Governor Profiles


Type of Governor

Term of Office Start

Term of Office Ends


Gill Donohoe – Chair








Gill has been a school governor since 2007, a parent governor at a local primary school for six years and a foundation governor at St Mary's since 2009. She is Chair of the pupil welfare committee, Nominated governor for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), Safeguarding and Child Protection governor and Training Link governor. Mum of three children, one of whom is a pupil at St Mary's. Gill has a background in finance having worked locally for an international charity for over 30 years. Currently employed by Lancashire County Council as a governing body adviser. Gill is a qualified swimming judge and officiates at swimming galas throughout the north west.


Stephen Mercer – Vice-Chair







Stephen is a Foundation Governor, Chair of Resources Committee, member of both Pay Committee and Staffing Review Committee. He's taught in secondary schools in Cheshire and Berkshire, and then worked as an education officer for Berkshire County Council. From 1990 until retirement in 2011, he served as a senior education officer with Lancashire County Council, in various posts with responsibilities including school funding and organisation, schools requiring special support, and special education. Stephen has experience as a governor in three other schools. He enjoys watching rugby, football and cricket.


Melanie Christie


Local Authority





Melanie is Regional Director, North West, for the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales) and in her role supports over 12,000 fully qualified chartered accountants and students in training across the North West, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man. She also sits on the Court of the University of Central Lancashire, is a member of the employer forum at Accrington & Rossendale College and is a local advisory board member for Growth Accelerator. In her free time Melanie enjoys reading, cooking, baking and long walks with her family and their dog.


Claire Dixon







Clare has professional experience of working with children & young people in health settings and also in higher education. Her job as a Clinical Psychologist currently involves working with children and young people with chronic illnesses and their families, at Alder Hey Children's Hospital. She also works as a Clinical Tutor at Lancaster University training clinical psychologists of the future. Clare is a parent of a pupil at St Mary's and is an ex-pupil of the school herself. When not on the M6 she enjoys travelling and being outdoors.


John Cobham







John taught construction at Preston College (formerly W. R. Tuson College) and worked at the college for 25 years 'retiring' 10 years ago as Dean of Academy of Construction & the Built Environment. After a period of 12 months or so as an education consultant John set up a Construction Training Centre in Leyland from which he eventually retired from in July 2015. Married with three grown up children, all of whom attended St Mary's Leyland John enjoys shooting, going out with his dogs, spending time with his poultry and tending to his large garden. John has been a Governor of SS Peter & Pauls, Mawdesley for over 30 years & has been Chair or Vice Chair for over 20 years. He joined the governing body of St Mary's in October 2013 and was invited to become a governor on the reconstituted board.


Rachel Ryan


Parent Elect





Rachel is a Global Software Asset Manager for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and has worked in IT for large corporate firms for the last 25 years.  Her experience covers many aspects of IT and management. Rachel has two teenage daughters one currently at St Marys. Another role she currently holds at AstraZeneca is the Diversity lead in IT and is member of the leadership team for Network of Women in the UK. In her spare time she enjoys the sport of CrossFit/Olympic weightlifting and also walking and hiking in the Lakes.



Racheal Boaler


Parent Elect







Claire Corris


Staff Elect




Claire has been a teacher of Mathematics at St Mary’s since 2003 and has progressed up the ladder from classroom teacher to Curriculum Leader.  She has seen school change a lot in her time here, and despite brief forays into teaching geography, RE and drama, remains passionate about encouraging the mathematical ability of all pupils for both their future studies and their everyday lives. Before passing the mantle on, she helped produce ten school productions which included training pupils in the basics of stage combat.  Away from school, Claire loves all thing theatrical but also football and ParkRun.


Phil Thompson









Foundation Governors appointed by the Archdiocese     Parent Governors elected by parents/carers of the school    Local Authority appointed by Lancashire County Council     Staff elected by St Mary’s Catholic High School employees