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News > In Memoriam > Remembering Barbara (Barbie) Rextrew

Remembering Barbara (Barbie) Rextrew

2 March 1954 - 4 December 2021
15 Dec 2021
In Memoriam
Barbie in 2014.
Barbie in 2014.

Barbara (Barbie) Rextrew

2 March 1954 – 4 December 2021

Barbie attended Bedford College of Physical Education from 1972 to 1975, and she started her teaching career at Peckham Girls' School in 1975. She then work at Sydenham Girls' School, before moving into the travel business with Club Europe and soon became Operations Manager for Europe. After about a decade, she decided to go back into teaching and did some supply work, including as acting Head of Department at Tonbridge Girls’ School.

Barbie joined JAGS as a full-time PE teacher in 2001. At JAGS, Barbie mainly taught netball and gymnastics and was well liked by both pupils and staff.  She then went on to organise and successfully run a wide variety of sports courses for JAGS Sports Club. In her later JAGS years Barbie was tasked with running events and hires including the annual alumnae lunch – something she showed great aptitude for given her wonderful social nature.  Barbie retired from JAGS in 2015.

We are pleased to share some treasured memories of Barbie from members of our community below.

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“Always a smile for Everyone”

Barbie was a very warm and caring colleague and friend. She was most notably a champion for all those children who found Physical Education a challenge! She was patient, kind and gentle in her teaching manner and many girls were very appreciative of her distinctive approach.

As a friend, Barbie was always up for a social gathering, a catch up with mates and a reminisce about times gone by. She was a lovely friend and will be sadly missed by many.

Wendy Johnson, former JAGS PE Teacher

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I started in the PE Dept at the same time as Barbie back in 2001 . We clicked instantly, looked after each other and remained good friends during our time together at JAGS and in the years that followed once Barbie retired in 2015. We had such a good time and many a laugh together in the office.  Barbie enjoyed her teaching immensely, always encouraging and supportive of the girls . On a social level Barbie enjoyed a good night out with her friends, smiling and laughing, telling stories and generally being the life and soul of the party.  Barbie was a dear friend and I will miss her company immensely.   

Fiona Murray, Teacher of PE

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Barbie was involved with JAGS over many years and made a great contribution. She was an amazing skier (being a native Austrian) and originally helped out on JAGS ski trips, working closely with Berta Rosen. Later, Barbie joined our staff, teaching PE part-time, especially gymnastics, working in the Sports Club and then in a community development role, liaising with local organisations and groups who were using our facilities. Barbie was an amazingly efficient and effective organiser, calm and unflappable.

Marion Gibbs, former Headmistress of JAGS

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I had the pleasure of working alongside Barbie for about six years. During most of that time we shared an office and I have to say she was brilliant and funny and super supportive.  At the time we had just taken on more senior roles at the Sports Club.  I had taken over the running of the business and the facility and she was one of my senior managers looking after course development and the hirers of the club, including the Astro turf and many of the other areas.  There were so many times where we had to rely on each other for advice and she was brilliant at seeing things from a different perspective. 

She was also around when my partner and I started to have children and was overjoyed to see them when they visited (when she left the Club to work at the school she even took a few photos and kept them in her office which I thought was really nice). Barbie was a gentle, loving person who, although I hadn’t spoken to her in a while, will miss knowing she’s not with us anymore.

The best moment I ever had with her was when we were driving somewhere in the school van and High Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck came on the radio and Barbie amazingly knew all the words and just out of the blue she started singing along…..I am sure somewhere she is singing that song now….

Andy Powell, Club Manager at JAGS Sports Club

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