ST LEONARDS COUNCIL
The Board of Governors for St Leonards are known as 'Council'. The Council is responsible for setting the overall policy for the School, determining its strategic direction and maintaining its financial strength. Together with the Headmaster and academic staff, Council determine the course in which the school operates, thus ensuring that pupils can achieve their full potential.
Council is directly responsible for the Headmaster and Bursar appointees, who report to Council on School performance on a quarterly basis.
Council members are selected for their individual skills and expertise, to preside on the Board and relevant sub-committees that deal with finance, property, marketing, appointments, school liaison, IT and the Junior School.
Our current Council members are as follows.
Chair: Professor Verity Brown BSc, MBA, PhD, FRSE
Verity is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews and a Visiting Professor of Psychology at Queen Mary University of London. She has held various management roles at the University of St Andrews, including Head of the School of Psychology & Neuroscience, Provost of St Leonard’s College and Vice-Principal (Enterprise & Engagement).
Alongside her academic appointments, she was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, for 17 years and remains on their Editorial Board. Between 2007 and 2012, she held a Royal Society Industry Fellowship at Merck Research Labs. She also has on-going ad hoc scientific and research consultancy roles with pharmaceutical companies and international research organisations. She is a past parent and has contributed to TOK classes in the school. Verity has been Chair of Council since March 2018 and sits on three committees: Marketing; Audit; Junior School Advisory Board.
Mrs Victoria Collison Owen MA
MR KEN DALTON BSC(HONS) CENG
Ken has more than 40 years’ professional consulting and contracting experience, having worked across the UK and internationally. Formerly Chief Executive, Global Building Engineering, at AECOM Technology Corporation, Ken retired in 2011.
Married with two children, his interests include golf, art, theatre, music and sport. Two of Ken’s grandchildren currently attend St Leonards Junior School.
Mr Neil Donaldson MSC
Neil was educated at Merchiston Castle School and went on to be a Governor of the school for 12 years and Deputy Chairman for four. His family timber business, based in Fife, is now 157 years old and Neil has extensive business experience. Neil is currently Chairman of the Investment Trust, Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon PLC. He is also Deputy Chairman of the R&A and a Director of the British Golf Museum . Neil previously filled the position of Chairman of Crieff Hydro Ltd as well as the Securities Trust of Scotland, and currently holds many senior positions within the UK timber industry as well as being involved with a number of charities.
Neil has been a member of Council since 2014. He sits on the Audit Committee and his family connections with St Leonards go back four generations.
WILLIAM GOLDSMITH BA(HONS) MSC FCCT FRSA
William is Head Master of St George’s School, Windsor Castle, a position he has held since January 2019. Prior to this, William was Head of St Leonards Junior School, and he and his family have their main home in St Andrews, returning for school holidays. Previous roles at Highfield School, Ludgrove and St Paul’s Cathedral School have provided experience in a variety of prep school settings. William graduated with combined honours degree in History and Music from Durham University and qualified as a teacher at the Institute of Education, Reading University. He has recently completed an MSc in Learning and Teaching at Oxford University. In addition to substantial experience in boarding (diploma in boarding leadership from the Boarding Schools Association), William has particular interest in curriculum development, outdoor learning, emotional wellbeing and mental health provision, and is a serving inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate. William sits on the IAPS (Independent Association of Preparatory Schools, of which St Leonards is member) Finance and Charities committees and will be Vice-Chair in 2020-2021.
He is a founding fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Married to Catherine, also a teacher, William has two sons, Arthur and Patrick.
Mrs Laura Jacks, JD
Laura is a Doctor of Jurisprudence and is licensed to practice law in Maryland, Texas and Washington DC. She started her legal career as a trial lawyer, litigating high-value environmental and commercial disputes. More recently, Laura has been working on the other side of the bench as a Judge in Travis County Probate Court in Austin, Texas. She continues to do visiting judge work in the mental health courts in Austin, and lectures full time in Business Law at Texas State University.
In June 2014, Laura and her husband Tommy moved to St Andrews with their two sons, Will and Harry, who both currently attend St Leonards. Laura joined the Council in March 2017, and sits on the Property and Education Committees.
Col Martin Passmore MA GCGI FRSA
Mr Philip Petersen BSc, MBA
Philip joined the Council in 2018, and brings with him a wealth of experience in commercial leadership and business development. Educated at Cranfield School of Management and Durham University, he currently holds the position of Commercial Champion/CEO of ParaFormance (University of St Andrews), providing commercial consultancy and leadership to the academic team behind this software tool. Prior to that, Philip founded a software start-up and took it to exit, has held director-level roles, and gained extensive international experience in EMEA and the US.
His interests include golf, fly-fishing, classical and jazz music, technology innovations, and angel investing.
Mrs Heidi Purvis BA PGCE
Heidi has been a parent at St Leonards for twelve years since moving to St Andrews with her husband Rob and family. Her five children have been educated from the Junior School through to the Sixth Form, with three still enrolled at the school. She was on the Junior School Advisory Board for three years and has been on the Council since 2015, sitting on the Marketing Sub-Committee. She also draws on the experience she has had as a teacher herself, having taught Modern Languages for several years at secondary level, and chairs the Education Sub-Committee.
Mr Sandy Richardson MA MBA FRSA
Sandy Richardson has been a member of the Governing Council since 2015. He has a professional background in fundraising in the education and cultural sectors. Formerly at Heriot-Watt University and National Museums Scotland, he is Development Director for V&A Museum of Design Dundee, which opened in 2018.
Sandy is a former pupil of New Park School, which, in 2005 was amalgamated with St Leonard's. He particularly takes an interest in the school's development plans and is keen to help fulfil them through engaging broader philanthropic support.
MRS FENELLA TAYLOR BA (HONS)
Since graduating from university Fenella Taylor has worked in Public Relations in many different sectors and countries. For the past 25 years she has run her own PR consultancy based near Glasgow, and now principally handles consumer PR for companies across the food and drinks sector, interiors, gifts, and home products. Fenella also undertakes charitable work, and is a Patron for Marie Curie Scotland, as well as sitting on the committee of the Women of Scotland lunch.
As a former pupil of St Leonards, and a mother of four boys, Fenella takes a keen interest in Scottish education. Fenella joined St Leonards Council in 2018.
Ms Charlie Wilson BSC, FCCA
Charlie is a second-generation Senior, and has served as Treasurer of the St Leonards Seniors Society since 2014. She is a qualified accountant and has held a number of operational and project management roles within the Finance sector over the last 20 years. She currently works for a boutique investment management firm in Edinburgh, heading up the middle office, and sits on The Investment Association’s Investment Operations Committee.
Charlie has represented Scotland in lacrosse, competing in two World Cups and a number of European Championships. Whilst no longer a player, she remains actively involved in Lacrosse Scotland, sitting on the Funding and the Hall of Fame committees. Charlie has been a Member of Council since April 2018 and sits on the Finance committee.