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106-Year Old Woman Set to Get Her High School Diploma

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Staff Blogger,

If anyone ever tells you that you’re too old to make things right with your education, all you have to do is tell them a story like this.  A U.S. woman, who is 106 years old and completed her schooling in Ohio, is eventually going to get her high-school diploma after almost 90 years of waiting for it.

According to Reba Williams, who moved to Mount Vernon when she was a child, from Germantown, Pennsylvania, where she was born on January 23, 1907, she completed her high school in Ohio when she was a teen in the 1920’s.  However, Williams was refused her diploma because she didn’t want to read a book she had already read although it was assigned by her teacher. Williams said, according to her daughter, Lavata Williams, that the book was not worth reading again because she didn’t like it.

Fred Dailey, a former director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture said his wife, Rita, heard of Williams’ story and took it to the Mount Vernon Board of Education for their review. Rita was a former teacher in Williams’ school district.

“It seemed like a nice thing to do and although I never knew her personally it seemed like something that was overdue,” Dailey said.

According to the Mansfield News Journal, earlier this month, the Mount Vernon Board of Education voted to award Williams her diploma, even if, a little late.

Lavata, 78, explains that she grew up on Lucas farm, now called Malabar Farm State Park, which is now the state’s only working farm. She said that her mother was a longtime cook there. She also said that her mother still has a sharp mind and now lives with her.

Reba Williams, when told about the news of the diploma replied with her typical sense of humor, “That’s nice” according to Lavata.

Lavata said she will frame the diploma and put it on the wall in front of her mother’s bed, alongside family photos and her mother treasures.

It still has not been decided how the board will present the diploma to Williams, a spokeswoman in the board office said, whether in person, through the mail or at a ceremony.