Meet the Governors
Peter Norrie - Foundation Governor
Chair of Governors
Peter joined the Full Governing Body in 2004 and was elected onto the newly constituted body as a Rutlish Foundation Governor in July 2015. As chair Peter is a member of all the governing body committees. He is also a governor of the Ricards Lodge High School and Rutlish School 6th form, RR6, joint venture.
Peter is Chair of The Rutlish Foundation Charity and was President of the Old Rutlishians’ Association in 2010 & 2011. He is also a former pupil of Rutlish School.
Peter qualified as a teacher in Mathematics in 1980 & taught for two enjoyable years. Searching further challenges, he completed an MBA in 1982/83 and started a career in the City of London in January 1984 until retirement in September 2014. His final assignment for Rabobank was to manage down the Bank’s legacy portfolio arising from the financial crisis in 2008.
Laura Howarth - Headteacher
I began my post as Headteacher at Rutlish School in September 2019. I am a teacher of Physical Education and Science with 26 years’ experience, including 15 years as part of outstanding school leadership teams. I hold the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers and a Master’s Degree in Sport Science.
I have high expectations and encourage a climate that promotes high standards and mutual respect. Staff continually strive for excellence so that students have high quality learning experiences through a broad and balanced curriculum and enrichment activities.
This is a comprehensive and inclusive school that challenges all students to reach their potential.
Mazhar Ali - Parent Governor
Vice Chair of Premises Committee
I am delighted to serve Rutlish School as a parent governor. As a former pupil, it has been a real privilege to be elected and to be able use my professional qualifications as a town planner to help the staff and my fellow governors with improving the estate and dealing with ongoing governance matters.
Stan Coats – Foundation Governor
I have lived in Raynes Park for 25 years. I am a Project and Programme professional and I have worked in the health, central civil government and the local authority sectors. I am currently a director of a health infrastructure management consultancy that I established with 4 ex-colleagues in 2017.
Previously, I worked for a couple of consultancies and prior to that I worked for the Ministry of Justice managing the portfolio of PFI/PPP projects established to provide court buildings. I have also been involved in a number of reviews of PFI projects.
I have been a Rutlish Foundation Trustee for just over a couple of years.
I have coached mini, junior, youth rugby at Old Ruts and currently co-manage the U21 team. My youngest son Rory attend Rutlish School until 2016.
Steve Christinson - Parent Governor
I was elected as parent governor in 2019 and have three sons at the school.
I have an honours degree in Electrical Engineering / Computer Systems and a Science degree in Computer Science and have worked as a professional software engineer since 1992 in multiple industries including electrical power, oil and gas, transportation, telecommunications and most recently financial services. Over this period I have lived and worked in Australia, USA and the UK as well as spent time on site in Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. I am currently employed as the CTO at ITRS Group in London, managing software development teams in the UK, USA, Spain, Sweden, France and the Philippines.
I take a special interest in the IT program at the School and seek to provide links into the industry. I also have special interest in the school's musical and sporting programs, both of which are personal passions."
Tom Clifton- Co-opted Governor
Chair of Curriculum
Tom was co-opted to the Governing Body in February 2016. He is chair of the Curriculum Commitee and a member of Inclusion Committees. Tom and his family live locally in the Raynes Park area. Tom works in London for KPMG where he has been for the past five years.
Stella Croissant - Co-opted Governor
Stella was elected as parent governor in 2002 when her two sons were students at Rutlish. After completing her 4 year term in that capacity she was co-opted on to the Governing Body. Stella is a member of the Curriculum, Personnel and Finance Committees. She was previously a member of RR6 – the joint 6th form committee with Ricards Lodge High School where her daughter attended.
Stella worked in a bank before starting her family and has since then devoted her time to volunteering as a governor. She has served on the Board of several Merton Primary Schools and was the Chair of the Management Committee of the Pupil Referral Unit.
She is currently Chair of Governors at Liberty Primary School and works as a teaching assistant at a Kumon school in Wandsworth. Stella fervently believes that every child deserves the best education possible and is proud to serve as governor at Rutlish.
Sam El-Jouzi - Associate Member
Sam was co-opted to the Governing Body in June 2019 as an Associate Member of the Premises Committee. Sam is a chartered civil engineer at Jacobs, and is a project and programme manager with extensive experience in the management of infrastructure and building projects. Sam will use his knowledge of working with local authorities, managing stakeholders, and facilities management to help the premises committee in its dealings with Merton Council and their PFI contractors.
