Our Governors

At PHC we are very fortunate to have a truly professional, committed and enthusiastic team of governors.


David is a Geography graduate of Bristol University (1981) and The University of Cambridge (2016) with a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. He joined Price Waterhouse in London and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1984. He was a partner at PwC for 19 years before retiring in 2013. He is a Trustee of Kidney Research UK. He received a kidney from his sister in 1987. David's three daughters attended Princess Helena College throughout their secondary education.

Sub Committees: Nominations (Chairman), Finance and General Purpose (Member), Remuneration (Member)

Appointed June 2008, Resigned 2012 and Re-Appointed March 2015.

Appointed Vice Chairman June 2015, Chairman September 2016.

Louise studied chemistry, physics and maths at A level and then Food Science at The University of Leeds. She worked briefly as a food packaging technologist for Reckitt Benckiser before becoming their Graduate Recruitment Manager. A career in HR with IBM followed and then a move to a City based IT recruitment company - The JM Group in 1986 where she was an owner and director until the end of 2015.

Her daughter was at PHC for 7 years until 2012 and during most of this period Louise was a committee member and then Chairman of the Parents’ Fundraising Committee. A keen runner, she has started a weekly parkrun in Panshanger Park near Hertford and is developing other parkruns across the county.

She is very committed to making sport open and inviting to all.

Sub Committees: Marketing & Development (Chairman), Nominations (Member) 

Appointed September 2014. Appointed Vice-Chairman September 2016.

Ian Graduated in 1987 from Aston University with a BSc in Business Studies and Mathematics. He joined Price Waterhouse in Nottingham and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1990. He was admitted to the partnership of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 1999 providing audit and business advice services to top tier companies across the globe. Ian is based in London but has worked extensively in a number of overseas territories. As well as client work, Ian was also the Chief Operating Officer of the PwC Assurance business responsible for finance, operations and people until 2013 when he became the CEO of the Top Tier Business. Ian’s daughter attended PHC and he was previously a Governor at Preston Primary School (2004 - 2009).

Sub Committees: Finance & General Purpose (Chairman), Remuneration (Chairman), Nominations (Member)

Special Responsibilities: Public Benefit

Appointed March 2009, Treasurer July 2012.

Educated at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham and at Salford University where he obtained a BSc in Civil Engineering. He is now a Consultant of the Structural Engineering Consultancy firm AKS Wardwhere he was a Director with an office in Hitchin. A conservation registered engineer he has sat on a number of advisory boards for national bodies and universities advising on construction issues. He is a Donation Governor at Christ’s Hospital, and has interests in music, Real Tennis, kayaking and cricket.

Sub Committees: Finance & General Purpose (Member), Health & Safety (Member) 

Special Responsibilities: Buildings and Estate

Appointed March 2012.

David Graduated in 1982 from Lancaster University with a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance. He joined Price Waterhouse in London and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. After spending several years working for audit, business advisory

and business recovery services David later became a member of the practice management team and spent several years as deputy CFO of PWC Eastern Europe. David joined Trowers & Hamlins, a major City and International Law Firm as Finance Director in 1998 and has a number of responsibilities as Board Member and Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration. David’s daughter also attended PHC.

Sub Committees: Finance & General Purpose (Member)

Faculty Link: Maths

Appointed July 2014.

David qualified as a banker (AIB) in 1968 and spent the later part of his career specializing in lending and sales and marketing. Since retiring from NatWest and moving to Preston in 2006, he has held a number of voluntary posts locally, including serving as a parish councilor for seven years and being a member of the Preston Trust.

David has had strong connections with Kingshott School and Princess Helena College (PHC) both of which were attended by his youngest daughter who was a head girl at PHC. David chaired the fund raising committees of both schools for a number of years and was appointed a governor of Kingshott School in 2016.

Appointed December 2016.

Manfred graduated from the University of British Columbia with an LLB and was admitted as a practicing Barrister and Solicitor in British Columbia. He then received an LLM from the University of London. Manfred went on to practice commercial litigation at Mishcon de Reya before becoming a Senior Counsel at BT Global Services. He has now established his own legal practice.

Appointed July 2011.

Nick of is Director of Development at the Mill Hill School Foundation which comprises four schools – pre-prep, prep, senior and international. He set up the development office there in 2006, prior to that he established the Foundation at Berkhamsted School. At Mill Hill, fundraising has two clear strands – bursaries and buildings. Over the years one or the other has been prioritised with specific campaigns. The highlight initiative currently is the A Better Chance bursary campaign.

Nick has been a Trustee of the IDPE and is now a Fellow. He regularly takes an active part in supporting people new to the profession and has consulted to numerous schools about the establishment of their development offices.

