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A high school graduate — at age 96

Verda Graupmann Templin receives an honorary Glencoe-Silver Lake High School diploma from GSL School Board Vice Chair Jamie Alsleben on June 28.

The air was warm and the bugs were biting, but the skies remained clear. It was another beautiful day for a graduation. Verda Graupmann Templin, the sole graduate, was wheeled up the short procession line and received her diploma.
“Better late than never,” Templin said.
She was last here, at the McLeod District #6 school site, more than 80 years ago as an eighth grader. Now, at the age of 96, Templin has returned to the same spot to finally get her high school diploma.
Surrounded by family, friends and fellow alum, Templin received an honorary diploma from Glencoe-Silver Lake High School on June 28. The graduation took place during the McLeod Historical Society and Museum’s dedication ceremony for Templin’s school, McLeod District #6. Both the dedication and the diploma were a part of the Glencoe Regional Health Services’ Just One Wish program, which grants wishes to patients in long term care.
Born in 1919, Templin left school after eighth grade at her father’s command. The family lived on a farm in Biscay and needed Templin’s help to care for the cows. Her work started the day she graduated.
“He said, ‘Today at five o’clock you’ll come to the barn with us and milk a cow and tomorrow morning you’ll get up at five o’clock and help us milk,’” Templin said.
Templin agreed, but had one condition. If she left school and helped on the farm, her father would allow her younger siblings to continue their education from the country school, which only went to eighth grade, to the high school in town.
“She said not another child was staying home from school,” Beverly, one of Templin’s four daughters, said.

For more, see the July 1 print edition of The Chronicle.