Great Sampford Primary School

small enough to care, big enough to inspire

Meet the Governors

Amy MacPherson

Staff Representative

Miss MacPherson teaches our Year 1/2 class. She joined us in September 2012 having graduated from Loughborough Universtity with a B.A. (hons) degree in Fine Art.

Favourite movie: Beauty and the Beast

Favourite book: To Kill A Mocking Bird (Harper Lee)

Favourite food: Jacket potato with cheese and beans.

Favourite song: In My Place (Coldplay)

George Athanasiou

Head Teacher, Ex-Officio

Jessica Tiarks Allen


Jessica lives in Thaxted with her daughter, Rosie, who is at Thaxted Primary where Jessica is also a governor. She has a degree from Newcastle University in pure maths and mechanics and has a love of spreadsheets. She has worked in banking for 17 years, as a fund manager then private banker. She is currently a part-time assistant following the arrival of motherhood.

Favourite film:  Shawshank Redemption

Favourite book:  The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion) 

Favourite food:  Thai green curry

Favourite song:  Blame it on me (George Ezra) 

Karl Smith

Parent Governor

Karl lives in Stambourne and has two children at the school.  He spent 7 years in the Household Cavalry but is now working for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.  As a fitness fanatic Karl enjoys cycling, swimming, triathlons and running marathons.  He has also started to compete in adventure races commonly known as Spartan races.  Karl's responsiblities as a parent governor in the school include being the training link governor and the governor responsible for Health and Safety.  He also has curriculum responsibilities for PE and PSHE.  

Favourite Film: Valkyrie

Favourite Book: Trigger Time and Bullet Magnet (Mick Flynn)

Favourite Food: Mexican

Favourite Song: Paint it Black (Rolling Stones)

Keith Bush

Local Authority Representative

Keith has been a governor at the school since 1997 and is a past chair of the governing body. He lived in the village for 25 years before moving to Thaxted in 2011. His two children attended the school. Keith has curriculum responsibility for Literacy and is a member of the Resources Committee.

Favourite Movie: Top Gun (Keith is a dead ringer for Tom Cruise!)

Book: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Michael Rosen)

Food: Roast Dinner

Song: In the Air Tonight (Phil Collins)

Paris Mikkides

Chair of Governors

Paris lives in Great Sampford and has two girls, one at the school and one who now attends SWCHS. He has a degree in Maths, Statistics and Computing and is a senior manager at a Government Department. He lists football as his main interest, closley followed by tennis - a sport in which he does not allow a total lack of skill or ability to dampen his enthusiasm. As well as leading the governing body and supporting and challenging the Head Teacher he also has curriculum responsibilities for Maths and Geography.

Favourite movie: Good Will Hunting (maths & psychology - what more could you want)

Favourite book: A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)

Favourite food: Salad (oh the irony)

Favourite song: Another Nail in my Heart (Squeeze)

Reverend Sue Johnston

Community Governor


Rev Sue Johnston has lived in Great Sampford since 2010. She is currently the Pastor at Great Sampford Baptist Church having gained her Bachelor of Theology Degree at Spurgeon's College, London. She enjoys close links with the school and local community and is often seen around the village or in the school.

Favourite movie: You've Got Mail

Favourite book: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S Lewis)

Favourite food: Jacket Potato, Chicken and Peas

Favourite song: Whenever God Shines His Light (Van Morrison)

Simon Travis

Parent Governor

Simon is a Senior Lecturer in Paramedic Science at the University of Hertfordshire. He lives in Great Sampford and has four children, one at SWCHS, two at the school and one due to start in the near future. He is the Chair of the Resource Committee of the Governing Body, and has curriculum responsibility for History and governor responsibility for Safeguarding.

Favourite film: The Green Mile

Favourite book: A Splash of Moonshine (John Travis, my dad!)

Favourite food: Curry (ideally from Yuva)

Favourite song: If I had a million dollars (Barenaked Ladies)