for finance at a transportation company and previously at a
power distribution company.

I am proud to be a governor to this school as the school’s ethos is evident within the
children. I have always believed in the school’s potential and I am delighted to be a
part of its academic success and continuous growth.

I also believe in giving children the best education within a healthy environment
both at home and school. Being a governor has given me the chance to help the
school in achieving this.

After the recent invitation for applicants to become parent governors two parents were successful. Nikki Hirst and Karen Pilkington will take up their positions in January 2018. Photos and pen profiles will appear soon.