Meet the Governors
Maria Parker Foundation Governor
Chair of Governors
My name is Maria Parker and I am delighted to have been appointed Chair of Governors at our parish primary school. I am an "old girl" of Our Lady of Lourdes, I left to go to Christ the King in 1975!
I returned to Christ the King as Chaplain where I worked for 25 years before leaving to take on 2 roles - Parish Administrator for Birkdale Catholics and Catholic Chaplain at Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals and Queenscourt Hospice. My hobbies include knitting and, more recently, cake decorating. I am really looking forward to continue working with Governors, Staff and Parents.
I was educated at Notre Dame School in Birkdale and Digby Stuart Teacher Training College in Roehampton.
I started my teaching career in Reception in a Catholic Primary School in East London and after two years went to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) to teach in a Catholic mission school in the south of the country for eighteen months.
On returning to the UK I worked in a base for hearing impaired pupils within a Primary School in West London. During this time I was seconded for a year to train as a teacher for H.I. children in Twickenham. The remainder of my career was spent teaching in Units for H.I. in W. London and Hillingdon, the School for H.I. Children in Birkdale and as a peripatetic teacher in W. London.
I moved back to Southport on my retirement and live in Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
My interests include playing tennis, travel and gardening (incl. gardening on Rotten Row!)
I have been a Governor at Our Lady of Lourdes for 6 years. I began as a Parent Governor and am now the LA Governor. My son Henry is currently at OLOL and my two eldest children attended OLOL and also St Teresa’s infant school. As a mum I am very interested in education, especially making sure it is inclusive to all children. I am a Literacy & Reading Intervention teacher at Christ the King High School and previously had a career in business. I serve on both the Curriculum and Finance committees.
I was delighted to be appointed in February 2021 as a Foundation Governor for Our Lady of Lourdes RC Primary School. It is some years ago that both my daughters attended OLOL where they spent many happy years. As a Birkdale resident and a long time parishioner of St Teresa’s, the community is justifiably proud of the Catholic schools in the area.
My interest in Education, particularly between Early Years and age 11, stems not only from being a proud father and Grandfather but also from having a career in schools. As a teacher and later as a School Leader, I worked in a number of diverse communities, initially on the Wirral but in the main in Sefton. My particular interests have always been around how children learn best, the provision of an exciting and broad curriculum and parental involvement.
I have been retired since 2014 and along with my wife, have been keeping fit, supporting the family and pursuing our interests, although we are generally ‘ joined at the hip’.
Bruce Peter Hicks
I recently retired as Assistant Headteacher and Director of Music at Archbishop Beck Catholic College, Liverpool.
Prior to my appointment at Archbishop Beck Catholic College, I taught in the private and state sector of education in the UK and before that was Director of Music at Christian Brothers High School, Lewisham, NSW, Australia. Under my leadership the school ensemble was the most honoured wind ensemble in the state. I relocated to the UK in 1988, and have taught in three schools.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts from the Open University,Master of Arts, (OU), Master of Educational Management, Sheffield University, ALCM from London College of Music and an NPQH from the National College of School Leadership. I play piano, trombone and Euphonium. My professional affiliations include, member of the Executive Board of the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles (BASBWE), a committee member of the English Speaking Union, (ESU) and a member of the TMEA, Texas, USA. I am also Editor of the Winds Magazine for BASWBE. I havevadjudicated in Australia and have been guest conductor for numerous wind ensembles in the UK.
I am a strong advocate that young people need to be involved in live music making, and not to become passive listeners, but take the joy, skill and motivation throughout their lives.
I am also a member of a Governing Board of a Liverpool Primary school and a member of the local Catholic community here in Southport.
Father Atli Jonsson
Vice Chair and Foundation Governor
I was appointed parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Joseph in September 2004, and to St Teresa in April 2017. It goes with the territory of being parish priest to serve the parish school. I am committed, with the other foundation governors, to the Catholic ethos of our School and support staff and pupils in living and sharing the faith.
Originally from Iceland I have lived in the Archdiocese of Liverpool since 2000 after finishing my training for the priesthood in Rome. Unlike many priests I have never played golf but am good at cooking pasta!
(Rachel) Kate Laing (nee Baker)
After being educated at a Catholic girl’s school in East Sussex I gained a B.Sc (Hons) in Physiotherapy and worked in North Yorkshire, Edinburgh and, since 2009, Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Trust.
In addition to practicing physiotherapy I am the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists Steward for the Trust and the North West Regional Representative. I am also the Practice Education Facilitator responsible for ensuring quality placements for pre-reg non-medical Students within the Trust.
I have a daughter at Our Lady of Lourdes and my personal interests include travel and home improvements (not DIY!)
I am delighted to take on the role of Staff Governor at my school. I began my journey at OLOL in the year 2000 to 2010 teaching across Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, having previously taught at Crossens Nursery and St Gilbert’s Primary in Manchester. I then emigrated to New Zealand with my family and thoroughly enjoyed teaching out there as a Year 5 teacher, with my school having stunning views of the sea and access to its own pool! On my return, I taught in Year 1 at English Martyrs in Litherland and since 2012 I have returned to OLOL as Foundation Stage Leader and Reception Teacher and consider this school as my home! I feel very privileged to teach our Reception children as it is so important to get it right from day one. Our Foundation Team work hard to embed positive attitudes towards school and learning, in addition to setting the expectations for children’s behaviour and building sound understanding of key concepts such as reading and numbers. We ensure our children have fun while learning and share the children’s experiences in a weekly newsletter and more recently via Facebook page and Twitter.
I have 3 children who all attended this school and have fond memories of their time here. In my spare time, I love walking my dogs attending the theatre, particularly musicals and travel.
I am a parishioner at St Teresa’s and my three children all attended the nursery and infants school there before going on to Our Lady Of Lourdes school. I was Clerk to the Governors at St Teresa’s for about four years when my children were in primary school.
After university I worked as designer for an engineering company for about 8 years. I moved to Southport around 20 years ago when I got married and I currently work in business and payroll administration.
I like to walk my Jack Russell, called Blue, and think about all the things I’m going to do when I have more time!
I welcome the role of Parent Governor at Our Lady of Lourdes and look forward to the connections I will make with the school, parents and children. I have two children at OLOL and one at CTK, where I was educated and studied A Levels in English, Theology and onto University at Edge Hill. I am currently a Quality Assurance Assessor for Her Majesty’s Passport Office and run focus groups on inclusion and diversity. I welcome the principles I can bring to my Governor post ensuring love, live and learning are at the heart of what we strive for together!