Governors ~ Who's who?

Canon Mark O'Keeffe - Chair of Governors
EMAIL: mark.o'

Chair of Governors - responsible for RE and the Catholic Life of the school.

By being a governor, I hope to add a sense of cooperation between the parish and St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School. I am currently the episcopal vicar for schools within the diocese. I have a working knowledge of Plymouth CAST.

Nikki Hirst - Parent Governor

I became parent governor in January 2018. As a teacher of computing and business, I already have an involvement in secondary education.  However, it is now exciting to embark on supporting and understanding the primary sector and even better, in a school that has become so important to my family.

Although I am not Roman Catholic, I am a practicing Anglo Catholic and value the christian ethos that St Joseph’s represents .  I am proud to be joining the governing board at St Joseph’s.  I am always impressed by the considerate and caring nature of the St Joseph’s community: governors, students and staff.

I enjoy working with young people and try to help out where I can, I regularly volunteer and support a local junior choir.   I have been teaching in Plymouth at Stoke Damerel Community College since 2004 and recently moved to Tor Bridge High.  Before teaching I had a career in Marketing in London working for Thomas Cook, Ealing Council and the BBC. Since having children and as well as teaching, I have been working part-time as a marketing consultant, helping small businesses to get up and running

If you want to catch up with me after school, I collect my children on a Tuesday and Friday and am more than happy to speak to parents at this time.

Theresa Cookson - Foundation Governor responsible for SEND
Foundation Governor 
I am a married mother of two, born and brought up in the Cathedral Parish. My family has a long association with the Cathedral school, my dad and his siblings went to the school, as did I, and my uncle was caretaker for over 30 years. It is wonderful to be able to return to the school as the SEND governor and support Mr Dyson and his team at both The Cathedral School and St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School.

I worked for the NHS prior to having a family and for the last 14 years have worked in the Learning Support dept at Notre Dame where my main focus has been literacy and speech and language support. I believe that all children deserve the best quality of education so that they can thrive and achieve their best.

Mark Dyson - Executive Headteacher

I started at St. Joseph's as Deputy Headteacher in September 2015 before becoming the headteacher at The Cathedral School of St. Mary in January 2019. In September 2021, I returned to St. Joseph's and am now the Executive Headteacher across both schools. Our school governors work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure we offer the best possible education to our pupils through a catholic lens. We are always looking for people who are able to volunteer to become governors to help us move the schools forward. We currently have a vacancy for a parent governor so if you feel you have the skillset and the time to commit, please do let us know.

Megan Bresland - Co-opted Governor
I work for an educational recruitment company, supporting Primary Schools with any staffing needs across Plymouth. I have been in this role for the past 3.5 years and have worked closely with school across Plymouth CAST.

Prior to my role in education, I completed my BA Honours degree in Graphic Design. I have chosen to be a co-opted governor to learn more about primary education and how I can support The Cathedral School and St Joseph’s outside of my recruitment role. Although I am not a Roman Catholic, I am excited to learn about Catholic life.
Lesley Peacock - Vice-Chair of Governors responsible for safeguarding and Health and Safety

I am proud to be one of the foundation governors and have just taken the position of vice-chair. I also have responsibility for safeguarding.
I am a part-time registered nurse and a mum of 3. I have enjoyed the experience as a parent of being a part of my own children’s primary school journey.
I feel passionately that all children deserve an education that allows them to thrive, realise their full potential and open up opportunities to them. I am excited to be a part of the school family and look
forward to having the opportunity to support both the children and staff.

Nichola Chong - Foundation Governor, responsible for maths and English

I am currently a full-time homemaker having previously worked in education for 10 years and as a dietician. I have two children at Cathedral School. I am committed to the goal of achieving the best possible all-round educational experience for all pupils. I am also an active member of the Friends of School.
Tracy Cook - Foundation Governor 
I have been a part of the Cathedral and Cathedral family for many years. I attended the Cathedral school, as did my Mother and grandmother. 
It is now with great pleasure that I work at the cathedral School as a PSA (Parent support advisor) and have done so for the past 8 years. Until recently I also worked at Holy Cross primary school.
I am very happily married with 4 children, one attending Notre dame. I am very proud to be able to support some of our families The cathedral School, and take great pleasure in helping and supporting them and hope to offer support and guidance to St. Joseph's.
Lyn McLoughlin - Foundation Governor responsible for Pupil premium grants

I am currently employed as the Pastoral Assistant and safeguarding Rep for Plymouth Cathedral having previously spent the last 20 years in education as a teacher – 10 of these in Catholic Education) - this follows a successful career in mortgages and banking prior to starting a family.

I hope to bring this experience to my role as a Foundation Governor at the Cathedral School and St. Joseph's and act as a link with both schools to the parish.