Plymouth CAST Board of Directors

Mr Sandy Anderson

Director (Chair)

Sandy has been on the CAST Board since December 2013 and was appointed Chair of the Trust in November 2016. Sandy’s career was in the management of electronic power supply companies having been MD of Coutant Electronics Ilfracombe, MD of Weir Electronics in Bognor Regis, President of the Lambda Group for Europe, Main board member for Lambda a major manufacturer of Power Supplies around the globe and his responsibilities included operations as far afield as New Zealand, China, Japan, USA, Mexico and Europe. He has a Masters degree in metallurgy and management. He retired but was then asked to recover a company from bankruptcy in Belgium where he spent three years. He is now retired (again) is married and has 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

Fr Mark O'Keeffe


Father Mark O’Keeffe studied for the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary Wonersh and was ordained as a priest in 1992. Since his ordination he has worked as a curate in Truro and Torquay and was an Army Chaplain for 11 years. He was on the Directing Staff of RMAS, involved with the teaching curriculum.
Father Mark has been parish priest in Newquay, Cornwall and Morrinsville, New Zealand, and is currently serving as Parish Priest in Paignton, Devon. He was appointed as Episcopal Delegate for Schools for the Diocese of Plymouth in 2015.

Ms Maria Edwards


Maria Edwards was educated by the Marist Sisters; completed a Law degree at Bristol University and studied for a PGCE in Secondary Education at Newman College. Maria’s career in Further Education started as Lecturer in Law and Business at Exeter College and then as Head of Finance and Management at Abingdon College. In 1997 she became Deputy Principal at Strode College, where she led developments in student services, curriculum and quality; managed European funded projects; and oversaw the delivery and quality of education in nine prisons in the South West. Maria then became Principal of Havant Sixth Form College. In 2004/2005 Havant was judged by OFSTED to be “one of the most successful colleges” and was included by the Chief Inspector of the Adult Learning Inspectorate in his Best Providers list.

In 2006 Maria moved back to Devon, leading East Devon College into a successful merger with North Devon College. In 2008 she returned to full-time study completing a Masters in Personnel and Development at Plymouth University and became a Trustee of the Diocese of Plymouth. More recently Maria has combined family responsibilities with employment as MBA Administrator/ Athena SWAN Project Manager at the University of Exeter (until 2015) and voluntary work.

Ms Veronica Towers


Following a degree in English, Veronica Towers gained her PGCE at Digby Stuart College and worked for many years in a variety of inner-London primary and special schools. She set up and managed provision for children with speech and language difficulties and for pupils on the autistic spectrum, as well as working with children and young people in a hospital school. She has wide experience of teaching at university in initial teacher education, CPD, early childhood studies and SEN/D. For ten years she was Course Director at Wandsworth Primary Schools’ Consortium, validated by Kingston University. She currently works as a freelance education consultant and delivers training at Belleville Teaching School, academic support at Allen Hall seminary and individual advice/assessments for learners of all ages.

Mr Dan Rogerson


Dan was born and brought up in Cornwall attending St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Bodmin. After graduating from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth he worked in local government policy and then university administration in Bedford, serving as a Bedford Borough Council from 1999-2002. He was elected as Member of Parliament for North Cornwall in 2005 and served for 10 years during which time he spoke for his party on a number of issues including education (2010-13). Dan covered the Academies Act 2010 and was a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Education Act 2011. He was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DEFRA from 2013-2015 as Minister for Water, Forestry, Rural Affairs and Resource Management. He took the Water Act 2014 through Parliament, represented the UK at European Environment Council and the United Nations Environment Assembly. He was responsible for a number of Government agencies and involved in the appointment of board level post holders. He was a regular member of the Government's emergency COBR Committee and briefed the Prime Minister and Cabinet committees. After leaving Parliament, Dan was appointed Chair of the Wessex Water Partnership and has joined the trustees of two charities. He is married to Heidi and two of their children attend St Mary's Bodmin, their eldest having moved on to secondary education. Dan is Vice Chair of Governors at the school and a reader in the local parish."

Mr Graham Johnson


Graham Johnson, BPharm FInstLM is a retired Royal Navy Captain and has been a longstanding foundation governor at Roman Catholic Secondary Schools in Plymouth and is currently Chair of Governors at Notre Dame RC School. He has been a member of the Plymouth CAST Project Board since its inception. As Chairman of the Independent Advisory Panel and a member of the Command Board of the Defence Maritime Logistics School he provides the link between business and military training. On leaving the Royal Navy in 2003 he became the Principal Management Consultant for MSD International Ltd and latterly Continuity SOS Ltd and worked at board level with major government departments (MoD, DTI, HMRC and Audit Commission) and with key international companies (TNT, Euler Hermes, Northern Foods) training and exercising them in crisis management and business continuity. Graham has an honours degree in Pharmacy from University College London and is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management. He is recent past Provincial President of the Catenian Association in the South West – a faith-based organisation of Catholic men. Graham is 68, married with 3 grown-up daughters and he and his wife are active, registered foster carers and established members of the parish community of St Peters church in Crownhill, Plymouth.

Mr Andy Nicholls


Andy joined the CAST Board in March 2017 and is Chair of the Finance Committee. Andy’s career was in the Defence industry, mainly in the Naval Marine sector, initially with MoD then with DML and for the last 8 years of his career with Babcock International Group before retiring in July 2016. Andy held a number of Director level appointments with responsibility for various business operations at different locations including Devonport Royal Dockyard, Bristol and Canada. He has an engineering degree from Liverpool University and an MSC from University College London. Andy was a foundation governor at St. Boniface’s College for 14 years up to 2008, including 7 years as Chair of Governors. He is married with 3 grown up children and lives in Plymouth.

Fr Richard Meyer