6/27/14 Thirteen years, no missed days
Thirteen years, no missed days
Trio completed school with perfect attendance
By Isaac Groves, The Times-News 6/27/14
Reprinted with permission.
They say half of life is about showing up.
Three graduates from Alamance-Burlington Schools did that every day for 13 years. Williams High School graduate Bria Bradshaw, Eastern High School graduate Tre’bor Hamilton and Western High School graduate Ellie Stuart did not miss a single day of school starting from the first day of kindergarten. That’s more than 2,300 days.
It should not come as a big surprise their moms had a lot to do with it. Part of it was scheduling.
“I always made sure his doctor and dentist appointments were outside of school hours and we didn’t take any vacations during the school year,” said Kendra Hamilton, Tre’bor’s mother.
Another big part of it was, well, motivation.
“Ever since I’ve been in school, my mom has been like, ‘You have to go to school,’” Bradshaw said. “Every student has days when they don’t want to go. … I don’t even ask anymore.”
At a certain point, though, it became something these young people took on for themselves.
“At the beginning, it didn’t really start out like I was trying to do it,” Stuart said. “When I got to middle school, there was one day I didn’t feel like going, and my mom said, ‘You’ve come this far.’”
After that it became part of who she was as a student. Even around exam time, when other seniors took off the days with no tests, Stuart was often the only one in class. That’s hard at any age.
Bradshaw, who has younger siblings on track for the same record, said this has given her a sense of commitment.
“I think it’s just been instilled in me that just because you don’t feel like doing something, you don’t skip it,” Bradshaw said.
Another important factor, of course, is health. Some of that is constitution. Bradshaw said she has never really had a high fever — knock on something.
Some of it is personal care.
“Just staying fit and eating right,” Hamilton said, “and listening to my parents and stuff when they tell me if I’m not sick, I should go to school.”
Some of it is luck — sort of. Stuart said she came down with something one Friday when she was at school and had to leave early. It was a three-day weekend, so she had plenty of time to recover. Not exactly something to cheer about, but it kept the streak alive.
Other times, Stuart said, she went to school with a headache that might have kept her home “if I was a normal kid.”
THE DEDICATED GRADUATES have already made a lot of choices about their futures.
Stuart must like school. She is going to UNC Wilmington in August to study education. She wants to be a teacher.
Bradshaw is headed to Smith College in Winston-Salem in August to study exercise science and already plans to go on to graduate school to become a physical therapist.
Hamilton is going to Alamance Community College and plans to be at UNCW in a couple of years to study marine biology. He said the field suits him.
“Just being outside and working with animals and stuff like that,” he said.
So another decision the three of them have to make is whether or not to keep their perfect records in college. “I probably won’t miss any days in college,” Bradshaw said. Stuart said she might miss a class. “Just to say I did it,” she said.