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62-year-old Vt. stroke survivor receives high school diploma - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

62-year-old Vt. stroke survivor receives high school diploma

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LYNDONVILLE, Vt. -

A 62-year-old stroke survivor just graduated high school.

"I just figured you're never too old to learn," said Jim McKeon.

McKeon, of North Concord, received his high school diploma Thursday. 

"He wanted to make his kids proud of him and we're very proud of him," said Kevin McKeon, Jim's son.

The dad and grandfather has been working with Northeast Kingdom Learning Services for the past year to finish school. Back when he was a teenager, Jim McKeon dropped out after his freshman year to start work.

"I went to a Vermont tech school to become a machinist. I worked at Vermont Aerospace for 35-plus years," he said.

He had a successful career, but then life took a different course.

"I had a stroke while I was out work. Since then I've been unemployed and have become disabled," he said.

McKeon says finishing school has always been one of his goals and figured, why not now? He worked with program manager Sarah Roy who developed an individualized learning plan with him based on his interests.

"It was just great to take somebody who had already a lifetime of experience and say what would you like to do with this? He had work ethic like no other student," Roy said.

McKeon toyed with computer programs for the first time and brushed up on his math and writing skills.

He admitted, "It was pretty tough."

"School's never been easy, learning's never been easy for my dad, so for him to do this is a huge accomplishment," Kevin McKeon said.

"He's always been a hard worker," said Shawn McKeon, Jim's son.

Jim McKeon says he wants to set an example for his family members to finish their education.

"It's my turn to show them I can do it," he said.

Jim McKeon was the oldest of 50 graduates in this year's class who received diplomas.

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