Warren Kreway

After 47 years, man gets his Grade 12 diploma

It took 47 years, but Warren Kreway is finally getting his high school diploma. Kreway, 65, left school in Rosemary about 10 credits short of completing Grade 12 in 1967.

It took 47 years, but Warren Kreway is finally getting his high school diploma.

Kreway, 65, left school in Rosemary about 10 credits short of completing Grade 12 in 1967.

On June 27, he will be one of about 230 students graduating from Lacombe Composite High School at a ceremony at Westerner Park.

Kreway could have applied to get his diploma based on his training while employed through the years, including courses he took at Mount Royal College.

Instead, he enrolled in three classes and was shoulder-to-shoulder with high school students for three months.

“Is it worth doing what I’ve done? Absolutely. When I see the reaction of the students. When I see the friendships that we’ve built. When I see the reaction of the student body, and when I see the reaction of the faculty — it’s like coming home,” said Kreway, of Lacombe, who drives a school bus for Wolf Creek Public Schools.

He would bus students from Blackfalds, attend class, then get back in the driver’s seat to take students home.

He admitted his first few days of class last fall were awkward and students were unsure why he was there, so he got up and spoke in front of his class.

“I explained to them why and what I was doing and the purpose behind it. And the class actually got up and gave me a standing ovation.”

Kreway has been a volunteer with high school’s robotic club for a few years.

When he bashfully revealed to them that he didn’t have his diploma and felt uncomfortable leaving his education unfinished, students encouraged him to do something about it.

He said school definitely has changed, with the emphasis on using computers and the large classes.

“Nowadays, you’re up to 40-some kids in the classroom. What I was hoping to get was more one-on-one.

“I did (get one-on-one assistance), but not as much as I expected.”

Kreway said he learned more about the challenges youth face today.

While students helped him when it came to computers, he was kind of like the “resident grandfather” providing encouragement.

But mostly, Kreway said he was seen as just another student to talk to about homework and class.

He was surprised to discover a passion for writing after critiquing novels and movies for class.

“Once the valve opened, I couldn’t shut it off. I was writing 30- and 40-page essays. It’s opened a new door that hasn’t closed and I don’t want it to close.”

Kreway said he did take the opportunity to try to steer students towards post-secondary education.

“Grade 12 isn’t enough anymore. You have to have college or university. No matter what you do in the working world, you need that. In my day, you didn’t need that.”

In the 1960s, Kreway left school for a job in Calgary in freight delivery. He also spent many years in appliance service.

Kreway said it was common for people of his generation to not complete their schooling.

“I wasn’t alone. But I felt alone.”

He hopes his success will encourage others his age to consider finishing high school.

When the 2013-14 yearbook was being prepared, Kreway was asked what he was going to do after graduation. While he’s not sure if he’ll further his education, he has applied for a teaching assistant job at the high school.

For now, he’s just looking forward to graduation day. He said his fellow students are also waiting to see him walk across the stage to accept his diploma.

“I wanted to know what it was like to go back to school. It became instant family.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP believe public not at risk

Royal close shave: Prince William opts for dramatic buzz cut

LONDON — The hair on the heir is no longer quite so… Continue reading

Border wall models thwart US commandos in tests

SAN DIEGO — Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President… Continue reading

Man charged in presumed deaths of two missing Toronto men set to appear in court

TORONTO — A man charged with first-degree murder in the presumed deaths… Continue reading

Nova Scotia ‘seriously considering’ banning plastic bags: environment minister

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s environment minister says he’s ”seriously considering” enacting a… Continue reading

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month