12:27 PM PDT, June 4, 2021
Grace Lee McClure Smith, 94, is a grandmother who can now add “high school graduate” to her list of achievements.
While excepting the honorary diploma from Hazel Green High School in Alabama, Grace was all smiles. “It’s better late than never, isn’t it?” she said with a laugh. “Thank you, everybody!” she said during the ceremony.
Back in 1942, at the age of 16, she dropped out of school. According to Erin Wilson, her granddaughter, it’s because she married Erin’s grandfather when he was drafted.
But Grace was never far from school, and she actually worked as a school bus driver for over 30 years. “She was a role model for a lot of kids, and she’s always telling the stories,” Erin explained.
And now the school is giving her one more story to tell: about the day she graduated high school.
And for that, Grace is grateful. “I feel like I don’t deserve it,” she said. “There’s a lot more people that are much more deserving than me. I’m just doing my job. I love it. I love most of it most of the time. Good times!”