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Staff Spotlight – Debbie McReynolds

A little thing we do, to help you get to know our staff that bit better.

Staff Spotlight - Debbie McReynolds

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth!

Welcome to Staff Spotlight – an interview segment of our blog that allows you to get to know College staff that little bit better. We’re kickstarting this year chatting to Debbie McReynolds. 

Debbie’s title at the College is Office Manager, Office of the Principal, and you’ll find her on the far side of Salisbury Hall, tucked away in her office with a view across the verdant grounds. With her lovely, cheery disposition, she is friendly face on campus and is always on hand to help. But how well do you know her? Read on…

Where is your favourite spot on the College campus, and why?

I feel very lucky to work on such a beautiful campus – Andreas and his team do a wonderful job so it’s hard to pick just one spot.  But as I have to… it is probably the line of cherry trees from the campus to family housing.

The trees were given to the College by a Korean family in memory of their son who was a student at Newbold, there is one tree for every year of his life.  The cherry blossoms are a symbolic flower of the spring, a time of renewal, and the fleeting nature of life.  It is one of my favourite flowers and it is really beautiful when the trees blossom around March each year. It’s a lovely spot to sit and have a quiet moment.

If you could fit your whole life into one picture what would it look like?

It would be a full, colourful, unfinished and messy. And the colouring would definitely be outside the lines!

What three words best describe you?

Passionate, empathetic, open-minded.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

A lazy weekend at home pottering about, reading and maybe going to the theatre or cinema with friends.

Vacation or Staycation?


Who made the biggest impact on the person you have become?

I will have to choose two people – my mum and dad.  They had the courage to move us from Belfast to England in the early 70’s when the troubles were at their worst, despite having nowhere to live and no jobs to go to.

My mum, my newborn sister and I came to England for a holiday to stay with my mum’s sister in Watford.  When it was time to return, my mum phoned my dad to say she couldn’t go back, he agreed that it wasn’t safe and joined us in England the next week.  My life would have been very, very different if we had stayed in Belfast.

What’s your favourite season in the year and why?

I love those crisp, cold, sunny days you get in the Autumn and the changing colours of the leaves.

If you could learn the answer to one question about your future, what would the question be?

I wouldn’t want to know anything about my future – it would spoil the surprise!

Is there anything about you that most people don’t know?

When I was 13, I held a door open and did my best curtsy for HRH Queen Elizabeth II when she officially opened my school.  She smiled at me and said “thank you”.

What song always puts you in a good mood?

“Happy” – Pharrell Williams. How can you not smile when you hear it?