Governors

Chairman: Freddy El Turk

Governor since 2018

Mr Freddy El Turk has a diverse background and wide experience in Business, Education & Technology, with his main focus being on Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning.

Having acquired his Technical & Business qualifications from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, the University of Oxford and Insead Business School, he is the Founder of Vizidox Solutions Limited (VDX), a complete solution to issuing and tracking official records using the blockchain technology. He is also the founder of Morphotech Limited, a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) development company, as well as being the Global head of technology for the largest creative media college, SAE Institute. Throughout his career, Mr Elturk’s forward-thinking and relentless passion for advances in futuristic technology have earned him respect and admiration amongst industry peers and we are fortunate to have his skills at our disposal. 

Guy Ayling, MA 

Governor since 2018

Guy was educated at Rugby School and the University of St Andrews. He is currently Head Master and Principal of the Mount Kelly Foundation in Tavistock, and prior to moving to Devon had been Warden of Llandovery College for seven years. Guy met his American wife Heather whilst working in Japan and they have three sons. Guy still plays a little cricket and fives but most enjoys walking with his Labrador Elvis.

Guy is a member of HMC and sits on the main Committee of the Society of Heads.

Committees: Education

Dr Lesley Ann Bergmeier, PhD, CBiol, MRSB, FHEA

Governor since 2017

Lesley was born in Abingdon and was educated at both St Edmunds and Our Lady’s Abingdon. She has spent all her career working in the field of Mucosal Immunology; first at Guy’s Dental School (now part of King’s College London) and more recently at the Institute of Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, where she holds the title of Reader in Oral Immunology. Lesley has published extensively and was awarded the Draper’s prize for excellence in teaching in 2012. She has considerable experience teaching at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels and in supervising of PhD and MSc research students. Lesley has been Programme Lead for the MSc in Experimental Oral Pathology since 2009. She served on the Self-assessment team for the Institute of Dentistry Athena SWAN Bronze award application (Granted 2013, renewed in 2016) and was responsible for the Institute Newsletter.

Lesley is married to Bob and has two step-daughters. She is a keen Choral singer and is a member of the Buckingham Choral Society.

Andrea Freeman, BEd

Governor since 2010

Andrea is the Principal of Oxford Media & Business School.  After studying Education at university, Andrea has spent her entire career in Education and Training, specialising in Communication and Presentation Skills including Personal and Career Development. In addition to teaching, she has worked for numerous examination boards as an Examiner and Principal Moderator as well as writing various articles for business magazines. Andrea has also co-authored a students’ text book on Word Processing.

She is a qualified Myers Briggs consultant delivering the MBTI programme to all her students and an NVQ Assessor and Internal Verifier.

Andrea lives in Northmoor with her husband and has three daughters the youngest of which was a pupil at both the junior and senior school of OLA.

Committees: Marketing and Communications

Rev James McGrath, STB, MA

Governor since 2010

Father Jamie is the Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Edmund Abingdon. He was educated at Montfort College, Romsey, Hampshire, and studied Philosophy and Theology at the Missionary Institute, London, obtaining a degree from Louvain University, Belgium.

Ordained in 1982 his early priesthood was spent in Malawi, in central Africa, before joining Portsmouth Diocese in 2000. In 2013 Fr Jamie was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Education by Bishop Egan of Portsmouth Diocese.

Leia Mills

Governor since 2018

Leia is currently Group IT Director for Activate Learning Group. Technology was not however her first love. After school, Leia studied and completed a degree in literature; originally planning to become a literature lecturer. In her last year of a literature degree she discovered SQL and her love of working with computers began. Several years later, Leia completed an IT and Computer degree, and is now studying for a Cyber Security Masters.

For Leia learning is one of the best uses of a person’s time. It introduces you to different worlds and can really transform your life and mind.

Francis Peck 

Governor since 2018

Educated at Biggleswade Grammar School, Francis joined the John Lewis Partnership in London as a Management Trainee from School where he progressed up to Department Manager. He moved on to join Habitat in its start-up period leaving as Logistics Director.

His next role was with EXEL Logistics as Managing Director of Non-Food Operations, moving within EXEL to Managing Director of International Development in the Far East setting up new businesses.

Francis subsequently, joined The Corps – an International Support Services group – as Chief Executive.

On retirement Francis took on a Non-Executive Chairman’s role for 2½ years for a major Bank until the sale of the company was completed. He has also acted as Business Advisor for Young Enterprise at OLA.

Francis is married with a grown-up family. He is a keen golfer at Frilford Heath Golf Club.

Sister Penny Roker, MA (Cantab)

Governor since 2014

Sister Penny Roker worked as a teacher for 22 years and was on the Staff of Our Lady’s Convent Junior School from 1995-2000 as Head of History and Senior Mistress. Sister Penny wrote the history of the school entitled Children of Mercy, published in the millennium year. Since leaving Abingdon in 2000 she has worked as a prison chaplain, counsellor, spiritual director, retreat director and writer. Sister Penny is currently employed as a school counsellor by a Catholic Comprehensive school in South East London. She lives in Community in Eltham with three other Sisters. Their Convent is the Formation House for the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy.

Committees: Education

Helen Ronaldson

Governor since 2010

Helen Ronaldson was educated at Our Lady’s Convent School, Abingdon and Combe Bank School, Sevenoaks, Kent.

Helen was born in Abingdon and spent time in an Army environment both in the UK and Germany. She is now retired, but remains active in local duties and Charities: she is a Governor and Past Master of Christ’s Hospital, Abingdon, President of the Abingdon Inner Wheel, and Chair of Abingdon Monday Club for mentally and physically handicapped adults.

She is married to Chris with two daughters, a stepdaughter and stepson, and three grandchildren.

Committees: Marketing and Communications

Peter B Williams, MA

Governor since 2017

Peter was educated at Tain Royal Academy and The University of St. Andrews. He went on to teach in Scotland and at The European Schools in Culham and in Luxembourg. Following that, Peter lectured in Economics at The University of Edinburgh, also in Copenhagen DK. and Auckland N.Z. He is experienced in Teacher Training, International Education Exchange Programmes and The International Tracing and Messaging Service of The British Red Cross. A former Honorary Treasurer of Oxfordshire Lawn Tennis Association and of Abingdon Passion Play, Peter is married with three children and has a keen interest in sport and is a regular golfer.

Committees: Education

Dr Jacky Woodman, MB, CB, DiplObst, MRCOG, DPhil(Oxon)

Governor since 2018

Jacky was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Educated at the co-ed Catholic St Augustine Primary, she spent three years at the girls’ only, non-segregated St Mary’s Catholic Junior High School, Cape Town – her happiest school years – enabling her to fulfil her academic potential. Her two years at a racially segregated state senior high school were not particularly happy but enabled her to acquire the required subjects for studying medicine at university.

Jacky completed her MBChB degree at Stellenbosch University in 1991. She worked for two years at a district general hospital in Paarl before working in North Wales. She started her DPhil in Clinical Medicine at University of Oxford in 1996, completing her research in premature labour in 2000. She subspecialised in urogynaecology in Sydney, Australia 2003 – 2005 and completed her membership exams at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 2006. Jacky obtained her Certificate of Completion of Training in 2009 and started her first consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecology post in Coventry in June 2009.

Committees: Education