Stu­dent near­ing per­fect sta­tus

Car­bon­ear stu­dent closing in on per­fect at­ten­dance

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate stu­dent Sha­lyn Case is near­ing a pretty pre­siti­gious ac­com­plish­ment. When she grad­u­ates from the school later this month, she will have per­fect at­ten­dance for her en­tire school ca­reer. That’s 13 years of show­ing up ev­ery day.

Car­bon­ear’s Sha­lyn Case has be­come so re­li­able that her home­room teacher might not of­fer sec­ond glance when com­ing upon her name in the reg­is­ter.

They usu­ally just as­sume the 18-year-old is in her seat and with good rea­son. Case has not missed a day of classes since she started at­tend­ing Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate in Level I.

Fur­ther to that, she hasn’t missed a day of school, pe­riod. For the past 13 years, the 18year-old Car­bon­ear res­i­dent has been in school ev­ery day.

Do­ing the math, that comes to 2,535 straight school days at­tended, give or take a few days as the school year was ex­tended to 195 days in the past sev­eral years.

“It’s quite the ac­com­plish­ment,” she told The Compass. “I don’t know of any­body who has done it.”

That’s not to say teach­ers al­ways as­sume Sha­lyn will be in her seat come open­ing bell. There are times when she has been a bit tardy ar­riv­ing at school and her friends have made sure to in­di­cate she’ll be there.

“They’ve called and asked where I was and I’ve told them that I’m on the way,” said Sha­lyn.

Per­fect at­ten­dance for a sin­gle year is noth­ing new. There are even stu­dents who can string to­gether a cou­ple of per­fect years, but they too fall to the way­side.

There are very few who are go­ing to school ev­ery day for over a decade straight.

“It is not so com­mon­place,” said mother Michelle Case. “It’s hard to be­lieve that there are just a few days left of school and she has had (per­fect at­ten­dance).”

“It just kind of hap­pened,” added Sha­lyn. “I just never want to miss work or be be­hind in school. Then it hap­pened for so many years I just said, ‘you know what, I’m just go­ing to keep it up.’”

Catch­ing some breaks

Achiev­ing per­fect at­ten­dance is a mix­ture of de­ter­mi­na­tion and good luck. Case said there were many morn­ings where she had the in­cli­na­tion to stay in bed but pulled her­self up and got to class.

That’s the de­ter­mi­na­tion. The luck comes when she fell sick on a snow day or fell ill as a strate­gic long week­end came upon her.

She points to the four-day week­end Sha­lyn fell into when she de­vel­oped the Chicken Pox. By the time school rolled around again on Tues­day, the virus had worked its way through her sys- tem and she was no longer con­ta­gious.

“I’ve caught a cou­ple of breaks along the way,” said Sha­lyn. “Snow days were a bless­ing.”

Not just school

Sha­lyn’s knack for show­ing up extends be­yond the class­room. An avid cadet, there hasn’t been a train­ing night, pa­rade night or out­ing she hasn’t missed with the 289 Car­bon­ear air cadet corps.

That may seem plau­si­ble, but a hall­way ta­ble lined with at­ten­dance awards from the corps that prove oth­er­wise.

As an em­ployee at Pow­ell’s Su­per­mar­ket in Car­bon­ear, there haven’t been any sick calls or the turn­ing down of shifts when her phone rings. If it’s her su­per­vi­sor re­quest­ing she cover an ex­tra shift, chances are Sha­lyn is go­ing to say ‘yes.’

A good source for notes

Be­ing in school on the Fri­day be­fore a long week­end or the af­ter­noon of a snow de­layed morn­ing makes Sha­lyn a popular per­son amongst her peers come test time.

When teach­ers are hand­ing out test notes and the like, she is al­ways the first call from stu­dents wor­ried about catch­ing up.

As the school year winds down, Sha­lyn finds her­self at the end of her high school ca­reer.

Mov­ing onto post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, there is a chance she con­tin­ues her im­pres­sive at­ten­dance streak at the next level.

“It’s just nat­u­ral right now,” she said.

PHOTO BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COMPASS

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