106 Year Old Ohio Woman Graduates High School 88 YEARS After She Was Denied Her Diploma Over Book Dispute
At long last: At 106-years-old Reba Williams received her high school diploma from Mount Vernon Schools Superintendent Steve Short at her home in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday
A 106-year-old central Ohio woman who completed all her high school classes but didn’t graduate because a dispute over a book has long-last received her high school diploma.
Reba Williams was presented with her diploma at her apartment in Columbus on Wednesday in a jam-packed ceremony that was nearly 88-years overdue, the News Journal in Mansfield reports.
The 2013 graduate even got to wear a traditional white graduation cap brought by retired Mount Vernon English teacher Rita Dailey who was the one to first urge the school board to award the diploma.
Deserving: Mrs Williams, seen in the third row on the far right, completed all of her high school credits but failed to read a final book assigned to her because she already read it and said she didn’t want to read it again
Mistake: Mrs Williams says she hopes current students realize that learning is important and that they probably shouldn’t follow her example
Mrs Williams has said she completed high school in Mount Vernon but was denied her diploma because she refused to read a final book assigned by a teacher.
She’d read the book once and didn’t want to read it again.
Vernon Superintendent Steve Short, who read over her high school records himself, was on hand to personally award the woman her diploma.
‘Congratulations, Reba, you are the top of your class. You’ve taught us a lot,’ he said.
Mrs Williams says she hopes current students realize that learning is important and that they probably shouldn’t follow her example.
‘If they expect to get any place in this world, they have to learn,’ she told the Journal
Mrs Williams says she was never not a fan of school or learning but on the contrary grew up wanting to read rather than run around and play games like hide-and-seek with the other kids. She said her favorite subject was math.
Proud: Among those in attendance were her daughter and 88-year-old ‘baby’ brother Charles, seen here congratulating his big sister
‘I liked to learn everything,’ she said. ‘In high school, I took everything that I could’
Mrs Dailey says she would have handled her expected 1925 graduation differently if she were her teacher at the time.
‘I would not be one to condone a student not completing an assignment, but I would offer alternatives,’ she said. ‘Apparently, she wasn’t offered that opportunity.’
Mrs Williams went on to work as a cook at Malabar Farm from 1943 to 1957.
Among her family present for the ceremony was her daughter, Lavata, and younger brother, Charles, who’s 88-years old.
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