Governors can be contacted via the Clerk to the Governors: email@example.com
Matthew P Lowe MBE MA RCDS
Chairman of the Governing Body and member of the Academic Committee
Matthew joined the Governing Body in 2018. After graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in English Language and Literature he was commissioned in 1985 and has served around the world, including operational commitments in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Pakistan. He commanded the Third Battalion The Parachute Regiment and organised the security training for the London Olympics. He is now the Chief of Staff of the Forces Pension Society and the chair of two other charities. He is married to Catherine and their daughters, Caroline and Suzie, both attended St Catherine’s Senior School between 2007-2015. Recreation: His hobbies include the theatre, rugby, and making beer.
Albert Alonzo BSc PhD
Chairman of the Development Committee and member of the Finance Committee
Albert joined the Governing Body in 2016. He is married to Philippa and they have two daughters, Antonia and Camilla who were both pupils at St Catherine’s. After reading Biochemistry at Imperial College London, completing a PhD in Immunology, and being awarded a Cancer Research Campaign post-doctoral research fellowship at The London Hospital Medical College, Albert embarked on a career in Italian finance which included heading up subsidiary companies in London and Milan for global firms. In 2006 he founded a start-up company developing web applications for the financial sector then took a sabbatical in 2010 having stepped down as finance governor at Barrow Hills School to assume the role of Bursar there until 2014 following a successful ISI inspection the previous year. Recreation: piano, opera, theatre, chess, bridge and walking.
John Blauth BA FRSA, MCMI, MRAeS
Development Committee, Early Years, the Bursary and Hardship Awards’ Committee and the Association Liaison Governor.
John joined the Governing Body in September 2018. He is a trained journalist, with a career across various media outlets including print, broadcast and digital. He left Fleet Street in 1998 and now owns an Editorial and Content Marketing agency in Guildford. Following school, he joined the Army and completed an in-service degree at London University (King's and Heythrop Colleges) reading Philosophy with Theology. He is chair of a media charity, and is a City of London Liveryman with the Coachmakers. He works with the Livery Schools Link, City & Guilds, Imperial College Makerspace Outreach programme, Kingston University Saturday Engineering Club and is involved with various engineering bursaries and scholarships. John is married to Kim and their daughter was at St Cat's from PP2 to U6. Recreation: John supports Fulham FC, as well as Burnley FC, and is a member of the British Racing Drivers Club.
Prof Finbarr Cotter MB, BS, FRCP(UK), FRCPath, FRCP(I), PhD
Finbarr Cotter joined the Governing Body in 2015. Finbarr is married to Rita and they have four children, two boys educated at Tonbridge School and two daughters , both of whom are past pupils of St Catherine’s. Finbarr graduated from the University of London and continued his medical training and practice at Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew’s. In 1991 he obtained his PhD in molecular biology of lymphoid malignancies whilst working for CRUK and moved on to work at the Institute of Child Health at the University College London and also a consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He participates in a number of national committees in the field of cancer genetics and has received fellowships and chairs including Harvard, Trinity College Dublin, Germany and University of Nebraska , Omaha. Recreation: Music- Playing trumpet in orchestral work and jazz. Sport, particularly supporting the Wales Junior lacrosse team and St Catherine’s golf whilst daughters were at school.
Mrs Penny Crouch LLB
Chairman of the Bursary and Hardship Awards’ Committee, Estate & Buildings Committee and Finance Committee
Penny Crouch joined the governing body in 2013. Penny is married to Chris and they have two daughters, both of whom were at St Catherine’s. Penny read Law at Exeter University and is now retired. After qualifying with Freshfields, she worked in the City, from 1997 with UBS where she was a Managing Director. She is Honorary Ward Clerk of the City’s Coleman Street Ward. Recreation: gardening, travel, tennis, skiing and reading.
Karen joined the Governing body in 2016. A graduate in English/Applied Linguistics from the University of Oslo and Sports Science from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences ( a scientific university with a national responsibility for research and education within the field of sports sciences). After her MA qualification, Karen completed a postgraduate degree in Marketing at Kingston University UK, which led to her work in marketing and advertising for several years. After attending courses at the Inchbald School of Design in London, Karen became an interior consultant with a specialist interest in property development. Karen has two daughters and a son - Helena, Isabella and Thomas – and both daughters are former pupils. During their time at St. Catherine's, Karen was the Auction Director for the Fundraising Ball that launched Project 125, the campaign to build the Anniversary Halls which subsequently opened in 2010/2011, the School’s 125th Anniversary year. She was also involved with Lacrosse fundraising events and two class yearbooks. Recreation: Water sports, skiing, cycling, hiking, travel and the arts.
Susannah Fitzsimons MA
Sue joined the Governing Body in April 2021. A graduate of Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, where she also played in the 1st Ladies Lacrosse team. Sue went initially into corporate finance with Baring Brothers. She then moved into financial PR with Valin Pollen before ending up at private equity firm Apax Partners, where she met her husband, Paul. They have five daughters, all of whom attended St Catherine’s. Recreation: Various sports - Skiing, Golf, Running, Tennis - and Reading.
