The Hon. Jeanette Grant-Woodham, OD, JP, MA

The late Jeanette Grant-Woodham, OD, JP, former President of the Senate sprung from the soils of Ocho Rios, St. Ann, and made an indelible mark on national development. She is remembered as an outstanding educator, inspirational leader and devoted civil servant. 

Mrs. Grant-Woodham was born on July 13, 1938. She was a cultural enthusiast, and upon her return to Jamaica from overseas studies, she began researching folklore and interviewing elders. She was also deeply involved in honing the talents of young people. She taught at the Shortwood Teachers’ College in Kingston and the Bethlehem Teacher Training College in Malvern, St. Elizabeth.

In 1970, she was appointed principal of the Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School, where she was fully emersed in the lives of students and staff and is lauded by many who experienced her. She was credited for her role in the blossoming of the Tivoli Gardens High School Dance Troupe and is the architect behind Tivoli being the leading school in the creative industries. Tivoli Gardens High is a multi-disciplinary educational institution that offers courses in the arts, sciences, skills training, sports and culture. Tivoli is the school most known to perform at many national events.

Mrs. Grant-Woodham was appointed to the Senate in 1980 and elected Deputy President that same year. She elevated to the Presidency in 1984 as the first female President of the Senate and served in that capacity until 1989. In another series of firsts, Mrs. Grant-Woodham became the first female to be appointed to the post of Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in 1986.