Governor Pen Portraits


Theresa Boland – Foundation Governor (Chair of Governors)

My name is Theresa Boland and all of my children attended Cardinal Newman.  I joined the Governing body of Cardinal Newman as a parent governor in 2010, before becoming a foundation governor in December 2014.

During my time with Cardinal Newman I have been part of the selection panel for our head teacher and both deputy heads. I’m currently Chair of Governors and Chair of the pay and appraisal committee. I have worked in IT for more than 20 years and currently I’m a senior manager for ICT and facilities for a government regulator.


Geoff Kennedy – Foundation Governor (Vice-Chair)

I am a married, father of four children all of whom attended Cardinal Newman.

I became a foundation governor in 2002 and have chaired Admissions and Catholic Life sub-committees over the years.

I currently serve on both the Resources and Standards sub committees.

I have been part of the panel of Governors which has appointed three headteachers and several deputy and assistant headteachers.

I became vice chair of the Governing Body in 2020.

Prior to my retirement, I owned a travel agency in Coundon and prior to that had a career in travel and tourism since the early 1970s.

A keen sports enthusiast, and support Coventry Rugby.


Laurence Moore – Foundation Governor

I joined the Governing body in 1985 shortly after Cardinal Newman became the first Catholic Community College in the country and the Governors were looking for someone with a Finance background.

I am a Chartered Accountant and was a Director of a large independent firm of Accountants in the Warwickshire and South Birmingham area before my retirement at the end of 2018

During my tenure I have served with every head teacher, have been Chair of Governors and Chair of the Finance, Buildings & General Purpose sub-committee.

I joined the school as a pupil in the year it opened, 1969, so feel like I have been involved with the school in one way or another for most of our joint lives!

I am also a Director of the Holy Cross MAC, a Trustee and Director of a local charity and like to indulge my hobby of photography and videography when I get time.


Michael Shaw – Foundation Governor

As the newest member of the Governing Body, I am honoured to be part of the Cardinal Newman Family.

I joined the Royal Navy quite a long time and, after my initial career as in the General Service as a Weapon Engineer, I became a member of the Fleet Air Arm, predominantly serving with the Commando Helicopter Force.  I have deployed on operations to Bosnia Herzegovina, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and am currently Head of the Northwood Headquarters Site Facilities supporting PJHQ, NATO and EUMARFOR amongst other multinational agencies.

A passionate sportsman, I kid myself that I can still play rugby, enjoy Wasps Rugby domination of the Premiership and I’m a keen cyclist.


David Parnell – Foundation Governor

My name is David Parnell and I have been a governor for over 35 years.  I am a parishioner at Christ the King, Coventry. I have previously served as Chair of Governors. I am now retired having spent a lifetime in construction and being involved with major UK Nuclear Power projects. I have experience in finance, human resources and health & safety.

My connection with Cardinal Newman goes back to 1981 when the first of my five children started at the school.  They all went on to university education in the UK. I am currently on the following sub-committees:

  • Finance, Buildings & General Purpose
  • Personnel & Performance Monitoring
  • Health & Safety

Michael Keane –  Foundation Governor

I am a married man and a parent of four.  I have a strong interest in seeing Cardinal Newman go from strength to strength as my own children attend the school. Additionally, I work as a schoolteacher myself and have seen at first hand the benefits all students can gain from a strong, secure and positive education - which is exactly what we want all students at Newman to enjoy.

I became a Governor at Cardinal Newman to try and play a small part in helping the school continue to succeed.  As a parent, I have seen first-hand how dedicated the staff are and how many excellent opportunities the school offers its students.  I would like to help enable this good work carry on for years to come.

Outside of my work my main interests are my family which takes much of my time, but I also retain a keen interest in different sports, particularly football. 


Sonia Kearns-Hart – Foundation Governor

My name is Sonia Kearns-Hart and I have been a Foundation Governor since 2016. I studied Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University and then was elected as Student President after my studies to represent over 22,000 students. More recently I have completed a MBA at the University of Leicester.

Currently I work for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as the Global Professional Assessment Manager. I manage the current and future Membership assessment products supporting the RICS market needs and maintaining standards. I provide training and support to all global markets.

I am also a member of two governor sub committees, Personnel and Performance Monitoring and Admissions. As a former pupil of Cardinal Newman School, I would like to give something back to my local catholic community. I am a parishioner at Christ the King, Coventry.


Craig Collins – Foundation Governor

I am an Information Technology Programme Manager and work for CGI, a large system integrator.  I am married to Julie and have three children, Alisha is in her final year at London Met University and Luke is in Year 13.  Ryan is in year 8.


Allan Birch – Parent Governor

I have been a Governor at Cardinal Newman since 2012.  I currently work for Pearson as a National Account Manager providing support and advice to Work Based Learning Providers and FE Colleges on Apprenticeships and post 16 qualifications. I have experience and knowledge of a wide range of learning programmes for young people and adults across a wide range of sector, helping education institutions understand the pathways available for young people as a means to securing a job or access to further/higher education.