National office staff

The Dublin-based national office is responsible for carrying out Educate Together’s role as a patron and a management body. The national office is also responsible for carrying out the organisation’s strategic objectives, as set out by the Board of Directors of Educate Together. Educate Together’s 2022 – 2026 strategic objectives are available to view here:

The national office offers guidance to our schools and their Boards of Management and supports the development of the Educate Together network nationwide. The national office switchboard (01 4292500 / is manned between 09:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 17:00 on weekdays.

Emer Nowlan

Chief Executive Officer

Emer was appointed as CEO in 2020. She has a long association with Educate Together and has occupied a number of key roles in the organisation since 2007. Originally a post-primary teacher, Emer holds a Masters and a PhD in education. She brings to the organisation a range of experience in leadership, management and education at primary, post-primary and third-level in Ireland and abroad.

Sandra Irwin-Gowran

Head of Education

Sandra began working as the Head of Education and Development for Educate Together in 2016. In this role Sandra is part of the organisation’s leadership team supporting policy and provision for equality-based education and Ethical Education in particular. Sandra obtained a BA, HDipEd from Maynooth University and a MSc (Equality Studies) from UCD. Her previous roles include experience working with the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network; with City of Dublin ETB (Curriculum Development Unit, Liberties College) and as a volunteer teacher with a development organisation in rural Zimbabwe.

Adrienne Flynn

Head of Services

Since 2015, Adrienne has worked with Educate Together in different capacities. She is part of the organisation’s leadership team and is responsible for ensuring that Educate Together can fulfil its obligations as a patron, a management body and company for its members. Adrienne also has a number of years’ experience as a member of a Board of Management, as well as broader policy development and management experience. Adrienne holds an Advanced Diploma in Law and Education from The Society of King’s Inns.

Luke O’Shaughnessy

Communications Manager

Luke has worked for Educate Together since 2010. He is part of the organisation’s leadership team and is responsible for developing and implementing Educate Together’s marketing strategies, advocacy campaigns and public relations activities. Luke has a BA in History and Political Science and a Masters in Public Affairs and Political Communication.

Keith Mooney

Patronage Administration Officer

Keith has worked for Educate Together since 2018 and took up the role of Patronage Administration Officer in July 2021. In this role, Keith manages Garda Vetting, appointments and the redeployment panel and also works in Member Support. Keith has held various positions in the private sector over the years before returning to education in 2012, completing a BA in English and Classics and an MA in Postcolonial and World Literature, both at Maynooth University.

Jessica Simpson

Administration Officer (HR, Governance) 

Jessica has worked with Educate Together since 2011. She provides support in the areas of Human Resources and Company Governance, ensuring that Educate Together fulfils its obligations as an employer, a company limited by guarantee and a charity. Jessica holds a BATh. and MTh. from St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and is undertaking a Certificate in Human Resource Management in the Technological University of the Shannon.

Vera Shanahan

Primary Education Officer

Vera began working as the Primary Education Officer for Educate Together in 2021. Vera lectures on Ethical Education in the Colleges of Education and supports primary school teachers in implementing the Learn Together curriculum. Vera obtained a Masters in Education from Trinity College Dublin and has worked as a mainstream and special education teacher in Dalkey School Project and Malahide/Portmarnock ETNS. Vera is the national office’s Designated Liaison Person (DLP).

Susana Núñez

Second-level Education Officer

Susana began working as Second-level Education Officer in 2021. Susana supports the implementation of Ethical Education across the second-level school network. Susana has an academic background in sociology, education, community and youth work, and has experience in teaching and project development and management in the community and charity sector.

Julia Bauer

Fundraising and Communications Officer

Julia began working as the Fundraising & Communications Officer for Educate Together in 2022. In this role, Julia manages the fundraising plans for individual giving, community fundraising and corporate partnerships as well as communications and advocacy work. Julia has over seven years’ experience in the charity sector working for Trinity Development & Alumni and Friends of the Earth. Julia holds a BA in Music from Trinity College Dublin and is a past pupil of North Bay Educate Together National School.

Alison O’Neil

Volunteer Officer

Alison began working as the Volunteer Officer for Educate Together in 2022. In this role, Alison is responsible for enhancing systems to recruit, train and support board of management members and other volunteers working within the Educate Together network. Alison holds a BA in Applied Social Studies, an MA in Community Development, a qualification in Training and Development and has extensive experience working for Tusla with children in care, as well as in development roles within the community and voluntary sector and the local authority sector.

Laura Geraty

Finance Officer

Laura began working as the Finance Officer for Educate Together in 2021. Laura works the finance sub-committee of the Board of Directors in the management of financial systems and process and the execution of financial duties. Laura is a qualified accountant and holds a BSc in Management from Trinity College Dublin. Laura has over 25 years experience working in the not for profit sector including with the National Youth Council of Ireland, Fairtrade Ireland and Friends of the Earth.

Grace Burke

Office Administrator 

Grace joined the Educate Together national office team in March 2023. Grace worked with Westport ETNS as school secretary prior to this from 2019. Grace has many years of office and administration experience, with a degree in primary education. She managed the early years department of a further education college for a number of years.

Jennifer Buttner

School Support and Development Officer

Jennifer has worked for Educate Together since 2016. As the School Support and Development Officer, Jennifer provides a wide range of supports for the Educate Together school network. Jennifer obtained a Physics degree from Trinity College, and has experience working in the semiconductor industry. Jennifer is the national office’s Designated Deputy Liaison Person (DDLP).

Niall Wall

Buildings Officer

Niall, as Buildings Officer, is the national office contact with responsibility for school accommodation and property management, including leases and rental agreements. Niall joined the national office team in 2008 having spent a large portion of his working life in industry and management. Initially working as a New Schools Officer, Niall spent almost a decade as Regional Development Officer for Munster and South Leinster before moving to his current position.