Longtime friends Ruben and Eric had a goal during their years at Chappell Elementary School. “We told each other we wanted to get perfect attendance,” Ruben said. So far, they have, as the eighth-graders have not missed a day since first grade. They were among the students honored by CPS at its 10th annual Perfect Attendance Awards Banquet May 12.
The banquet celebrates four or more years of consecutive perfect attendance by graduating eighth-grade students and high school seniors. This year, 71 high school seniors and 202 eighth-graders, representing almost 100 different CPS schools were eligible to attend. Among them were 38 eighth-graders who, like Ruben and Eric hadn’t missed one day of elementary school.
Six high school seniors were recognized for 12 years of perfect attendance: Arielle from Brooks, Arelica from Curie, Andrea from Kennedy, Kenneth and Christian from Lane Tech and Natalie and Chassity from Whitney Young.
Overall, Whitney Young had 31 students with perfect attendance and Lane Tech had 25. Haines led elementary schools with 16 students with at least four years of perfect attendance.
ABC-7’s Janet Davies served as emcee for the night, with Chicago Board of Education member Roxanne Ward among the speakers. Ward, who attended CPS’ Hookway Elementary School and whose daughter graduated from the International Baccalaureate program at Lincoln Park High School, told the students, “Having these stellar attendance records is a tremendous testament to your commitment to education, as well as a strong predictor of your eventual success in life, because you’ve shown that you can both set and achieve high goals.”
CPS Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman thanked parents and families for supporting their children’s education and congratulated the students.
“It’s not easy to get up every morning for 180 days, every year — even 12 consecutive years — despite all of the obstacles and challenges that life unexpectedly presents. Your dedication and determination has compelled you to make your education journey a priority,” he said. “Know that everyone in this room is extremely proud of your accomplishments, but above all, your tireless energy to learn.”
Also attending were two 12-year Perfect Attendance award winners from 2006: David Mei of King High School and Michael Haddadin of Kelvyn Park, who is one of four siblings all with at least eight years of perfect attendance.