College Leadership Team
Our leadership team works with all members of staff to ensure that every student achieves ‘his own best standard’ in a supportive environment where all aspects of the curriculum and learning are held to be equally important to the students’ holistic development.
If I have questions about my child’s progress, there’s always a senior member of staff on hand who knows the students and is ready to help me.
Mr Karl Guest, MA
Karl, born in South London and educated by the De La Salle Brothers, brings over a decade of experience in various school environments, including overseas work in Australia. After serving as Deputy Head of Sydenham High School, London, for seven years, he assumed his first Headship at Alton School, Hampshire, in April 2020. Joining St Columba’s College as Headmaster in September 2023, Karl has extensive leadership experience in both single-sex and co-educational settings. A sports enthusiast with a passion for cooking, music, and travel.
Brother Joseph Holthaus, MA
As Dean of the College, Brother Joseph serves as the vital link between St. Columba’s College and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of the Province of the United States. Born into a military family in Syracuse, New York, Brother Joseph’s journey led him to hold various roles in education, from new faculty charism formation to institutional advancement. With a BA in Secondary Education from Spring Hill College in Alabama and an MA in English from Notre Dame University, Brother Joseph brings a wealth of experience and commitment to maintaining the ethos of the Brothers.
Mr Richard McCann, BA
Richard hails from Belfast and gained a BA in History and Ancient History at Queens University. Joining St Columba’s College in 2002, he has been a dedicated Columban, excelling as Head of Guertin House and later as Head of Sixth Form. In September 2020, Richard assumed the role of Head of the Prep School, leveraging his extensive knowledge of the 4 to 18 educational journey and is passionate about preparing children for a dynamic world. Richard, a proud father of two daughters, enjoys travel, hiking, music, cinema, and sports.
Mr David Waters, BA
David, a History graduate from Liverpool University with a PGCE from Cambridge University, brings 16 years of teaching experience to St Columba’s College. Formerly Assistant Headteacher for Teaching & Learning and Curriculum at St George’s Harpenden, David is committed to providing strong pastoral support and leadership opportunities for A Level students. Living in St Albans with his wife and two children, David enjoys reading, running, hockey, and cricket.
Mrs Katie Marson, MA
With a First Class Honours Degree in Modern European Languages from Edinburgh University, Katie transitioned from a career in Management Consulting to teaching. Katie has considerable experience in a number of high-performing faith schools in the Midlands and London including 10 years as Assistant Head at Finchley Catholic, before joining St Columba’s College in 2016 as Deputy Head. Balancing family life in St Albans with her husband and two children, Katie devotes her time to the College, enjoying reading, walking, and swimming in her moments of leisure.
Miss Charlotte Maton, BA (Hons)
With a First Class Degree in History and Politics from Sussex University, Charlotte’s teaching career began in a large Academy in Wembley, where she gained her first experience with 4-18. Since joining St Columba’s in 2014, she has excelled as a Prep 1 Form Teacher and Subject Leader for English. Committed to raising academic standards, Charlotte has instituted successful initiatives in phonics and literacy across the Prep. Passionate about fostering a positive learning environment, she continues to contribute to the academic success of the students as Deputy Head of Prep and SENCo.
Mr Kevin Boland, BA
Immersed in the spirit of St Columba’s since 2007, Kevin‘s journey from Senior School form tutor to Deputy Head of Prep reflects his dedication to pastoral care. A key figure in the Coindre Leadership Programme, Kevin has successfully led McClancy House and implemented initiatives promoting the 3Cs—Courage, Courtesy, and Compassion. With a focus on mental well-being, Kevin oversees a fair but firm system of discipline, emphasising personal responsibility. An avid sportsman and globetrotter, Kevin’s charisma extends from the rugby pitch to enriching the Columban community.
Mr Nick Hele, BA
A graduate in French and Russian from the University of Birmingham, Nick brings extensive experience from single-sex and co-educational independent schools to St Columba’s. As Assistant Head for Learning, Teaching & Professional Development, Nick relocated from Leeds to Hertfordshire to contribute to the College’s faith values and commitment to enhancing teaching and learning. A sports enthusiast, Nick coaches and officiates team games, balancing his professional life with family, travel, and sports.
Ms Lucy Cronin, MA
With 16 years at St Columba’s, Lucy’s journey from Head of RE to her current role as Assistant Head: Director of Studies reflects her commitment to the spiritual and academic life of the College. Lucy, a Cambridge MA graduate, oversees the timetable, assessment data, and examinations, ensuring a high-quality learning experience for students. Passionate about theology, world religion, philosophy, and social ethics, Lucy continues to contribute significantly to the Columban community.
Mr Joe Tatham, BA
Joe, as Assistant Head for Student Formation, draws on years of experience leading Art Departments and as past Head of Joseph House. With a passion for charity projects and exchanges, Joe continues to teach Art while coordinating Senior School trips and school charities. A sports enthusiast and creative arts advocate, Joe has a deep interest in both pastoral and academic aspects of Columban life, exemplified through his leadership of the SHAPE co-curricular programme.
Mrs Rachel McHattie, BA (Hons), ACMA
Born and raised in Lancashire, Rachel‘s journey from studying History at the University of Nottingham to becoming a qualified accountant in London has been diverse. As Bursar at St Columba’s College, Rachel oversees school finance, drawing on her experience as Finance Manager of St Columba’s College and Director of Finance at STAHS. Rachel is married with three sons, all of whom attended St Columba’s College. As well as spending time with her family Rachel enjoys hiking, reading and a range of craft activities.