SAHS Trailblazers are pioneers and achievers, women who have been the first in their field or chosen path. Inaugurated in 2005, on the occasion of the School’s 80th anniversary, Trailblazers are honoured every 5 years with presentations made at the anniversary Homecoming celebrations.
2015 – 9oth Anniversary Trailblazers
Dr. Hope Abrahams Calogero –
The first black PhD graduate in the Biochemistry Department of Queen Elizabeth College, University of London; and the first woman with a PhD appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry, University of the West Indies
Ms. Michelle Chin Lenn
– Engineer; the first female Project Manager, Wigton Windfarm- the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean, and Winner of the Project of the Year 2011 Award from the Jamaica Institute of Engineers.
Dr. Pauline Christie –
Internationally acclaimed for her academic research and publications on Caribbean French and English Creoles, Dominican and Jamaican English, and the recipient of a Silver Musgrave Medal for outstanding merit in the field of Linguistics; First female University Dean of the University of the West Indies.
Mrs. Pamela Monroe Ellis –
First woman appointed as Auditor General of Jamaica; the first person from the Latin American and Caribbean region to be elected as a member of the Board of the International Federation of Accountants, on which she is currently serving for a second three-year term.
Miss Helen Fox OD –
The first Dietitian in Jamaica, and the first Nutritionist in Public Health, and the first student from St Andrew High School for Girls to have won the Jamaica Scholarship.
Dr. Michelle Hamilton –
Pioneering scientist, whose research on xanthan gum production, resulted in the first patent registered by the University of the West Indies, Mona, as well as an international patent. The first female at the UWI, Mona, to receive the Guardian Life Premium Award for Excellence in Teaching, she also established the first fermentation facility in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, and the Microbiology Analytical Services Laboratory at the UWI, Mona.
Ms. Elizabeth Ann (Betty Ann) Jones, CD
– First female Senior Partner of a Big Four firm in Jamaica (KPMG) and first woman to serve as Chair of KPMG Caricom.
Professor Jennifer Knight-Madden
– First woman appointed Director of the Sickle Cell Unit, Tropical Medical Research Institute, University of the West Indies, Mona; internationally recognised Sickle Cell Disease expert, particularly regarding the pulmonary complications of Sickle Cell Disease
Dr. Tracey A. Jackson Lincoln –
The first scientist in the world to achieve self-sustained perpetual replication of a biological molecule outside of a living organism; she is the recipient of a Bronze Musgrave Medal for eminence in the field of Science.
Mary Virtue McLaughlin –
Founder, “Trees that Feed” and the first Jamaican woman to launch, finance and successfully implement an international tree planting campaign in ten countries across the world (including Jamaica and Haiti) to simultaneously provide food and protect the environment.
Mrs. Barbara Requa. OD
– First Dean of the Schools of Performing Arts, Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts; founding member of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica; co-founder of the School of Dance, Edna Manley College; founding member of Dance & the Child International; and the recipient of the Silver Musgrave Medal for outstanding merit in the field of Dance Education. In 1960/61, she was the Head of the Athletics team that led St. Andrew High School to win its first and only Girls’ Championship.
Dr. T. Alafia Samuels
– The first woman appointed Director of the Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC), University of the West Indies, Cave Hill; an expert on issues related to Non-Communicable Diseases
Mrs. Christine Staple-Ebanks
– Founder of the Nathan Ebanks Foundation, and the first Jamaican parent (of a child with disabilities) to launch, sustain and finance a parent-directed educational programme for parents, teachers and care-givers, to enrich and transform the lives of children with disabilities and special needs.
Dr. Shirley Thomas –
First woman awarded a PhD in Chemistry by the University of the West Indies. The subject of her doctoral thesis, in 1970, was “Natural Products from Marine Invertebrates.”
Hon. Norma Lorraine Walters, CD, JP –
First woman appointed Custos Rotulorum of the Parish of St Ann, she is the recipient of a number of awards for Community Service.
Dr. Natalie Whylie, JP –
The first woman appointed Senior Medical Officer of the Kingston Public Hospital, Dr Whylie is a Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat/Head & Neck Surgeon.
Dr. Marie Williams –
The first female African-American Periodontist in the United States Air Force. Dr. Williams served 27 years in the US Air Force, retiring with the rank of Colonel.
Mrs. Helen Skinner Willinsky –
Acclaimed as the first person to introduce Jamaican “Jerk” to the wider international culinary community through the sale and demonstration of the products, “Helen’s Tropical Exotics” and her Recipe Book, “Jerk: Barbecue from Jamaica”
Ms. Elaine Wint –
An outstanding broadcaster and mass communications specialist; the first woman to be Moderator of a prime time current affairs discussion programme on Jamaican television -“Tuesday Forum”- which aired from 1992 to 2002.