Welcome to our Governors’ section.
Who are we?
Mrs A Yilmaz (Head Teacher)
I have been in the privileged position of being Headteacher of Riverside Primary School since January, 2011.
I qualified as a teacher in 1992 with a Bachelor of Education degree with Honours. I was one of the first students to graduate from the newly formed Northumbria University.
After beginning my career in Cambridgeshire, I spent five years teaching in London, firstly in Westminster and then Lambeth before returning to my native North East.
I began my career at this school as a Year 6 teacher at Meadow Well Primary School in 1998, then was promoted to Deputy Headteacher in 2000 and we then relocated to the current site next to the Riverside Centre.
As Headteacher, I work closely with the Senior Leadership team to lead the strategic direction of the school as decided by the Governing Body. Together with Governors, we decide on priorities for the School Improvement Plan and address the strategies for school improvement through rigorous self evaluation.
What I value most about the role of Headteacher is ensuring we meet the needs of our pupils, our families and the community. What I find most reassuring about what we do is welcoming the children of those pupils I taught in Year 6 at Meadow Well Primary all those years ago!
Miss D Palmer (Chair of Governors)
I have been a ‘Community’ Governor (now titled Co-Opted) at Riverside Primary for just over 3 years. I have been extremely proud to be part of your wonderful school and I enjoy the role enormously.
I currently run my own Catering business and I am based next door to the school, in The Riverside Centre. (Café @ The Riverside) I have been part of the Riverside Centre now for the last 8 years and I am very familiar with many our local families through the Café business, Riverside Centre Nursery, where I was previously employed & being involved in Local projects and groups.
In my role as a Governor, I am committed to supporting the school and I share the same ethos and values of the school and I am focused on achieving the best possible outcomes for the children of Riverside Primary. I am a critical friend to the school and not afraid to ask questions and make informed decisions.
I would describe myself as a motivated, hard working person. I like to keep fit & healthy with swimming and going to the gym. I have a passion for cooking and enjoy making healthy meals for my family.
Mrs T White (Staff Governor)
I began working at Riverside Primary School in September 2015 as Deputy Head Teacher. I have enjoyed a career in teaching from 2002. I completed the BA (HONS) Primary Education degree from Northumbria University and before moving to Riverside, I taught in a North Shields school where I held a position of Team Leader with responsibility for whole school assessment, child protection and as a training co-ordinator for students.
Feeling ready for the next step in my career, I moved to Riverside and as a teaching Deputy I believe I have fallen on my feet with the best of both worlds. I am passionate about teaching and love to share my enthusiasm for knowledge with the children. I hold a teacher’s impact on a child in high value as I believe we do so much more than teach the National Curriculum. I strive to build on children’s positive morals and values: helping them to become well mannered, honest friends and good sportsmen. As Deputy to the Head Teacher I continually work hard to raise standards across the school and enjoy working with the governing body to strategically move the school forward.
Miss M Kekus (Parent Governor)
My name is Marina Kekus, and I am one of the parent governors at Riverside Primary School, recently joining the role. I am local resident in North Shields. I show interest in role, because I am familiar with many aspects working with children as tutor abroad and as live in nanny for 6 years in UK and abroad.
At the present I am homemaker, my last job was Interpreter for Serbo-Croatian, working over 5 years with NHS and police in Newcastle and North Tyneside. I have worked with lots of people with different backgrounds .Prior to that I have over 20 years management experience equally in Retail, office and catering business, working for others but also having my own business in the UK and abroad. I hope my previous experience in communication and organisational skills can contribute to governor role.
I am reliable person, willing to learn. It is great privilege to have the opportunity to be part of Riverside Primary, such respectful and aspiring school, and have the chance to work together with other school representatives and help the school with future aims and achievements, providing the best possible outcome for our pupils.
Rev H B Gill (Local Authority Governor)
My name is Helen Gill and I am the Church of England Priest in Charge of Saint John’s Church in Percy Main. This means that I meet a lot of people in Percy Main, Meadowell, East Howdon, Riverside, and Royal Quays at various local events and at times in their lives when the church may be significant. I really enjoy being part of the community, and as I live in Percy Main I qualify as a local resident.
My work means I meet people of all different ages and I believe that our children and young people should be seen as members of a diverse community life of family and friends. Before becoming a priest I qualified and worked as first a nurse and then a primary age teacher where my special responsibility was in religious education. I find my past experience and present occupation have brought me communication, planning, and organisational skills. In addition to being the leader of the team which runs Saint John’s Church, I have been a trustee of organisations where I was responsible for appointing staff and making budget decisions. I am also a voluntary police chaplain and a member of the group within Newcastle Anglican Diocese which deals with multi -faith and ethnic relations. In addition, I represent Newcastle Anglican Diocese on the North Tyneside Statuary Advisory Committee for Religious Education.
I was appointed in 2013 as a Local Authority Governor at Riverside Primary School; I am also Chair of Governors at Percy Main Primary School. This means I am familiar with many aspects of being a Governor and enjoy contributing to the strategic planning and collective decision making at Riverside Primary School. I also aim to share in the vision within the school development plan and help to take it forward. Every school is unique and it is a great joy and privilege to have the opportunity to be part of the work at such a respected and successful school, whilst acknowledging that local schools have an established history of collaboration with each other.
It was because of my commitment to our local community and particularly our local families that I wanted to become a Governor of Riverside Primary School. I know that Riverside Primary School values high standards and strives to find ways of achieving successful outcomes wherever possible. I hope that I will be able to use my previous skills and experience to help the school continue with its objectives to constantly help our children and young people to find their place in the world and become the best people they can be.
I am delighted to be part of the school governing body as a Community Governor.
My two girls both attended Riverside School from reception right through to year 6.
They both enjoyed their time at the school and still talk about the happy times there.
As a parent I was always impressed by the commitment of all the staff to every child, ensuring that they reach their potential both academically and as a member of the local community. The pastoral care is second to none and the children are given opportunities to take part in many additional activities.
I work for the NHS and in my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, gardening and playing sport.
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