Caroline joined the Governing body in 2020. Caroline graduated with an MA in History from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and also has a Bsc Psychology from the Open University. Her early career was spent in the British Army and included tours in Northern Ireland and Germany as well as a spell in Whitehall. After leaving the Army she became a management consultant working for both PricewaterhouseCoopers and British Telecom. She has spent the last 10 years as an Interim Programme and Change Manager working on large global transformation programmes for a range of organisations, mainly in manufacturing. She is also a Governor of a small preparatory school in Hampshire. She is married to James and they have two daughters, both of whom attended St Catherine’s. Recreation: Recreational walking, gardening and the theatre.
Harriet joined the governing body in September 2021. A graduate in Politics and Philosophy from Southampton, she has worked in several consumer businesses in buying, general management and business development roles. More latterly she has worked in HR with a focus on organisation design, culture and change management, supporting business and employees as they prepare and develop for the future workplace. She is an advocate of equal opportunities and believes in strengthening links between schools and the work place through career events, mentoring, speaker events and involvement with the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), where she has chaired the Employment and Skills Advisory Board. Harriet is married to Mike and they have two daughters and a son - both daughters are former pupils. Recreation: Cycling, travel and theatre when time (and Covid) allows!
Mrs Clare S Johnstone [Dr C S Higgens] MBBS (London), MRCS LRCP, MD ,FRCP (London)
Chairman of the Academic Committee and member of the Pastoral & Well-being, Governor responsible for Child Protection
Clare was appointed to the Board of Governors in May 2008. She is married to Laurence and has two children, Lucy (an old girl of St Catherine's) and James. She is a Consultant Physician in Rheumatology & General Internal Medicine and is a teacher for Imperial College Medical School having worked full time as an NHS doctor for the whole of her professional career. Recreation: Tennis and skiing, the theatre and musicals
Dr Janet F. McGowan MBBS FRCA (Janet)
Vice-Chair of Governing Body, Chairman of the Pastoral & Well-being Committee
Janet McGowan (formerly Craig) joined the Governing Body in 1995. A Consultant Anaesthetist at Eastbourne Hospital since 1988, she is also an Old Girl of St Catherine's, as were her mother (Dr Barbara Brown) and her grandmother. Janet left St Catherine’s in 1970 (at the same time as Miss Stoner) and went to Westminster Medical School and qualified in 1975. She has enjoyed a career in Anaesthesia and Pain Management and plans to continue working for a few more years! One son is already in medicine and another is just starting the training following in her footsteps! Recreation: Janet continues to enjoy singing in her spare time.
Andrew Pianca FCA
Andrew joined the Governing Body in 2017. He is married to Anne, a fellow chartered accountant and they have two daughters, one specialising in auditing and the other in tax. Andrew was Chief Executive of Crowe Clark Whitehill, chartered accountants, for 10 years and Chairman for 4 years. In that firm he established a team specialising in advising independent schools and also a team advising charities – these grew to be the largest such teams in any firm of accountants. He has advised independent schools for over 30 years, was technical adviser to the Bursars’ Association for over 20 years, a frequent lecturer at school and charity conferences and has published two books on charity governance, management and reporting. He is also a trustee of four other charities. Recreation: Golf, theatre and classical music.
Mrs Sue E. Shipway
Academic Committee, Estate and Buildings Committee, Health and Safety Committee and Pastoral & Well-being Committee
Sue joined the Governing Body in December 2004. Sue is married to Ralph and is a former parent of the School. They have five children, two sons and three daughters. All girls are former pupils of St Catherine’s and during their time in school Sue was Secretary of the PTA. Sue and her family lived in Petworth for 35 years and were involved with a number of local charities. Recreation: Sue and Ralph are now living in Somerset and are both enjoying spending time with their seven grandchildren, new garden and new walking areas.
Jonathan Tippett BSc FCA
Chairman of the Finance Committee and member of the Development Committee
Jonathan joined the Governing Body in 2002. He is married to Elizabeth and they have two children and two grand-daughters. After graduating from the University of Reading with a degree in Agricultural Economics he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Jonathan’s specialisms throughout his Chartered Accountancy career were farms and rural businesses, private clients and trusts. He retired in 2021. Recreations: Rugby, Cricket, Jaguar Cars and Agricultural, Military and early English History.
Denis Ulyet MRICS BSC
Chairman of the Estate & Buildings Committee and member of the Development Committee
Denis is married to Helja and has two grown up children. One works for the Scottish Judiciary and the other in the music industry. He studied for a Degree in Quantity Surveying at Bristol Polytechnic and moved to the Guildford/Godalming area, joining Parker & Browne in 1976. He has been a quantity surveyor for 41 years and a Member of the Royal Institute of Quantity Surveyors for 36 years. He was appointed a partner of Parker & Browne which subsequently became Synergy in 1991. He has considerable experience in the construction industry having been involved in projects in the educational, retail, medical and ecclesiastical sectors. He has been personally involved in a number of construction projects at St Catherine's as the School’s Quantity Surveyor since 2002 including the Anniversary Halls. Denis retired in March 2017. Recreation: Music, DIY, motorcycle riding and restoration.