A Spokane student has one-upped the Maryland girl who made national news this week with her perfect school attendance from kindergarten to high school. Tyler Weeks has a no-absence record back to preschool, said Debbie Weeks, his mother. The Rogers High School senior will graduate next week.
“We just taught him from very young that school is like your job,” his mother said. “We put a lot of emphasis on education is your future.”
The teenager – an athlete and one of Rogers’ valedictorians – shrugged off his rare accomplishment. “I was never sick. I never had an emergency. Nothing serious anyway,” he said.
He didn’t even participate in senior skip day, he said, because “everyone who skips doesn’t really do anything but sit around and watch TV.”
The only time Weeks missed class was for school activities, such as basketball. That doesn’t count against him, officials say.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Weeks’ friend and chemistry lab partner, Kim Duren. “I couldn’t do it.”
Spokane Public Schools officials could not recall another student who logged perfect attendance all 13 years of public education; the district doesn’t track preschool.
Tyler Martindale, a student in the Mead School District, came close, but he’d missed classes for doctor’s appointments, said Jennifer Brett, an attendance secretary.
Debbie Weeks said she worked hard at scheduling to prevent those kinds of absences. “We don’t miss school for dentist appointments or anything else like that,” she said.
Weeks wasn’t the only student in Eastern Washington with perfect attendance: Robbie Mullenix, an Ephrata High School boy, will receive an award next week for his attendance record since kindergarten.
But district officials throughout the Inland Northwest say perfect attendance is uncommon. One school district official laughed at the suggestion of perfect attendance, mostly because schools are notorious for spreading germs. Though Tyler Weeks has never been absent, he has been sick, he said. Said his mother, “Unfortunately for him, when he has been sick it has been on the weekends or a break.”
Mike McCracken, Weeks’ golf coach and chemistry teacher, said getting kids to come to class is one of his biggest challenges.
“With all the distractions kids have these days, it’s amazing,” McCracken said of Weeks’ attendance. “He never missed golf either.”
And though the young man acted as if it was no big deal, he did point out that his younger brothers, 15-year-old Jared and 11-year-old Conrad – had already missed days in their school careers.
Debbie Weeks has been keeping track. “His younger brother has missed two days. Conrad has missed three.”
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