Find out more about your Governors

Andrew Patterson (Chair of Governors)
As Vicar of Whitley Chapel, I have been ex-officio a school governor and chairman of governors for more than 18 years.
I have learned ‘on the job’ and consider I have no particular relevant professional training or skills.
However, as pastor to this community I have an extensive knowledge of the people who live here, and a privileged access to their lives and homes.
This enables me to foster and maintain strong links not only between the school and the Parish Church, but also between the school and the wider community. This is also useful in my role as a critical friend for the Head Teacher.
It is a particular joy to be preparing young people for their marriage whom I first knew as pupils of our school.


Karen North (Head Teacher Governor):

I've been teaching for over 20 years, mostly in Berkshire, from Reception through to Year 8, in a variety of primary subjects and specialising in Art at KS3. Having grown up in Northumberland, moving away to attend University in Reading, I have returned to my beloved county and to the beautiful Hexhamshire area, and I am very much looking forward to starting my Whitley Chapel journey with you all. 


Victoria Rutherford (Parent Governor)

I'm Tori and I became a Foundation School Governor in 2019. Having lived in the area since 1999, where my husband and I married and are now bringing up our family. We have two small children, one of whom currently attends our school and another who will attend once she is old enough. 

After a BSc in Applied Marine Biology at Heriot Watt University, and an MSc in International Marine Environmental Consultancy from Newcastle University, I am now a Senior Environmental Consultant for the offshore renewables industry. 
I hope to bring some new ideas, my organisational and budgeting skills and contribute to the running of our school, something I am extremely passionate about as a key part of our community."

Christine Hilton (Staff Governor)

Following a degree in Italian and German at Bristol University I did voluntary service overseas in Kenya for 2 years as a volunteer teacher in a rural girls’ school.  On my return to England I worked for a diesel engine manufacturer and a company who sent service personnel to the oil exploration industry.

I did my PGCE at Aberystwyth University and taught in Birmingham for 13 years.  I moved to Hexhamshire in 2006 and have been teaching in local schools since then.  I have been a teacher at Whitley Chapel School since October 2015, and I love it.


Jane Wrighton (Foundation Governor)

I have lived with my family in Hexhamshire for over 27 years and am a retired teacher whose career began specialising in biology at a secondary level where I was head of department and had a pastoral role as a deputy head. After having three children I returned to teaching and became deputy head at Croft House School in Hexham. This was followed by 15 years of teaching, mainly at primary level, in Newcastle where I held senior roles of responsibility, including for the curriculum, science, special education and outdoor education. During this time I also gained an M.Ed in primary education, particularly studying special education, inclusion and the teaching of science. Since retiring I have enjoyed taking a more active role in the Shire and helped set up and continue to run the St Helen’s Baby and Toddler Group. I am strongly committed to the provision of a good education for all children and wholeheartedly support our school in the way that it provides a unique setting for our children to thrive and reach their full potential in a caring and happy environment.