Governor John gets MBE for services to education

John Waugh (left) who was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honour with the headteacher of Our Lady Queen of Peace RC Primary School Penshaw, Fiona Johnston and pupils of the school and of St. Roberts of Newminster. John is chairman of govenors at both schools.
John Waugh (left) who was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honour with the headteacher of Our Lady Queen of Peace RC Primary School Penshaw, Fiona Johnston and pupils of the school and of St. Roberts of Newminster. John is chairman of govenors at both schools.
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ARCHITECT John Waugh is celebrating his MBE after 25 years dedicated to building a brighter future for Wearside’s children.

School governor John was stunned when an official letter arrived telling him of the award for his services to education.

John, who is chairman of governors at both Our Lady Queen of Peace RC Primary at Penshaw and St Robert of Newminster RC School in Washington, said the honour is fantastic recognition of his hard work over the years.

The Sunderland-born businessman, who runs his own company in Houghton, John Waugh Architects, said school governors make up the largest body of volunteers across the country and without them schools couldn’t operate.

He said the time he dedicates to being a governor equates to one day a week and he has an input in the lives of children of all ages from nursery at Our Lady Queen of Peace right up to sixth-form students at St Robert’s.

The 58-year-old, who lives in Chester-le-Street, said: “I would like to thank all my family, friends and fellow governors who have supported me over the years and helped me achieve this. It is a tremendous reward for all the late nights and evenings spent reading reports.

“I’d like to think I have contributed to the schools over 25 years and played a role in them both now being outstanding.”

John, who is married to Paula, 58, and has three children, Olivia, 31, Camilla, 29, and 27-year-old Dominic, said he began his voluntary work in education as a parent governor when his children were at school and has continued ever since.

He said his wife is extremely proud of his honour and the pair are looking forward to getting their invitation to Buckingham Palace to collect his MBE from the Queen.

John said he is pleased to have had good working relationships with staff at both schools and it was Fiona Johnston, head of Our Lady Queen of Peace, along with Simon White, former head of St Robert’s, who nominated him for the MBE.

The Penshaw primary head said: “I am absolutely delighted for John.”

Twitter: @sunechoschools