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Canada Hill

About the Governors

Each of our school Governors is shown below. If you would like to find out more about the Governor's Business interests or would like to bring something to the Governors attention please contact



Ruth Maker

Parent Governor, Chair, Finance Committee, Head Teachers Appraisal Committee, Teachers Pay Committee, 2nd Committee, Lead Governor Personnel and Curriculum.

I was elected as a parent governor in September 2017 and became Vice Chair of governors in September 2019 and Chair in September 2021. 

My son started Canada Hill in September 2014 and has thrived since starting at Canada Hill. I feel privileged to be a school governor and until recently I was also a member on the Friends of Canada Hill (FCH) fundraising team, helping out at events and school fairs, getting to meet the children and their families.

I enjoy my role as governor immensely, I feel passionately that all children deserve a good education and have a positive experience within the school environment.  It is a very challenging time for everyone, and I welcome this opportunity to continue to help the school succeed for the benefit of all our children, representing parents as well as supporting the Head Teacher and staff in decisions that will affect our children's education now and for years to come.



Samantha Simmons

Co-opted governor, Vice-Chair, Member of Finance Committee, 1st Committee

Lead Governor Parent & Community, Data, SIP (Quality of Education)

I joined the Board as a Parent Governor in Autumn 2018, whilst my two boys were still at Canada Hill. Although they are both now at secondary school, I remain committed to positively contributing to work of the Board of Governors and supporting the Head Teacher and school team to ensure that each and every pupil at Canada Hill receives a high quality of education in an inspiring, caring and safe environment. I also recognise the importance of staff well-being to enable them to deliver this high standard and representing a parent perspective.

I have worked as a Procurement and Project Management specialist for over 30 years, live in Ogwell with my family and am an active member of St. Bartholomew’s Church and Newton Abbot and Ogwell Parish Parochial Church Council. I also serve as Assistant Secretary for Ogwell Youth Football Club. In my spare time, I like to spend time with family and friends and when possible curl up with a book. I am passionate about the positive impact of reading regularly with children, encouraging them to read independently and the sheer joy that can be found from a good story!


Delphine Knott

Headteacher, Ex Officio Member

I have been the Headteacher at Canada Hill Primary School for the last 17 years and have seen the school go from strength to strength. I work with a fantastic staff team in the school and we have the support of a dedicated and committed governing body. I’ve also had the privilege of working with several children and their families and one of the special qualities of Canada Hill, is the family feel we have maintained as part of our ethos. As well as being the Headteacher, I have experienced Canada Hill as a parent, with my son having come to the school – he’s now at Secondary school. He used to delight in telling me about “Miss Knott said this…in assembly” and I wondered if I had made the distinction between me as Mum and me as the Headteacher a little too much!

I have the strategic overview as well as the day to day running of the school and I love the challenge of always looking to see how we can make the school even better. I also work with the school’s PTA, Friends of Canada Hill and never fail to be wowed by their passion for supporting the school in raising much needed funds. The support of the parents in schools is fundamental for children’s success, this is a partnership between school and parents and I most definitely see it as a privilege to be working with the parents and children.

In my spare time I like to go out walking with our two dogs, I enjoy being on the water, be it in a canoe, on a paddleboard or boat and I most definitely enjoy a great book.


Mrs Emma Cully - Co-opted governor, SENDCo

I am new to Canada Hill as a Governor but I was a staff governor at my previous school. I enjoy being a part of the governing body as it makes sure that I am informed about the wider issues affecting school, not just the things I experience every day, as part of my teaching role.  I am the SENDCo and being a governor also allows me the opportunity to share what is happening at school with the governors, as stakeholders in the school.

I work closely with the governor responsible for SEND and together, we make sure that policies and procedures are in place and are adhered to, to support all of the children within the school but especially those with additional needs. Many of the important decisions affecting our school are made by the governors and I feel privileged to be able to share my 15 years of educational knowledge and experience with the team making these decisions. It is an honour to be a part of this team, working hard to ensure that everyone in our school community is valued, in our mission to support the children of Canada Hill to reach their full potential.  

In my spare time, I enjoy walking, visiting places I have never been before and reading    


Denise Smith - Co-opted (Staff), Yr5/6 Teacher

I joined Canada Hill in September 2004 as a Year 5/6 teacher and became a school governor in 2010. Aside from my role as Year 5/6 Team Leader and History Co-ordinator,  I also run the School Council. Over an academic year, the School Council will meet with members of the Governing body and will attend a Governors meeting to discuss and review what the School Council have achieved. It is a real pleasure to be part of the School Council when working alongside the Governing Body, to ensure the children’s voices are heard and acted upon. For many years I have enjoyed working alongside the teaching staff and governing body to ensure all who are involved in the Canada Hill family, are valued and the children are given the opportunity to fulfil their true potential. Outside of school I am a keen baker, which is handy for the School Council Bake Off! I also love spending time with my family and friends, exploring new and exciting places!  


Heidi Mayhew - Co-opted (Staff), Assistant Headteacher

Heidi joined Canada Hill in 2013 as year 3 and 4 team leader. Over the years, it has been a privilege to get to know the children and families in the school community and to work alongside such a dedicated team of staff.  Having led mathematics for 12 years over my teaching career, I am committed to supporting children to become fluent, confident and resilient mathematicians. I have also enjoyed running dance, sewing and Eco club.  In 2020, I was appointed as Assistant Headteacher; it is wonderful to be able to support Miss Knott to ensure all children feel safe and happy and reach their full potential. In 2016, I became a co-opted governor. As a governor, it is a pleasure to work with as part of a team who are passionate about providing our children with the best quality of education.  

