Board of Governors 2018-2021

Board of Governors 2018-2021


(last update by admin – Thursday 17 May 2018 2:13 pm


The role of the Board of Governors is to manage the School with a view to providing the best possible education and educational opportunities for all of the pupils. They work with the Principal in setting the School’s vision and aims, establishing and maintaining the School’s ethos and ensuring that the School has the correct plans and policies in 

The Rainey Board of Governors are made up of people who know the School and the community. They are committed to ensuring the smooth running of the School. The Board of Governors meet with the Principal a number of times throughout the year in order to fulfill their duties and responsibilities.


Mrs I Hunter
Armagh Diocesan Council Representative
Chair of the Board of Governors


I have served on the Board of Governors for several terms of office and am currently Chair of the Board. I am a past pupil of the Rainey and have three daughters all of whom also attended the school. The Rainey has contributed much to me both personally and professionally over the years and it would be my hope that in a small way I have contributed something in return by being a member of the Board of Governors. It is a delight to see the Rainey continue to thrive. As a school it derives its reputation from the hard work and dedication of its students, Principal, teachers and staff. As Chair of the Board of Governors it is an honour to be part of the school

Mr D Henry
Department of Education Representative
Chair of Property and Development Committee


I have been Managing Director of Henry Brothers (Magherafelt) Ltd. since 2000. The company generally operates in the commercial construction market for a variety of government and private clients and forms part of the Henry Group of Companies based in Magherafelt. I have lived in Magherafelt all my life and am married to Diane, we have 3 children. I joined the family business on completing my formal education and worked initially as a site operative before progressing through supervisory and management roles to my current position as Managing Director. I firmly believe that training and development of personnel are key factors to company progression and expansion. My own commitment to development has included achieving Fellowship status of the CIOB and gaining the Institute of Directors Certificate in Company Direction. I have served as a co-opted member on the Rainey Endowed School Board of Governors since January 2014 and am the current Chairman of the Property and Development sub Committee. As Chairman I am a member of the Executive Committee reporting directly to the Board of Governors on all aspects relating to Property and Development within the school. I am keen to share the knowledge and experience I have gained through my business and management career. I am dedicated to utilise my talents for the benefit of the school, its staff and students.

Mr J Clayton
Department of Education Representative
Honorary Secretary


In his third term as a Governor John is deeply committed to Rainey and the continued success and even further improvement of the school. As well as being Secretary to the Board and Trustees, John continues as a Designated Governor for Child Protection. Married with six grown up children, John is a former Headteacher with a lifetime of experience of schools.

Mrs Caroline Keatley
Archbishop of Armagh’s Representaive


I graduated from UUJ in Manufacturing Engineering. Since leaving college I have worked in the manufacturing and the small business sector. Work is now part time in a self – employed capacity. Home life is kept busy with my husband, a former Rainey student and my two sons.
I have always endeavoured to play an active role in our community, as I strongly believe in the importance of volunteering.
The Rainey school is central to the lives of our children and the community it serves. It has a strong tradition of child centred education, where each child has the opportunity to be nurtured to reach their full potential. It is my privilege to sit with my fellow governors on the school board.


Mrs O McKay
Department of Education Representative

This is my second term as governor at Rainey Endowed and I am delighted to be in a position to contribute to the school and have the opportunity to help in its continued future success. My background is in finance – I am a chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor and work for a multinational firm providing UK and overseas corporate tax advice. I am a firm supporter of diversity and inclusion in schools, the workplace and in society – an ethos echoed in Rainey’s Vision Statement and which has been repeatedly proven to allow teams make better decisions, achieve better outcomes and fulfil their potential – something which Rainey Endowed successfully champions for and in its pupils.
Dr Allen McKay

St Swithin’s Select Vestry Representative


This is my first year serving on the Board of Governors. I am a past pupil of Rainey Endowed School. After leaving school I studied pharmacology at Edinburgh University, and then medicine at Queens University Belfast, graduating in 1999. I now work as a local GP.

The Rainey has helped shaped who I am today and I want to be able to contribute something back to a school and community that aims to provide an environment for pupils to be able to attain their full potential.

I recently had the privilege of participating in an open day. I enjoyed seeing many potential new pupils and speaking to some current pupils and staff. I look forward to being part of the school once again.

Dr N Black
Department of Education Representative


I joined the Board in 2015, appointed by the Department and feel it a great honour to serve my school again. The academic and family ethos here have supported me well through life and my career. My grandfather taught here, my father, several aunts, uncles and three of my brothers and sisters studied here. I was head boy from 1992-1993 and moved on to study medicine at QUB, graduating in 1999 and returning to graduate MD in 2005. I have been a consultant physician in Altnagelvin Hospital since 2009 and specialise in Endocrinology & Diabetes with General Internal Medicine. He took up the role of Assistant Director of Acute Services at Altnagelvin Hospital in April 2017 and continues in clinical practice and to reform service operation and ethos. I live in Derry/Londonderry with my wife and three sons but had the great pleasure to see the students and staff on show at open night recently. There is a lot to be proud of here and a lot to protect. I’m glad to be part of that again.

Rev Dr J A Curry
Minister of First Magherafelt Presbyterian Church


I have served on the board since the start of 2004 when I became the minister of First Magherafelt and have also been a governor of three other schools during my time as a minister. I am married to Lorna and we have four children who have all studied at The Rainey (Two are still pupils). At school I enjoyed sport and in particular Table Tennis and my favourite subject would have been… mathematics! After studying engineering at QUB I worked in England for ICI plc as a control electrical engineer. As is reflected in the ethos of the Rainey I have a passion for the complete development of young people which includes; emotional, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual development.

