Headteacher & SENDCO
My name is Sharon Betts and as a practising Catholic I am passionate to provide vision, leadership and strategic direction to sustain, nourish and develop the learners of a school within a distinctive Catholic ethos. I have many years of experience working in Catholic schools, starting in Sheffield and then to Dorset in 1995. I am originally from Paisley in Scotland but have been living in Dorset for 24 years, following a very happy two year spell in Sheffield. I am married and have two children – my son is 21 and having completed his degree in London is now moving to Kent to start his career. My daughter is 17 and attends 6th Form at St Edward’s in Poole. I love singing and performing in Questa Voce, the choir in which I have been a member for the last 7 years.
My passion for teaching has been life-long. I gain tremendous fulfilment from establishing relationships based on nurture, mutual trust and respect with the children, and from seeing those pupils learn, blossom and grow. My philosophy for education is making a difference. In order to ensure children learn and make progress, I believe it is crucial that they all have the opportunity to access an innovative, dynamic and challenging curriculum where the needs of each child are met.
Rev'd Deacon Dr Michael Turnbull
After a teaching career covering Chemistry, Maths, I.C.T. and R.E., I became the R.C. Chaplain at HMP Guys Marsh in 2006 and was subsequently ordained as a permanent deacon, serving the parish of Gillingham and Marnhull. I now work full-time in the Prison Chaplaincy.
With my wife Barbara and eldest son, I moved to Gillingham in 1980, after a period teaching in the Caribbean. After some time working as a Chemist, the family travelled again, to work in South America. Now with three boys, the family returned to Gillingham in 1991. All my sons, in their own time, have attended St Mary’s, Marnhull.
I am currently in my second period as a Foundation Governor at the school, having responsibility for Safeguarding, and for the RE curriculum. It is a great pleasure to meet the students.
I come from a family where working in education is a central feature – my Father and Mother, my wife and three of our four children, a daughter-in-law, three brothers and two sisters-in-law. I spent 31 years as Head of two Catholic schools, a Middle School in Sussex and a very large Primary School in SE London after which we retired to live in Dorset.
Two of my grand-daughters attend St Mary’s and, in December 2014, I was invited by the Diocese to become a Foundation Governor. I have very much enjoyed finding out about and helping with the problems and pleasures of a small rural school.
I have been a teacher for ten years now and am in my second year of teaching at St Mary’s after returning from travelling Australia and New Zealand for a year.
During my free time I enjoy walking the south west coast paths with my partner and dog (Arthur) which has been put on hold for a while with the arrival of our first child!
I have played the guitar for many years and enjoy swimming and rugby to keep fit!
I’m a Senior Aerospace Systems Engineer and I live in Sturminster Newton with my wife Jennifer, and our two boys; the youngest of which is at St Mary’s and the eldest attends Gillingham High School. We are originally from the Notting Hill area of London, and moved to Dorset in 2017 so that I could continue my career in Aerospace.
I am of Portuguese decent and raised Roman Catholic, attending catholic schools and colleges until university, graduating in Aerospace Technology with Management from the University of Hertfordshire.
Most of my spare time is spent with the family and walking my Chinese Shar-pei, but I have also found time to partake in the Marnhull pantomime where I played the villain. I also enjoy obscene amounts of DIY and tinkering in the garage, most recently I’ve started restoring a 1978 Mini Clubman.
I was a teacher for over 24 years, 19 of them at St Mary’s Marnhull. I was reception teacher at St Mary’s for 7 years, deputy head for 3 years and Headteacher for 9 years. St Mary’s has always been a happy school with a wonderful Christian ethos.
My husband has worked in farming all his life and we have 2 sons, one who teaches in a Secondary school and one who drives for a construction company. Three of my grandchildren attend St Mary’s and I am the governor responsible for Community and village links.