Last item for navigation
Diploma earned after 50 years
Diploma earned after 50 years

On June 2, 2016 at the Puyallup HIgh School Senior Awards Night, former PHS student Dianne Howell was presented with a special diploma for the class of 1966. Puyallup High Principal Dave Sunich honored Howell as a "model of perseverance and determination" when presenting the audience with her story.


Following her sophomore year, Ms. Dianne Ross was forced to leave school due to some unexpected family challenges. Through her own personal determination, curiosity about the world, and an appreciation for learning and taking on challenges, she worked to earn multiple bachelor's degrees, raise three children, and serve as a high profile client relationship manager in numerous law firms and bio tech firms.


Decades after her class of 1966 graduated without her, Dianne Howell (Ross) contacted the Puyallup School District to inquire of documentation of school credits and work experience in hopes that she might acquire the diploma she never received. Deficient in English credit, she took the Smarter Balanced Interim Comprehensive Assessment for English/Language Arts and Literacy for grade 11 and passed. With this, she had met all graduation requirements for the class of 1966 and qualified for a high school diploma.


Sunich encouraged all students and family members at the awards event saying Ms. Howell "serves as real life proof that it is never too late to learn." He went on, "Your experiences early in life don't have to determine your destiny."