Senior Logs Perfect Attendance Since Kindergarten

May 18, 2012 by Julie Montanaro

High school seniors are counting the days until graduation. Some of them have already taken advantage of a tradition called senior skip day.

Not Matthew Smith. He hasn't missed a day of school since walking into Miss Klawinski's kindergarten class.

Chiles High School senior Matthew Smith is poised to graduate with the class of 2012. When he walks across that stage to get his diploma, it will be "mission accomplished," but not the mission you think.

"I have missed zero. I have never missed a day at school," Smith said.


"Since kindergarten actually."

That's right Matthew has not been absent a single day since kindergarten. Never called in sick. Not even once.

"My dad only missed one day of school in all of his school career. So he wanted me to beat his record and I kinda just ran with that and felt like I really needed to step up," Smith said.

"That's impressive and I don't know how he does it because that's really hard to do," classmate Rachel Givens said.

"Do you even know who he is?" we asked the vice principal in charge of attendance.

"Actually I know him through some other things, but certainly not from the attendance office," Paul Lambert said.

Matthew was so determined to keep his attendance streak intact that just going on field trips makes him nervous. He admits his friends tease him about it all the time.

"They call me names and stuff like saying 'Wow. We're going to kidnap him."

"He says he gets teased a lot because of this. Can you imagine?"

"Oh, I wouldn't doubt it. I completely would," Givens said. "It's jealousy though."

Smith may have the last laugh. He'll graduate with a 4.4 GPA and plans to attend the University of Florida next fall.

"It's perfect attendance, but it's beyond perfect attendance, it's *the* perfect attendance," he said.

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  • by Nurse on May 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM
    Hard to believe he has not been ill since kindergarten. Hmmmm...
    Congrats on awesome GPA though!
  • by skell Location: tally on May 20, 2012 at 03:36 AM
  • by Surprise Location: leon county on May 20, 2012 at 03:24 AM
    Show off ever school has to have one just to make the others look bad bummer just joking. (Wink, wink.)
  • by Frank on May 19, 2012 at 07:08 PM
    Dr. Charles Long, a local pediatrician, did this and was also Valedictorian at Leon High School in, I believe, 1962.
  • by Proud of you Location: Tallahassee on May 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM
    We need more folks with this kind of dedication. Employers will love someone who they can depend on. And the GPA shows he doesn't just show up, he is one of the top in his class. Congrats!!!!
  • by Cecil Location: Tallahassee on May 19, 2012 at 11:40 AM
    Way to go Matthew! You will do whatever you decide to do.
  • by Mrs. Klawinski on May 19, 2012 at 09:58 AM
    Matthew, Congratulations! I am so very proud of you! Your attendance record and your academic accomplishments are to be commended. Best wishes as you continue your education. Mrs. Klawinski
  • by Leah on May 19, 2012 at 07:38 AM
    Congradulations!!! Sounds like you may have a few haters but just brush ya shoulders off and do ya thing. Good Luck at UF. I'm sure you'll do great!
  • by Super on May 19, 2012 at 04:51 AM
    Young man, you are a winner.
  • by Jay Location: Valdosta on May 19, 2012 at 04:28 AM
    The GPA is great! The attendance record will not earn him anything but a piece of paper. Ten years from now no one will care or remember. Get a degree at U F and be a leader, that will matter.
    • reply
      by Bobbie Ann on May 19, 2012 at 08:29 AM in reply to Jay
      I agree.
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