Meet the Governors

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Mike Appleyard

Bucks County Council Representative

Mike was educated in the Midlands and Imperial College (BSc Physics). He managed an IT Division and moved to managing businesses across the world. The objective was to make the business profitable. Having managed that, he retired at 52 and acted as a consultant to a number of businesses that needed help.

Mike then chose to focus on being a full time councillor. Over the last fifteen years, he has headed up the following portfolios: Social Services, Education, Economic Development and Health. He is now Deputy Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council and holds the Portfolio for Education and Skills.


Russ Brittain

Taylor Wimpey Representative

Chair Search & Select Committee

Russ, currently Head of Human Resources, has been with Taylor Wimpey since May 2001 in a number of HR roles.

Prior to moving to the House Building Industry Russ has worked in the Financial Services sector in both customer facing and HR roles.

With the increasing need for skilled talent in the Industry, Russ is passionate about working with the UTC to highlight and provide access to career opportunities in the Industry. The key differentiating factor from traditional recruitment sources is the UTC’s drive for students to be work ready.

Russ is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with over 20 years’ experience in the Human Resources field.


Dr Tim Coole

Bucks New University Representative

Bucks New University, Safeguarding and SEN Link Governor

Head of Departmental Design and Craft at Bucks New University. He has worked at the Bucks New University for the last 14 years. I am a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the RSM. He is also a member of the IED and I am actively involved with the professional accreditation of courses for the IED. He is a director of OXETA and involved with both the Oxford LEP and the Bucks LEP. Currently I hold 2 external examiner roles one with the Glasgow Caledonian University, and the other with the Asia Pacific University of Malaysia. I completed my PhD at Staffordshire University in 1998. I have worked as an engineer for more than 30 years and have supervised 8 PhD students to completion. He has run several EU projects on advanced manufacturing and have supervised student exchange programmes with several countries in Europe. He currently supervise 4 PhD students two who are about to complete. In the area of Manufacturing and Production Efficiency. He has worked with companies throughout the region including BMW, Oxford Instruments, Cobham, Instron, etc. He has published some 70 journal and conference papers and contributed to several books. He has run his own business for the last 20 years in property development. And is an active member of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Karen Mitchell

Buckinghamshire College Group Representative

Karen is the Principal and Chief Executive of Aylesbury College. Karen has a strong leadership and management background in Further Education holding a number of senior positions including Vice Principal and Director of Quality. Prior to her time in Further Education Karen worked as a nurse practitioner and manager for 17 years in the Health Service.

Karen is a passionate supporter of inclusive learning in Vocational Education and Training. Her focus is on leading an outstanding student experience which prepares students of all ages and abilities to realise their ambition and achieve long-term success in work and life. She strongly believes that Further Education should be at the heart of the community, transforming lives and driving economic and social success.Karen is a Board member of the Bucks UTC, Connexions, Bucks Education, Skills and Training (BEST) and the Bucks Thames Valley LEP Skills and Employability Board. She is a Trustee for Youth Concern. A Director of the Women’s Leadership Network, Karen is a leadership mentor and coach. Karen holds a range of teaching and coaching qualifications as well as a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management.

Alan Sherwell

Alan Sherwell

Buckinghamshire College Group Representative

Alan Sherwell retired from BT as Head of Consumer Regulation. He spent 18 years as a District Councillor including several as leader of the Council. He has over 20 years’ experience of School Governance at Primary and Secondary level and was Vice Chair of the Corporation of Aylesbury College. He is a Board Member of Buckinghamshire Learning Trust and a Trustee of four charities and has also been a Board Member of a government-sponsored local delivery vehicle.


Eric Sisi


Pupil Premium Link Governor

Eric Sisi’s international career spans 30 years of telecommunication, information technology and business experience, working in the military and Fortune 100 technology firms while based in Europe, the Middle East and North America. Eric possesses a B.Eng. in Computer Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada and a LLM in International Business Law from the University of Liverpool. Currently, Eric is Vice President Customer EMEA Customer Technical Support and Services at McAfee International (an Intel Company). Eric speaks French, English and Italian and lives in London, England.


Matthew Richards

Cisco Representative

Senior R&D Engineering Program Manager at Cisco Systems.


Stephen Way

National Leader of Governance, Governing Body Adviser, Acting Chair (Associate Governor/Consultant)


Sarah Valentine



Sonia Hothi

Staff Governor


John McGrath

Buckinghamshire College Group Representative

Aylesbury College


Clare Rooney

Buckinghamshire College Group Representative


David Oxley

McAfee Representative


Dhiru Gadhvi



Ken McCrea

Bucks New University Representative


Professor Nick Braisby

Bucks New University Representative


Ramesh Marasini

Bucks New University Representative

To learn about our governor’s interests, please click here.