*UPDATE* Shortly after the publication of our original story, Jeff Holness responded to our request for comment. Dr. Holness insisted he was indeed a graduate of Dillard High School 1989. He explained the sponsorship and fundraising for Manchester High School was done on at the request of lifelong school friends in Jamaica.
Holness said he attended Manchester until his family emigrated to the United States in the late 1980s. Like many new foreign students, Holness took extra time to catch up with the coursework of his American counterparts. Instead of graduating in 1988, Holness graduated in 1989.
Aware that some were questioning his academic career, Holness requested his official school transcript. He promised to share it with REDBROWARD when received. True to his word, Holness shared photographs of his transcript when he received it late last week.
The transcript shows Jeff Holness is a graduate of Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale.
Also aware that some have raised questions of his postgraduate degrees, Holness shared photographs of his college degrees.
In addition to updating the story, REDBROWARD replaced a graphic which may have mocked Dr. Holness. We regret any embarrassment or confusion caused by our original story. We offer this correction.
Our original post appears below:
Broward School Board Member Jeff Holness claims to be a graduate of Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale. Holness, the newly-elected representative of District 5, makes the claim on his official Broward School District biography. He also made the claim on his 2022 campaign literature. The issue of Holness’ true alma mater was first raised by the Westside Gazette newspaper.
Now, REDBROWARD uncovered published reports and even a GoFundMe page revealing Holness is an alumnus of a Jamaican high school.
In September 2018, the official alumni website of Manchester High School in Jamaica gave details on the thirtieth reunion of the Class of 1988. The website thanked members of the Class of 88 who sponsored the reunion. Jeptha L. Holness is named as a “generous donor” to Manchester High.
Jeff Holness’ legal name is Jeptha Lotfield Holness.
In August 2017, Jeptha Holness createda GoFundMe page benefiting Manchester High School. Holness wrote, “We the MHS Class of 1988, welcome your supporting contributions, hand in hand with us, as we help the lights of current students to shine.”
In March 2012, Jeff Holness posted a photograph of friends on Facebook. Holness said enjoyed spending time with the male in photo. Holness described the man as “my good friend from high school days.”
According to the man’s Facebook account, he is a graduate of Manchester High School in Jamaica.
A review of Dillard High School yearbooks from 1987-1989 failed to show Holness as a student at the predominantly African-American school.
Why would Jeff Holness claim to be a graduate of Dillard High School if he really graduated from a Jamaican high school?
We asked Jeff Holness to explain what is going on.