The role of the Board of Directors is to shape the strategic direction of Educate Together in the long term, to guide and support management performance and to monitor progress towards agreed objectives. It is fundamentally a governance role and is at a remove from the day-to-day running of the organisation.
The Board of Directors consists of 10 persons elected by members and these elected members may co-opt two more. The term of office for elected members is three years and there is a system or rotation whereby a number of directors come to the end of their term of office each year. The Chairperson of the Board is also elected for a three-year term. Persons co-opted to the Board of Directors are co-opted until the following AGM, and usually have specific skills (e.g. financial, marketing, legal, social science, human resources, development/fundraising, etc).
The Dublin-based national office is responsible for carrying out Educate Together’s role as a patron and a management body.
Chairperson of the Board
Jennifer Cummins has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2014. Elected Vice Chairperson in 2015 and Chairperson in 2017, she sits on the Education and Finance Sub Committees of the Board. She currently works as the Co-ordinator of Ballymun Anseo School Completion Programme which aims to support children and young people at risk of early school leaving. She is on the Patron Executive of Griffith Barracks MDS, where her children go to school. Jennifer has served on several Boards nationally. She started her Doctoral research in Ethical Education in 2016.
Chief Executive Officer
Paul has been involved with Educate Together schools for the past 26 years, as a parent, activist, board member and national representative. He was elected Chairperson of Educate Together on its transformation into a limited company in 1998, was re-elected in 1999 and 2000 and held this post until May 2001. In June 2002, he was appointed CEO of Educate Together. As CEO of Educate Together, Paul works closely with the Board of Directors to ensure that the strategic objectives of the organisation are realised and that the views and needs of the organisation are accurately represented to Government and to the public.
Meena has been chairperson of the Board of Management of Adamstown Castle ETNS since 2007. She was involved in the Educate Together second-level campaign and is an activist with Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. She has been on the Board of Directors of MRCI and was also part of the National Advisory Committee of the Pathways to Parental Leadership project led by the Immigrant Council of Ireland. Meena has been a member of the Educate Together Board since 2014.
Aidan Clifford joined the Educate Together board in 2017 and sits on the education sub-committee. He is a member of the Department of Education and Skills (DES) Teacher Artist Partnership design team under the Arts in Education Charter and Creative Ireland and represents DES on the Council of Europe Ethics, Transparency and Integrity in Education committee and the Education Policy Advisors Network on competences for a democratic culture. Formerly director and now associate represents the CDETB Curriculum Development Unit on the Irish Aid funded development education WorldWise Global Schools consortium and the DES committee on education for sustainable development. He is a board member of Encountering the Arts Ireland and A Partnership with Africa, supports Poetry Ireland’s educational initiatives and initiatives addressing the root causes and effects of disadvantage.
Robert Cochran has been Chairperson of Ballinteer Educate Together National School since January 2013. Over several decades, he has been involved in a wide variety of projects and campaigning activities in the fields of human rights, civil liberties and equality. He has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and has set up and managed a wide range of both commercial and charitable companies. He was elected to the Educate Together board in 2015.
Paul was appointed as Chairperson of the Board of Management of Maynooth Educate Together NS in 2011. With his working background in the private sector he also brings extensive experience of the statutory sector where he is involved as a voluntary director. He has successfully led a number of statutory bodies and community organisations in County Kildare. Paul was elected to the Board of Educate Together in May 2016.
Caitriona first joined Educate Together in 2004, when she became a teacher and Deputy Principal of Newbridge ETNS. Caitriona is now principal of Citywest ETNS, a rapidly-developing school in Dublin 24. Caitriona is also a mentor for newly-appointed principals with the Centre for School Leadership. Caitriona joined the Educate Together board in 2017.
Since January 2016 Danny has been Patron Nominee to Stepaside Educate Together National School’s Board of Management; prior to that he was on the board of Educate Together in Wicklow town for 8 years, including four as Chairperson. His three children have attended an Educate Together school. Danny is a dairy farmer in Co Wicklow.
Paddie is a former principal of Rathfarnham Educate Together N.S. and currently serves on the Board of Management of Griffith Barracks Multi-denominational School. She is one of the four authors of the Learn Together Programme. Paddie joined the Educate Together Board of Directors in 2009.
Anna is a former pupil and now mother of three children at Dalkey School Project. She has been an active member of the DSP PTA for many years and was nominated for Educate Together by the school Board of Management. She has a keen interest in social justice and has a Masters degree in Equality Studies. Anna works for the Citizens Information Board.
Martina von Richter
Martina von Richter has rich experience in the area of social entrepreneurship and impact investments. She joined Phitrust Partenaires in 2007, a leading French social venture fund. She is a highly regarded expert and advocate of impact investments within the finance community and is dedicated to teaching children about responsible entrepreneurship, peace values and life skills. She was elected to the Educate Together Board in 2014.