Five decades later, Mundelein High student gets his diploma

  • Stanley Spooner, 68, walks into the graduation ceremony Sunday for Mundelein High School at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. Spooner did not finish high school because he enlisted in the Marines in 1965 and served in the Vietnam War.

    Stanley Spooner, 68, walks into the graduation ceremony Sunday for Mundelein High School at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. Spooner did not finish high school because he enlisted in the Marines in 1965 and served in the Vietnam War. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Adriana Feijoo waves to family members during the graduation ceremony Sunday for Mundelein High School at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

    Adriana Feijoo waves to family members during the graduation ceremony Sunday for Mundelein High School at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Valedictorian Anna Balla addresses the audience Sunday during the graduation ceremony for Mundelein High School at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

    Valedictorian Anna Balla addresses the audience Sunday during the graduation ceremony for Mundelein High School at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 5/14/2017 5:54 PM

Nearly 500 Mundelein High School students received their diplomas Sunday, but one of them has a quite a jump on his fellow graduates when it comes to moving on to the next phase in life.

Joining the hundreds of teenagers in caps and gowns at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates was 68-year-old Stanley Spooner, initially a member of Mundelein High's Class of 1968. Spooner didn't graduate with his classmates, however. He instead enlisted in the Marines during the Vietnam War and spent four years on active duty.

 

Spooner later earned a GED but always wanted to receive a diploma from his high school. And so after traveling from his new home state of Utah, Spooner joined the Class of 2017 for graduation.

"It's an honor, believe me," Spooner said while dressed in his red cap and gown. "Maybe others caught in the same situation that I was, will hear about it and maybe they'll go for theirs. And maybe it will give some of these students that are graduating now to continue on with their education because it's important. It's not the whole thing in life but it is very important."

Presided over by Superintendent Kevin Myers and Principal Anthony Kroll, the ceremony featured graduation speeches from Salutatorian Alexander Frumkin and Valedictorian Anna Balla, as well as a graduate Fernando Roman, who was chosen as the Senior Speaker.

The ceremony also included musical pieces performed by the school's master singers, concert choir and combined honors band.

The class of 2017 featured 25 cum laude graduates, 24 magna cum laude graduates and 90 summa cum laude graduates.

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