Mrs R Ferson
Presbytery of Tyrone Representative


I am currently in my second term as a Presbytery of Tyrone Representative on the Board of Governors. As a past pupil I have fond memories of my time at the Rainey as have my three children who were also educated here. I currently work as a civil servant and it is good to be able to use my skills and experience to also serve on the finance and HR sub committees. I count it a privilege to be able to give something back to the school that has not only served me and my family so well but also the wider community for so many years.

Mrs W McAlister  
Teachers’ Representative


I first started my teaching career in 1993 and joined the teaching staff of Rainey Endowed in September 2002. During my time at ‘The Rainey’ I have held the role of Year Head and have been actively involved with numerous extracurricular activities. I am currently Acting Subject lead for the Biology Department and am a Designated Teacher for Child Protection. I live in Cookstown with my husband, Colin, and our two sons, Ben and Scott. This will be my first term on the Board Governors as Teachers’ Representative.


Mr J C Palmer
Teachers’ Representative


I have been a teacher at Rainey Endowed School for 11 years, 10 of which as Head of Technology & Design. I am married to Annette and am Dad to Katie, John & Rose. After leaving Rainey, as a pupil, I studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh and worked in the industry for over 6 years before becoming a Teacher and returning to my old school. I am proud to work in Rainey and truly love my job. I was elected to be a Teacher Governor by my colleagues in October 2013 .

Mr Peter Lennox 
Presbytery of Tyrone Representative    


I have been nominated this year as a representative of the Presbytery of Tyrone to Board membership of Rainey Endowed School. I have lived all my life in the local area. I have worked in Translink as a driver, educational tours and an Inspector in the Magherafelt depot for the last 25 years. I have a real awareness of the role, impact and heritage ‘The Rainey School’ contributes to our community. I am married to Heather, our eldest son Sam will soon complete Year 9 at Rainey Endowed and our younger boy, Joel, awaits news of a much desired place at The Rainey having received transfer results earlier in the year. I have served on the Board of Governors at their Primary School for 10 years and having an active role in the youth work of our Church as BB Officer, youth leader and committee member. I look forward to contributing my experience to promote the best interests of the young people at the school with its sound values and ethos. I will wholeheartedly support development of the Rainey as it goes from strength to strength.



Mr J Smyth
Presbyterian Moderator’s Representative


I work for Sperrin Metal where I started 1st April 1987.
I love sport and represented Ireland in Bowls plus played in Commonwealth Games in Vancouver 94.
I am married to Joanne and have 2 boys Ryan and Cameron.
I am the Community Governor and involved in fund raising.

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Christopher Walls
Department of Education Representative


Originally from Magherafelt I attended the Rainey between 1968/1972. I now live in a place called Carnalea near Bangor. I am the Senior partner in a firm of solicitors in Belfast. For many years I was closely involved with the Old Boys Rugby Club as player and administrator. I am delighted to join the Board of Governors of this iconic school and hope that I can contribute in some way to the upkeep of its excellent reputation



Mrs Sandra Overend
Parents’ Representative
I am honoured to represent parents on the Board of Governors, and pleased that all three of our children currently attend The Rainey.   The school community has always been a welcome place for me and I hope to encourage others to get involved. I believe that our children will thrive better at school if parents take an active interest in their education.   As a champion-rugby-mum I am also involved in the Rainey Rugby Fundraising Committee.
While I currently work within a local construction company as Training & Development Manager, I spent nineteen years working for the Northern Ireland Assembly, six of those as an elected Member and therefore, through my various committee roles within the Economy, Employment & Learning and Education, I gained valuable experience in developing legislation, amending policy and advocating for families and for local schools.  I now look forward to developing a greater understanding from ‘the inside’ of school management while continuing to work locally to champion our school.
Rev David Leach
Presbytery of Tyrone Representative


Having moved to Magherafelt in 2015 to take up the post of minister in Union Road, Magherafelt and Lecumpher Presbytreian Churches, I very quickly sensed the key role that Rainey Endowed played in the local community. I have often been impressed in casual conversations, and in more formal settings, by staff and pupils from the school. As a former classroom teacher (with experience of teaching in two inner-city schools in East Belfast) I recognise the ongoing passion, enthusiasm and commitment that is required, on a daily basis, to maintain high standards of education alongside creating an atmosphere conducive to learning. I am grateful that ‘The Rainey’ is on our doorstep and thankful that our eldest child enjoys every aspect of life at the school. As a representative of Tyrone Presbytery, part of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, I believe it is important for churches to be involved in every aspect of life in the community as we continue to pray and support those involved in education across Mid-Ulster. I wholeheartedly endorse the vision statement of the school which desires ‘to educate its pupils to be Global Citizens of the 21st Century’ as it seeks to serve the whole community.

Mr Aidan Donnelly

Parents’ Represenative


I’ve been part of the extended Rainey family since I first walked through the doors in 1986 and I met many good friends (and also my wife) during my time at the school. I was deputy head boy in the 1992-93 year during which time I also displayed great levels of mediocrity on the rugby pitch and even in the school choir. I went on to study electrical and electronic engineering at Queens University and have worked in the field of telecoms ever since. I’ve worked for some large organisations but in latter years I’ve been running my own business locally. With 2 children already at the school and another hoping to follow suit, I’m delighted to join the board of governors as a parent governor and look forward to making a contribution towards helping the school maintain the high standards and welcoming environment for which it’s renowned.

Mr D M McCullough