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Local women and former WWII POW named Honorary Graduate from OKCPS

(Oklahoma City, OK) - Approximately 80 years after her graduation should have taken place, Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) honored Patty Kelly Stevens with a graduation ceremony and “diploma” on Friday, June 24th. Ms. Stevens is an American who was living in the Philippines during WWII. She was a prisoner of war for three years after being captured in 1942- the same year she was due to graduate high school. 

Jason Black, Ms. Stevens’ grandson is currently filming a documentary about her life and reached out to the district with the idea of a graduation ceremony. “We hear about the ‘Greatest Generation’ and there are fewer and fewer of them,” Jason Black said. “We need to help make these stories live on and pass them down.”

Ms. Stevens' family and friends were on hand to see her “graduate” at the Clara Luper Center for Educational Services and receive an honorary diploma from OKCPS Superintendent, Dr. Sean McDaniel, OKCPS Board Chair, Paula Lewis and Deputy Superintendent Jason Brown.  

“We have been anticipating this day with big circles on the calendar,” said Dr. McDaniel. “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate this milestone with Patty Kelly Stevens.”

“Thank you all for coming to celebrate this special day that I thought would never happen- 80 years later,” said Ms. Stevens. “I am lucky to be here because I’ve had many chances to not be. I am very flattered and appreciate this very much.”