Our Lady Of Furness Catholic Federation

Our Lady Of Furness Catholic Federation

Lovingly we Learn in Harmony

  1. Federation
  2. Governors
  3. Governor Profiles

Governor Profiles


Isabel O’Donovan.

Category of governor:  Foundation Governor / Chair of Governors.

Term of office: 28 June 2019 - 26 June 2023.

Work: I have been a full-time GP working in Barrow for the past 20 years.

Governance experience: I have been a foundation governor at St Mary’s prior to the Federation and have now been a Governor in the Federation for the past 3 years.  I am also a parent Governor at UVHS. 

Hobbies and interests: I enjoy cooking, travelling, my 5 children and 2 dogs.  I am trying to get better at Orienteering – a sport my children all love!  

Links to the school/area:  My children all went to St Mary’s  - a total of 35 children years! I have lived near Ulverston since we moved here in 1996 and worked in Barrow all of that time. 

Why did you become a governor?   

I come from a family of teachers and head-teachers so passion about education seems to be in my genes. I want young people to be ambitious for themselves; to have opportunities and aspirations and to be confident that they can find a place for themselves in a very difficult and fast-changing world.  Our education system, primary and secondary, has a vital role in that development and I love playing a very tiny part, trying to make sure it is as good as it can be. 

Hazel Ord.

Category of governor: Foundation Governor.

Term of office: 9 November 2018 to 8 November 2022. 

Work: Retired (School Science Technician).

Governance experience: Support Staff Governor Parkview School Barrow 1997 - 2006.

Hobbies and interests: Singing. Playing the harp. Folk music and Dance. Crafts (sewing, knitting).

Links to the school/area: I have lived in the area for 45years. I have 4 children all of whom attended St Mary’s Catholic Primary 1981 – 1998 during that time I was an active member of the PTA. I became a Catechist for First Holy Communion working with parents and guardians 1994 – 2011. Since 2006 some of my grandchildren have attended St Mary’s with one of them currently in year 5.

Why did you become a governor?  I became a governor to continue my connection with the school so that I can help to maintain the excellent ethos the school has always had. I am grateful for the moral grounding that the school has given to my children and my grandchildren and want to help to provide that for others.

Mary Page.

Category of governor: Foundation Governor/ Vice Chair of Governors. 

Term of office: 9 November 2018 - 8 November 2022.

Work: Retired.

Governance experience:

I was a governor of my children’s primary school in Bolton during the 1990s.

Associated to the governing body when I was a deputy head teacher in Preston.

Governor of St Bernard’s Catholic High School where I was headteacher.

Worked for the Cumbria Learning Improvement Service where I advised and supported governing bodies across the West of the county.

 Hobbies and interests:

Walking, reading, knitting, singing and more recently, cycling, learning to paint and looking after my two grandchildren.

Links to the school/area:

I live in Baycliff and attend St Mary’s Church in Ulverston. I was head teacher at St Bernard’s Catholic High School and have taught in Catholic schools for 20+ years.

 Why did you become a governor? To support Catholic education in the area.  

 Laura Byrne

 Category of Governor: Headteacher. 

 Term of office: 1 January 2021 - until employment with the school ends. 

 Work: St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.

 Governance experience: 2 years as Staff Governor and 1 year on sub- committee (Staffing and Curriculum). 

 Hobbies and interests: Spending quality family time, camping, live music, theatre, dance, swimming (including wild swimming) and education. 

 Links to the school/area: I have 2 children that attend St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. I have taught at the school since September 2018.

 Why did you become a Governor? I became a Governor when I took on the role as Deputy Head. I wanted to gain further insight into the governance of the school and Federation. 

Rachel Jewell

Role: Clerk to the Governors.

Work: I have been working as Clerk for the Federation since 2016. I also work as Clerk for other Catholic primary and secondary schools in the Furness and Millom areas. 

My role is to provide procedural, legislative, administrative and organisational support to the Governing Body to ensure that they are meeting their statutory duties and working in accordance with legal frameworks.

My previous work experience includes sales and sales management with local and regional newspapers including Cumbria Newspapers and the Manchester Evening News. 

 Hobbies and interests:

I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, cinema and music. 

 Links to the school/area:

I have lived in Ulverston most of my life and have two children, one of which currently attends St. Mary’s school. 

Paul Lewis.

Role: Business Manager.

Work:  I began working for the Furness and Millom Catholic Primary Schools Cluster in January 2019. Prior to that I spent well over 20 years working in the public sector, most recently for Cumbria County Council, Children’s Services.

The key element of my role is to ensure good financial management across the cluster, establishing efficient and effective systems and procedures to ensure best value is obtained while maintaining a high quality learning environment in each school. As part of the schools’ leadership team I have lead responsibility for strategic planning, decision making and policy setting in financial and related matters.

Hobbies and interests: I am an avid fan of most sports and music. I enjoy travelling, learning about different cultures and trying different cuisines, particularly anything spicy!

Links to the school/area: I have lived with my family on Walney for 15 years (my wife originates from the area).