Blan seeks to award well-earned Class of ‘45 diploma

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — The Blanchester school board hopes an ailing former student will get her long overdue high school diploma.

During Monday night’s meeting, the board approved a resolution that would award Mary Lou Frederick her Class of 1945 Blanchester High School diploma.

Frederick, currently residing in Lebanon, had to drop out of school due to family circumstances, according to Blanchester Superintendent Dean Lynch. Lynch told the board she was one of 10 children and her family couldn’t afford to keep her to school.

Since she was one of the oldest, and some of her older brothers had joined the military, she went to work at a factory in Middletown.

Frederick is currently in ill health; Lynch said he has been in contact with her nurse and would let her know the resolution had passed.

According to Chapter 5902-3-03 in the Ohio Administrative Code, a high school diploma may be awarded to any woman who left high school during World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, or posthumously to a living relative of a woman “who left a public or non-public school located in any state prior to graduation in order to join the workforce to support her family or to join the war effort, or who left a public or nonpublic school located in any state prior to graduation due to family circumstances and subsequently joined the workforce or war effort.”

To get the diploma, an application from the Governor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs would need to be filled out and Frederick would need to meet certain criteria — including being a current resident of Ohio or previously being enrolled in school in Ohio, or being an Ohio resident at the time of her death. Also that she left high school to join the workforce to support her family or due to family circumstances and subsequently joined the workforce or war effort.

“I believe a diploma has already been ordered. As soon as that gets in I might run that over during the day and personally give it to her with a couple other people …” said Lynch.

Also during the board meeting:

• Lynch told the board they may have to resort to the Blanchester Police issuing tickets to those who park in prohibited areas. Despite taking numerous steps to ensure no one parks in school fire lanes and by fire hydrants, some motorists keep parking in those areas, he said. Lynch recommended they start by ticketing drivers parking by the fire hydrants; if people keep parking in those spots then all violators will be ticketed. According to him, if it continues the schools could be facing fines.

• Board President Todd Bandow shared that the Blanchester High School Band participated in the Ohio Music Education Association Large Group Event. At the event, the band was given four minutes to practice a piece of music they hadn’t seen before and perform the piece to the judges where they would be rated on a scale of 1 to 5 — 1 being the highest. They received a 1, making them eligible for the state level competition April 28 at Troy High School. “That’s a really big accomplishment,” said Bandow.

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574