85-year-old woman achieves dream and graduates high school

WTAP News @ 11 - 85-year-old woman achieves dream and graduates high school
Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 11:42 PM EDT
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NEW MATAMORAS, Ohio. (WTAP) - A special guest was honored at Frontier High School’s senior awards ceremony on Sunday.

Amid the sea of high schoolers and their families was Phyllis Bowersock, an 85-year-old woman wearing a cap and gown.

While she might not look like the other seniors at the banquet, she has one thing in common with them - she just finished high school.

Bowersock said, “..., and when I started in I thought oh my, I’ll never make it and when I got the books and started reading it was really interesting.”

Getting her GED has been a long-time goal for Bowersock.

She said, “I was in 11th grade and then I got married and had three children and ten grandchildren.”

While a year put into studying four years worth of high school is impressive, keeping it a secret from most of her family was another impressive feat.

Her great-grandson, Gaige Bowersock, said, “She had a math paper and said I’m just trying to tune up on my math and stuff and I’m like oh well okay. Never even dazed me that she was doing that.”

Gaige is just one of Mrs. Bowersock’s multiple great-grandchildren who are graduating alongside their grandma this year.

Granddaughter Melinda Crone said, “The part that really touched me so much is that she’s always been there for all of our life events and usually you don’t get to enjoy life events of your grandparents. They’re just there with you.”

While Mr. Bowersock did not live long enough to join the family in seeing Bowersock walk across the stage, he was alive to see her get her GED.

Still, Crone says she knows he was there watching Bowersock get her honorary Newport High School Diploma.

Bowersock already knows where she’ll put it.

She smiled, “I’ll hang it on my wall so I can see it every day.”

Bowersock’s advice to people-watching is to never give up hope.

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