106-Year-Old Woman Gets High School Diploma

Reba Williams, who sounds like a total character, will soon also be a high school graduate.

Reba Williams (Mansfield News Journal)
Reba Williams (Mansfield News Journal)

Reba Williams, a 106-year-old woman in Columbus, Ohio, is finally going to get her high school diploma. No, she didn’t just recently finish her coursework. Rather, it seems the same determination that has kept her alive and active this long also kept her from reading the final book assigned by her teacher during her last semester at Mount Vernon High School. But that act of academic rebellion is going to be forgiven.

“She said the book was not worth reading and she’d already read it once and didn’t like it and wasn’t going to read it again,” her granddaughter, Lavata Williams, told the Mansfield News Journal. Thus, Williams didn’t graduate. She went on to a career as a cook at what is now the state’s only working farm and park, Malabar Farm State Park.

On Feb. 18, at the suggestion of a couple who had read a newspaper story about Williams and thought the issuance of a degree was “something that was overdue,” the local Board of Education made a motion to approve her diploma.

Williams’ reaction when she heard the news was just slightly more enthusiastic than her response to that final assigned text of 88 years ago: “That’s nice,” she said.

Read more at the Mansfield News Journal.

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