In my spare time, I love spending time outdoors. I enjoy walking my dog, paddle boarding and kayaking as well as camping.  


Jonny Kirkham - Staff Governor, Teacher

I joined Canada Hill as a year 3/4 class teacher in 2013 and became staff governor in 2014. Previously, I worked as an English teacher in Japan before teaching at a primary school in London for 4 years. Currently, I am the geography curriculum lead, have introduced the Philosophy for Children to the school which has been integrated into the curriculum, and I coordinate the annual Year 3/4 Christmas production. I have enjoyed working as part of a committed governing body representing the views of the staff, as well as supporting Miss Knott in the strategic direction of this fantastic school. I will continue to strive for excellence, for all our children, in my role as governor.


Chris Harrill
Local Authority Governor, Finance Committee, First Committee, SIP (Leadership, Personnel Development) Curriculum Monitoring Group (Maths, PE, RE).
I joined as a Governor of Canada Hill in October 2021 after my son joined the school the same year. 

I was aware of the good reputation the school has already from friends and family whose children have been through the school or are currently still attending.  Becoming a governor was driven by wanting to help and support the School and Head Teacher to continue this and strive forward and it is something I feel very privileged to be able to contribute towards with the other Governors.  I hope to bring to the board my professional experience in technology and business generally from running a successful technology company based locally.

In my spare time I am a keen Rugby fan and part time home renovator, so you may well see me at Sandy Park or a local DIY Store.


Stephen Hobbs - Parent governor

I was proud to be elected as a parent governor in October 2022, soon after my eldest son started at the school. As a student transferring into the school from another area, I was struck by how warmly he was welcomed by both his classmates and Canada Hill’s staff and felt strongly that I wanted to contribute to the ongoing strength and success of this wonderful local school.

 A writer, editor and communications specialist, I look forward to working closely with the school team and PTA, helping to ensure that every child continues to receive the care and attention my son has enjoyed, while supporting the Headteacher and school team with the great work they do every day.

 In my spare time I can be found either reading and writing or playing music with other local musicians. I am also a keen swimmer and walker and love to take advantage of all that our local area provides.



Adam Worth 

Parent Governor – Headteacher Appraisal Committee, 2nd Committee, Lead Governor, Health & Safety & Covid, Premises, Data, Pupil Premium, SIP (Quality of Education, Covid-Catch Up)

I joined as governor at the end of 2018.

Having two children who attend Canada Hill Primary School I became a governor to get more involved with the local school and help support them with my professional skills.

Working as a health and safety professional with a keen interest in mental health training and services, I feel I can help the school in developing a positive safety culture and continue to improve mental health provisions for staff, students and parents

I work for an employer who supports my work as a governor and assists where they can, by allowing time and resources.

Siri White - Parent Governor

 I became a Parent Governor in Autumn 2021. Both of my children attend Canada Hill and I wanted to become more involved in the school day while also bringing new ideas and a valuable parent perspective to the team. 

I bring expertise and experience from both the environmental sector as well as the arts (I'm a Chartered Environmentalist and professional ecologist as well as a practising musician and music teacher). I'm also very passionate about well-being, both of staff and pupils, and welcome the opportunity to work with such a committed and hard-working team to support and promote education in a nurturing, happy and inspiring environment. 


John Roberts - Co-opted governor

'Having lived in Ogwell for the last 30 years, I'm delighted to be joining the governors at Canada Hill. All four of my children went to Canada Hill and although they left over 15 years ago, I'm excited to play a role maintaining the school's brilliant standards and reputation.

I worked in retail for 37 years and now enjoy spending my time cooking and watching sport. I enjoy travelling and holidays in France where I can put my French to good use, and looking after my  daughter's black Labrador, Billy.'

Catherine Penny - Co-opted governor

I became a Co-opted Governor in July 2023. I have lived around the corner from the school for 32 years and both my children, now 27 and 30 attended Canada Hill; the school provided them with solid foundations for successful lives. I have recently retired from Special Education / Alternative Provision in Devon and feel that my experiences as Deputy Head Teacher are pertinent to all children’s education and could be used to support the school and children, now I have more free time!  I am a great advocate for the education of the whole child and the influences of the wider curriculum, which I know Canada Hill has always strived for. I look forward to this role and working with the school.

In my spare time I grow Chilies, rescue Orchids, knitting and crochet and enjoy travelling.


Amy Keene - Parent governor

I was elected as a parent governor in 2021 and am very honoured to have taken on the role of Vice Chair this year (2023).  

My daughter joined Canada Hill in Reception in 2020 and I was instantly struck by the warmth and care with which she was received. I believe that the Canada Hill family ethos is very special and it is this that made me want to be more involved in the school and contribute to its success. 

Having been a secondary school teacher for nearly 20 years I am extremely passionate about the role that education takes in shaping young people and their futures. In my role as a governor at Canada Hill I strive to use my experience to make a positive contribution to all its pupils by supporting the staff and families in any way I can to make every child’s journey through the school as inspiring and enriching as it can possibly be.