Claudette Woodard is a native Clevelander born in 1945. She graduated from Glenville High School and later taught there. Claudette received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Bowling Green State University in 1968 and taught first grade and enrichment kindergarten till 1980. During that time she received certification in Special Education (1976) and received her Masters in Education in 1978. In 1980 she took a position with Glenville-Lincoln West Cluster as Community Organizer, followed by positions as Vocational Evaluator and Staff Development Coordinator.
In 1982 she returned to the classroom at Glenville High School and Mary B. Martin Elementary in the Developmentally Handicapped Programs, renewing her certification while there. In 1987, Woodard was promoted to department chairman and vocational coordinator in the developmentally handicapped programs with Rhodes High School. She took on the responsibility of Supervisor in the Developmentally Handicapped Programs for the school system.
It was in 1998 that her efforts directed her into county and state-wide influence as a School Improvement Facilitator through the Educational Services Center for Cuyahoga County and Ohio Department of Education.
But it was not just in the classroom or administration that Claudette's influence was noted. Early on she involved herself with those who make a difference for the community as well as the classroom. She served as campaign manager for state and local Board of Education contenders and State Representative campaigns, served on the board of Case Western Reserve Mental Development Center as Advisory Board Member, and also Advisory Board Member for OWE for Cleveland Heights High School. This culminated with serving 8 years as School Board member with Cleveland Heights-University Heights and Board President for 3 years and Vice President for 2 years, during which she served as the Board's representative to the Heights Community Congress and Reaching Heights Foundation.
In 2001, fellow community members approached Woodard to run for State Representative for House District 9, resulting in a victory for her and in two subsequent races. As District 9's voice in Columbus, she served as the Secretary of the Finance and Appropriations Committee, was the ranking member of the Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee and was a member of the Insurance, Education and Federal Grant Review/Education Oversight Committees.
Representative Woodard also served as Vice President of African American Women's Agenda; Chairperson, Counsel of Sisters; Chairperson, Special Needs Committee - Boy Scouts of America Special Projects; Precinct Chairperson.
Claudette also is the Immediate Past President for the Black Women's Political Action Committee and was a member with the National Council of Negro Women; the Council for Exceptional Children, CEC - Chapter 13; League of Women Voters - Cuyahoga County Chapter; Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice where she served on the Program Committee.
In 1999 Claudette served as a trainer for League of Women Voters sharing her experience in Zimbabwe, building grassroots democracy. Claudette Woodard was honored with the Louis Stokes Award from Jobs with Justice in 2002, was appointed the Cleveland Lakefront Advisory Committee in 2002, and in 1996 she was featured in Ebony Magazine.
Claudette, with the support of her husband, daughters and grandchildren, looks forward to continued community involvement and advocating for those seldom heard.