Woman, 100, given high school diploma

Nov. 30, 2009 at 1:43 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A Toronto resident said she was presented with a high school diploma for her 100th birthday from her former school in New York.

Mary Arnott said she regretted not being able to obtain a high school diploma at St. Peter's Girls High School on Staten Island, despite the fact she later sought additional education, The Staten Island (N.Y.) Advance reported Monday.

"I kept going to night school and more night school and finally got business training and became a secretary to a lawyer, but it wasn't the same," Arnott said.

To honor Arnott's 100th birthday, officials at St. Peter's gave the former student an honorary high school diploma this year.

The school bestowed the honor after being contacted by Arnott's granddaughter, Allison, and Arnott said finally having her degree is a rare treat.

"It just means everything," she told the Advance in a telephone interview.

The Advance said Arnott lost out on her chance to be a member of the school's class of 1925 after her mother died and her father removed her from school so she could help care for her siblings.

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