Sub Committees: Marketing & Development (Member)

Louise was educated at the Perse School for Girls, Cambridge and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. She trained as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in Scotland, Hong Kong and London, developing a special interest in Paediatric & Adolescent Gynaecology. She was appointed as a Consultant at Watford General Hospital in 2009.

In 2015 she decided to step away from medicine and spend more time with her 4 daughters. She is a keen swimmer, training with the St Albans Masters.

Sub Committees: Boarding & Pastoral (Member), Health & Safety (Member)

Special Responsibilities: Child Protection

Appointed December 2015.

Nigel lives locally and is a past parent. His elder daughter left PHC in 2005 and his younger daughter left in 2013. He has significant commercial experience in both sales and management and has worked predominantly in the frozen food sector. He is the Chairman of Pinguin Foods UK Ltd and was on the Board of the Harpenden Building Society for 18 years until he retired in December 2014.

Sub Committees: Health & Safety (Chairman), Boarding & Pastoral (Member), Finance & General Purpose (Member), Nominations (Member)

Special Responsibilities: Boarding, Health & Safety, Child Protection

Appointed September 1998.

Felicity lives locally has had a strong relationship with Princess Helena College both as a parent to two daughters who attended the school, and as a member of the PHC PFRC for seven years. Her business career for over 35 years has been as a Management Consultant to owners of Stately Homes and large Country Houses to develop these magnificent properties into viable businesses through conception, management and marketing.

In addition to generating business income in order to sustain a future for these properties, she has worked on development of new business opportunities from converting a derelict farm into a Business Park with 24 office units to running an employment agency for household staff. She has been responsible for organising conservation of properties, fine art and furniture. She is also a Trustee to St Mary’s Church in Hitchin and is married to Edmund, a local Architect.

Sub Committees: Marketing & Development (Member)

Faculty Link: Creatives

Appointed July 2014.

Mrs Jane Thomas MA, MEd, PGCE

Jane Thomas was educated at Tormead School in Guildford. She studied Geography at Queen’s College, Cambridge University and then completed a PGCE at Sheffield University. Jane has worked in the independent sector in a variety of academic, pastoral and co-curricular roles. These have included being a resident tutor in a boarding house, being a Head of Department and a Housemistress of a girls’ day house. On the sporting front, having rowed and coxed for her college Jane has in the past coached rowing. Jane has a keen interest in outdoor education and has at various times been a group leader on a number of British Schools Exploring Society expeditions to Northern India, the Himalayas and Krygyzstan.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Jane holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership and as Vice-Principal Academic at King’s Ely is responsible for overseeing the academic organisation and provision for the whole school. She has advised schools on their provision for the most able pupils. She also sits on the governing body of a 11-18 MAT school as well as occasionally tutoring for HMC on their Independent Schools Qualification in Academic Management. 

Sub Committees: Education (Chairman)

Faculty Link:

Appointed October 2018

Mark Seymour was educated at Blundell's in Devon. From there he went to Loughborough, where he qualified as a teacher while playing cricket for Kent CCC. His first teaching post was in Kent, before he joined Haileybury, where he taught History, coached Games and also immersed himself in the boarding community as Housemaster of Lawrence House. Mark left Haileybury in 2000 to lead Cargilfield Prep School and from there moved to Winchester House School in Northamptonshire as Head in 2003. After eleven successful years there he left Winchester House to join Cognita in 2014, as an Education Executive, responsible for eight UK prep schools. Mark joined Kingshott School in Hitchin in April 2016 as Headmaster.

Sub Committees: Education (Member)

Faculty Link:

Appointed October 2018

Ms Carol Gysin FCIS MA (Oxon)

Carol was educated at the Perse School for Girls, Cambridge, and the University of Oxford (modern languages). She worked in investment banking in London and Geneva in the 1980s and then qualified as a chartered secretary whilst taking a career break to raise a family (3 children). After working as a company secretary in Cambridge and London for 20 years, in 2017 Carol was appointed to her current role as managing director of R.E.A. Holdings plc, a UK listed company with agricultural operations in Indonesia. 

Carol is enthusiastic about fitness generally (inter alia, skiing, yoga, hiking and dance), musical theatre, opera, travel and feminist/equality issues.

Sub Committees: 

Special Responsibilities:

Appointed October 2018.

Rachel attended Princess Helena College from 2005-2012 and became Head Girl in 2011. She studied Politics with International Relations at the University of York and University of Western Cape, South Africa. Since graduating in 2015, Rachel has worked as a risk and strategy consultant, specialising in crisis management, organisational resilience and transformational change projects. Having been a boarder at PHC, Rachel has a particularly keen interest in pastoral care and safeguarding. Rachel also loves to cook and enjoys scuba diving (though only in warm waters!).

Sub Committees: 

Faculty Link:

Appointed January 2019

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