Woman, 106, gets high school diploma

March 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 14 (UPI) -- A 106-year-old Ohio woman who never graduated high school was presented with a diploma during a special ceremony at her apartment.

Reba Williams of Columbus received her diploma Wednesday in a ceremony attended by Mount Vernon Superintendent Steve Short, the (Mansfield, Ohio) News Journal reported Thursday.

Williams and her daughter, Lavata, said Williams failed to graduate despite making it to her senior year of high school in Mount Vernon because she refused to read an assigned book she had already read and didn't like.

Williams said she does not recommend students follow her example.

"I'd tell them what happened to me," she said. "If they expect to get anyplace in this world, they have to learn."

Rita Dailey, a retired high school English teacher at Mount Vernon High School, heard about Williams' story from a recent profile in the News Journal and approached the school board, which voted unanimously Feb. 18 to approve Williams' diploma.

"I get to do a lot of things in education that I enjoy, but this is something I really enjoy," Short said. "Congratulations, Reba, you are the top of your class. You've taught us a lot."

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