News 12 at 11 o'clock / Friday, June 1, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. -- Imagine not missing a day of school for an entire year. Now think about not missing a day for 12 straight years. Three Aiken High School students did just that.
Students in South Carolina are allowed to miss up to 10 days each school year, but out of more than 2,100 days of school, these three didn't miss any.
Ashley Garrett, Tocoa Allen and Coty Caudle headed into their high school graduation ceremony having never missed a single day of school.
"It's a big goal to be able to accomplish because just to know that I've been every single day of school without missing a day is just a big goal in my life," Garrett said.
It is a goal that only 70 students in the state of South Carolina accomplished.
"That's probably one of my biggest accomplishments I'd say because many people can say that they're in the National Honor Society or they got a scholarship, but I can say I went 12 years without missing a day and that's pretty big," Allen said.
It's a big accomplishment that for all three that started at a young age.
"I went most of my life without missing a day of school and from then on it was kinda just like, 'Why start now?'" Caudle said.
"I found out in fifth grade and then I just had to keep going after that," Garrett said.
"I guess it started in first grade," Allen said. "I didn't know they were giving those awards, but I was the only one in my class who got it and it was pretty exciting so I decided, 'Hey I'll stick with this.'"
But they say sticking with it through high school was the hardest part.
"This year was kinda difficult," Caudle said. "Had a lot going on with work and everything else and I was kinda just like its my last year let's go ahead and finish it out perfect."
As they graduate, they realize how quickly those 12 years went by, another thing that kept them in school every day.
"It's just the fact that I'm only there for so long and I know I can do it and I never wanted to miss a day," Garrett said.
Aiken High School was one of only four other schools in South Carolina to have that many students graduate with perfect attendance.
Aiken County had six students with perfect attendance, the second-most in all of South Carolina. This includes two Midland Valley High School students, Amanda Duncan and Krisha Smith, and one student from Silver Bluff High School, Taylor Boles.
Edgefield County had one student and Barnwell County had two students with perfect attendance.