St. Nicholas School was built and continues to run on the passion and determination of qualified teachers, a voluntary group of Trustees and the incredible support of many inviduals and companies who have donated funds, gifts and their time.
Our School Team
Mr Donkor, our Headmaster leads a dedicated team of 20 paid staff to run the school on a daily basis. This includes 15 teachers and five support staff, who all live in the surrounding area of Tema New Town.
We have a Board of eight Trustees with a broad range of skills and experience who help to oversee the governance and strategic direction of the school through the St. Nicholas Charity Foundation.
Deborah Eleazar (Founder and Management Lead)
Deborah was from 1983 until 2013 a Director and CEO of Tsakos Shipping (London) Ltd, part of the Tsakos Group, having worked with the company for 44 years. Currently she is in a management position at Tsakos with responsibility for business in West Africa and Pakistan.
Having spent over 35 years travelling to Ghana for business, together with Captain Kappas, Deborah was one of the primary sponsors in setting up the school and currently has overall responsibility for the running of the school. Deborah is passionate about the charity, having seen that it has saved lives due to health issues and has witnessed at first hand huge progress in the education of the children. Her vision and dream is to open an additional classroom each year, so as to allow the children to complete their education at St Nicholas.
Captain Kappas (Founder and Management Lead)
Captain Alkiviadis Kappas is Managing Director of Sea and Shore Services Ghana Limited. He has spent the last 30 years in Ghana primarily representing the interest of The Tsakos Shipping Group and various contracts held with the Ghana Government. Prior to this Alkiviadis was a Master Mariner for 10 years, sailing on both dry cargo and tanker vessels worldwide having graduated from the Hydra Maritime Academy. Outside of work, Alkiviadis has a keen interest in cultivating olives in his native town in northern Greece and still uses a tractor to harvest them personally in his free time.
Having seen first hand the challenges faced by those living in Tema New Town and with a love of the sea, Captain Kappas was keen to give back to the community and leave a lasting legacy that would really make a difference in the lives of the children, many of who live in abject poverty. Alkiviadis has funded the school considerable, helping to personally build it and supervised on-going building work in the new annex. He remains steadfastly committed to helping the children obtain an education.
Jo Milne (Chairperson and Social Media Lead)
Jo is an experienced charity leader having worked as a Director in Centrepoint, the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people. Following her departure from Centrepoint in 2014 and a re-location to the North West, Jo visited St. Nicholas as a volunteer and was inspired to get more involved. Jo enjoys supporting smaller developing charities such as the St. Nicholas Charity Foundation and TEABAG. In 2015, she helped St. Nicholas to achieve UK charity status through the Charity Commission.
Outside of work, Jo has a passion for Dachshund ‘Sausage’ dogs and currently has two. Jo participates in long distance charity cycle events and to date has cycled 500km across China and Sri Lanka and 100km through the night in London. Jo is very passionate about Photography having spent her early career as a Photographer.
Elizabeth Dutton (Vice Chair Person and Education and Governance Lead)
Liz has a background in International Development with a particular focus on Africa. After completing a degree in Development Studies she undertook research on book publishing in Africa based at the University of Zambia in Lusaka. Following this, she was asked by UNESCO to contribute to a major study of school textbooks in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
She has continued to work as a researcher and consultant on a wide range inner-city regeneration projects in London and other parts of the UK. Many of these projects have incorporated education and training as a key strategy for addressing poverty. She is also a qualified teacher and has taught at a further education college in Bedford and at a prison in Hertfordshire. She currently works as a volunteer at Aylesbury Crown Court where she supports vulnerable witnesses when they come to give evidence at court.
Liz has been involved with St. Nicholas School from its early days and helped liaise with the Ghanaian press at the school’s official launch in 2012. Since then she has continued to take an active interest in the school contributing to the development of its publicity materials and strategic documents. In all this she brings extensive experience of working in deprived communities and, through her research, a keen understanding of the potential for education to change lives.
Patrick McLachlan ( Secretary and Education and Governance Lead)
Patrick is an experienced insurance underwriter and governance specialist having worked in the industry for many years following his BA (Hons) Law graduation from the City of London Polytechnic School of Business Studies. He and his wife Susan have one daughter. Patrick personally sponsors children at the school and enlisted the support of his company before his recent retirement.
Patrick became involved with St. Nicholas as he sees it as a great opportunity to really make a difference in a very deprived part of the world. He strongly believes that without St Nicholas our children would face a very different future. Patrick is a keen golfer and enjoys spending time with his family.
Connie (Jacqueline) Amin (Treasurer)
Connie has been involved in the shipping industry for over 33 years, working for two shipowners, the last 28 years being with the Tsakos Group. Connie is the Manager of their London office and involved with the insurance of the shipping fleet.
Connie is a Euroasian from Malaysia and has lived in the UK for 44 years. She has two talented children and a large extended family. Through the interests of her Mother, Mary she continues to support Don Bosco, St Vincent De Paul and other charities.
Connie has visited Ghana over the last 26 years and really feels the suffering that the disadvantaged in the various communities face and has been a silent supporter from the start of the project St Nicholas. She has been instrumental in sending volunteers, including her two children, niece and other family members.
Apart from this, Connie at every opportunity fund raises and is herself sponsor to two children and through her family a further 7 children are sponsored. Her relatives have fundraised for medical issues which have arisen from time to time.
Andreas George Bisbas (Fundraising Lead)
Andreas spent 23 years as a broker at Lloyd’s of London specialising in international marine business and, for the past 10 years, as director of Tsakos Shipping (London) Ltd with overall responsibility for the insurances of the fleet of 70 ships and the reinsurance of the captive Insurance company, of which he is also a director.
Andreas represents the Union of Greek Ship Owners at the International Chamber of Shipping for insurance matters and is Chairman of the Insurance Committee. He is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.
Andreas is a Parish Council member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Richmond and is married with two adult daughters, one of whom spent three weeks at St Nicholas School in 2012. Andreas followed in her footsteps and visited the school for the first time the following year and was deeply moved by the living conditions of the local people and inspired by what had already been achieved by the founders of the charity.
Andreas’ interests include history, travel, the arts and participating in various sports.
Vivienne King (Volunteer lead)
Vivienne is a savvy business woman having run her own recruitment agencies in London for many years. Vivienne first visited St. Nicholas in 2012 to witness the opening of the school and has been hooked since, visiting most years to volunteer and teach reading, writing and maths. Vivienne has watched the school grow from having 28 children aged between 4 and 6 to now having 90 children in six classrooms, with the addition of a new annex building.
Vivienne is passionate about developing our volunteer offer having experienced first hand the personal benefits of working with the children. She regularly brings back beautiful items made at the school to help fundraise.