meet Sandra Griffith-Bonaparte
Born in Belmont, St. George’s, Grenada’s capital, Sandra obtained her early education at Wesley Hall, South St. George Government School and St. George’s Seventh Day Adventist Primary School. Successful in both Common Entrance and School Leaving Examinations, she attended the St. John’s Christian Secondary School (SJCSS).
After Sandra graduated from secondary school, she obtained her first job as a teacher at the Woburn Methodist School in Grenada. Ms. Griffith-Bonaparte successfully completed the In-service Teacher Education Training Programme. She subsequently enrolled in an education programme at the Caribbean Union College in Trinidad and Tobago. While in Trinidad and Tobago, Sandra met and married the love of her life, Fabian Bonaparte. She soon returned to Grenada to resume teaching at St. Rose Modern Secondary School. Sandra has very fond memories of her tenure at that school where she taught English Language and Literature.
Where her Heart Lies
When Sandra was a young teacher in Grenada, the boys would take their shirts off when running around outside on warm days. One day, one of the boys did not remove his shirt. Sandra touched his shoulder to ask him why that was and he withdrew with a wince. Another boy nearby said, “You mustn’t touch his back Teacher. It is all cut and sore.” “What happened?” she asked, and the boy speaking for his friend said, “His father, Teacher. He was taught a lesson.”
Sandra was deeply touched. She is a singer and songwriter and that day she went home and wrote the song: Your Children.
1988 was a turning point in her life. She was one of five successful candidates, out of 1400 applicants, for a United States Agency for International Development scholarship. She could not accept the award but left Grenada for Canada in August of that year.
Adventurous by nature, Sandra pursued her education dreams in Canada. In 1995, she received a B.A. in Sociology at Carleton University. She returned to the classroom and in 1998 obtained an honours degree in Anthropology from the same university. Ms. Griffith- Bonaparte completed a master’s (M.Ed.) degree in Christian Education in July 2005 and a Master of Art in Public Ethics from the University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University in Ottawa. She currently works for the federal government of Canada.