Grandmother, 71, graduates as a valedictorian

This article is more than 12 months old

​Age is no barrier for this 71-year-old grandmother who was named valedictorian of her class in Texas while graduating with a certified nursing assistant license.

Jerry Duncan had worked as an unlicensed nursing assistant for 25 years. But when her former employer let go of all employees who lacked the proper credentials, she decided to go back to school.

She said: "Just because I'm old doesn't mean I'm dead. I'm going to work until Jesus comes."

Duncan, who plans to work at a hospital or a nursing home, thought that her prior work experience would make learning in school easier. But she was wrong.

"I had to come to school to learn I had been doing it all wrong all of these years," she said.

Older than her teacher

The oldest student in her class, Duncan is decades older than her classmates, and even her course instructor.

"It's pretty bad when you're older than your teacher," she said.

Not only was she the valedictorian, she was also one of the more popular students.

Her course instructor, Leila Letourneau, said: " She ran circles around these kids. She kept them motivated. They realised if she could do it, then they could do it too."

Sources: Longview News Journal, USA Today