Celebrating Carole Clark McBride: A special graduation ceremony for Nashwauk woman who was denied a diploma

Celebrating Carole Clark McBride’s graduation

A look at how Carole McBride continues to advocate for others, at her graduation ceremony.

Carole Clark walked across the stage in 1961 for graduation. But Nashwauk school leaders denied her a signed diploma.

Carole had cerebral palsy. Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t pass gym class, due to the requirements back then. And there were no protections for people with disabilities.

Her granddaughter, G-Anna Waters, said, “I commend my grandma for being as strong as she was. She stood up for herself that day, because she knew she earned it.”

She went on to live a full life, raising a family and loving things like bingo.

After her death earlier this year, family decided to pursue the diploma.

Tuesday, Nashwauk-Keewatin hosted a special ceremony just for her.

The Spartans Class of 2024 organized it. Reagan Powell, Class Secretary, said, “It’s definitely a huge honor to be able to gift her family this diploma that she is so deserving of.”

Olivia Nagler, Class President, said, ‘I learned a lot about her, and how she grew up. My grandparents knew her. And it’s cool to see how many people knew her.”

“I’m glad to be involved. It’s something so big for our community, and for our senior class, it will be memorable,” added class valedictorian Kaitlin Olson.

Carole’s family is so grateful. Her daughter, Rinna Waters, said, “It’s just surreal. I have so much pride for my mom, and this school. For righting this wrong.”

Carole died in September at the age of 82. But her legacy of advocating for others lives on.

Her grandson, Ian Waters, said, “Thankfully things are different now. And if anybody else has experienced an injustice like this, they should come out.”