Sam is also a member of the Old Rutlishians and has been coaching the football team at Old Ruts for the last three years, the current team in the U13s age group (year 8) has 10 of its 15 players all at Rutlish School.
Marcia Graham - Staff Governor
Marcia was elected as staff governor in 2018 and she is a member of the Curriculum and Inclusion Committee. As a staff governor she represents staff to present their views reasonably and faithfully.
Marcia has worked at Rutlish for the past 13 years as a teacher of ICT and Business Studies. As well as curriculum teaching, Marcia is also a well-established Head of Year, taking her third cohort through to GCSE.
Prior to teaching, for 10 years Marcia worked in the banking IT industry for NatWest. After which she resided in Munich, Germany, working on merging IT systems after acquisition for Compaq/Hewlett Packard.
Following her IT industry profession in Germany, Marcia returned to the UK to embark on a degree in Psychology which enabled her to fulfil a long awaited desire to work with young people. For leisure, Marcia plays tennis regularly at Cranleigh Lawn Tennis & Social Club.
Ana Mijic - Parent Governor
Ana was elected as parent governor in 2017, and her two sons are students at Rutlish. She is a member of the Curriculum and Rutlish School 6th form (RR6) committees.
Ana has a first class degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. She obtained a masters degree with distinction in Hydrology for Environmental Management from Imperial College London in 2009 and a PhD in Earth Science and Engineering from the same university in 2013. After graduating she stayed at Imperial, where she works in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a Senior Lecturer in Water Management.
Her projects involve fundamental and applied research on the link between water cycle and sustainable development, with case studies in the UK, India, Malaysia and South Africa.
Graham Mills – Co-opted Governor
Chair of Inclusion
Currently Chair of Inclusion and a member of the Curriculum Committee and RR6 Joint Strategic Committee. Graham was first appointed onto the Governing Body in 1999 and he was Chair of Governors from 2002-2007.
Graham has a long association with the School as he and both his brothers attended the School as did his late father. His father was previously a Governor.
He is a strong supporter of the Old Rutlishians Association where he oversees junior cricket.
Graham has a BA in Economics and Econometrics from Newcastle University and was trained as an Internal Auditor. He is now semi-retired but was working for the DTI when he retired having previously worked in the retail sector.
Simon Sapper–Co-opted Governor
Chair of Personnel
Vice Chair of Finance
Simon was first elected as a parent-governor in October 2015, and became a co-opted governor in 2019. He is a local resident and also works in the area.
Simon has previously chaired Education Appeals and Exclusions Panels for the local authority, and set up a local after-school child-care scheme.
He is currently chair of the Personnel Committee, vice-chair of the Finance Committee and he also sits on the Premises Committee.
Mike Stallard– Foundation Governor
Chair of Finance Committee
Vice Chair of Finance Committee
Mike has lived within 100 yards of the School for the last 25 years and is delighted to also be a Governor of a Merton Park school. He is Chair of the Finance Committee and is particularly interested in the sporting and music sides of school life.
As Chair of Rugby at the Old Rutlishians he is always very proud to see many Rutlish boys representing the Club on a Sunday and encourages all boys and parents to come to the Club either to play sport or just socialise."
Nicola Thompson – Foundation Governor
Vice Chair of Curriculum
Nicola joined the Full Governing Body in June 2015 and she sits on the Curriculum, Premises and Inclusion Committees.
Nicola has lived with her family in Wimbledon for some 20 years. Her two children attended local state primary schools and Rutlish School and Ricards Lodge High School. She graduated in Spanish and French from Cardiff University, and is a journalist by profession. She has worked for news organisations including The Press Association, Associated Newspapers, News International and Hearst Magazines.
Nicola runs a digital content agency specialising in health and wellbeing, and delivers an award-winning healthy workplace consultancy service on behalf of Merton Chamber of Commerce and Merton Council.
Nicola is a keen cyclist, runner and home baker, and a passionate advocate for healthy lifestyles. Her areas of responsibility as a governor include school catering, and curriculum provision for Rutlish's high-achieving gifted and talent cohort.
Simon Withey - Local Authority Governor
Vice Chair of Governors
Chair of Premises
Simon was appointed to the Full Governing Body by the local authority in October 2012 and was reappointed in 2016. Simon is Chair of the premise Committee and sits Finance and Personnel Committee.
He is currently involved in the running of a UK wide automotive based business and a software development company.
Simon is also Chair of Governors for a local primary, Wimbledon Chase School.