|30 Apr 2021|
|Remembering JAGS alumnae|
It is with great sadness that Giulia DeSimone, Class of 2018, tragically passed away at the end of last month. Giulia was a much-loved and popular member of the JAGS community, and she is remembered for her great warmth, kindness and generosity that she showed to all those around her. Giulia joined JAGS in Year 7, and thrived at the school. In the Sixth Form, she was elected as Holst House Captain, a role that she was extremely passionate about. She was a great inspiration to her peers and to younger pupils. Our thoughts are very much with Giulia’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time. Below, we share some treasured memories from our community.
‘My first memory of Giulia goes back to when she was a baby and I met her family when they arrived in London, but I will always treasure the image as she joined JAGS in Year 7, bounding towards me with her unforgettable beaming smile, really happy to be in the school, excited for all the new experiences that awaited… And that was Giulia in every moment of her life, passionate and strong in her ideas, unbeatable in her battles…full of love and respect for everyone and so full of warmth towards her friends, spontaneous in her emotions, always bringing people together, forever inclusive of everyone. Giulia grew up to become a confident young woman of her time, proud of her ideas, open to the world and hungry for life, a true JAGS girl. Sadly, she was taken from us painfully early but we must be grateful for the time we had with her, a gift to all who knew and loved her.’
Giulia Marchini, Italian teacher at JAGS
‘When I arrived at JAGS to take on the position of Head of Sixth Form, Giulia was starting Year 12. I remember being struck by how friendly and outgoing she was, always accompanied by a group of great friends. She played an active part in the life of the school on stage and as House Captain for Holst. Together with her co-captain, Zara, Giulia managed to persuade me to accompany Dr Edwards as his female dance partner and learn the salsa dance moves for the 2018 JAGS “Teacher Strictly Come dancing”. Over and above Giulia’s powers of persuasion I recall her wonderfully natural and fluent compering of the event in front of 500 screaming JAGS students. She was a delightful student, blessed in so many ways and it is a tragedy that her life has been cut short in this way. R.I.P Giulia.’
Mat Weeks, Head of Sixth Form
‘I taught Giulia at KS3, in Year 8, as I remember. I have very fond memories of her positive attitude and her willingness to engage with the subject: if her attention ever wandered she concealed it well!
Giulia was one of those cheerful souls who smiled and said ‘hello’ if she passed you in the corridor, long after she had abandoned studying History. It was no surprise to me that Giulia was elected as Holst House Captain in Y12 as she had precisely the sort of infectious enthusiasm and natural exuberance that would inspire others to vote for her. Giulia was definitely a joiner-in not an opter-out.
We will never know what Giulia might have gone on to achieve. ‘I can’t imagine what her parents must be going through’ is a phrase much used and I think, not always appropriately. The fact is that we can imagine only too well the impact on her family of her loss and a life cut short far too soon. They and Giulia herself, will be much in my thoughts.’
Corrine Barton, former History teacher at JAGS
‘I taught Spanish to Giulia for several years and I keep very fond memories of her. Her witty and lively personality, her energy, her excellent social skills, her honesty and, above all, her laughter come to mind every time I think of her. There is a lovely picture of her in the Sports Hall and I smile every time I pass by it.
From an early age Giulia was very articulate, and it was difficult to win an argument with her. Once in Year 8 she made a full defense of the benefits for teenagers to spend time with family, friends, and she even mentioned the importance of devoting time to newfound interests to justify some missing homework… I remember that after her faultless argumentation I decided to change her warning mark into a well-deserved credit for her debating skills.
She loved music, culture, travelling, food, film, theatre, History, Politics and so Spanish was a perfect match for her. In Giulia’s hands, a basic role play scenario to book a hotel room could easily become a performance worth a Best Actress nomination, such was her intensity and talent! Our Spanish GCSE and A-Level group was like a Spanish família and we all have memories that we will treasure forever. Quite often Giulia talked about how she would run away to Spain and live a truly Mediterranean life. We all fantasized with the idea of visiting her and had the most wonderful fiesta-reunion. Her passing has left a void in her Spanish classmates and teachers, but Giulia will always be in our corazón.’
Cristina Sanchez, Head of MFL at JAGS
We very much welcome your memories of Giulia, and if you would like to share them here or to pass on a message to Giulia’s family, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.