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Lauren Partain, Bolton High, honored for perfect attendance throughout her school career.

Photo Courtesy of The Town Talk
Bolton 2010 Graduate Lauren Partain honored for perfect attendance throughout her school career

By Kelsey Humphrey • kmhumphrey@thetowntalk.com • July 12, 2010

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet "» nor "senior skip day" could keep eight Rapides Parish students from attending class every day of their school careers.

Travis Eddlemon of Alexandria Senior High, Lauren Partain of Bolton High, Travis Davidson of Peabody Magnet High, Stefanie Garsaud of Tioga High, and Jeremy Dupuy, Cenedra Eggerson, Megan Lavespere and Brianna Marzett, all of Pineville High, were in school every day from the first day of kindergarten until senior graduation day.

Statewide, there were 26 recent high school graduates who had perfect attendance records for their entire school careers, and eight of them were from Rapides Parish. All 26 were honored by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Louisiana Department of Education, and the Rapides students also were recognized by the School Board during its meeting last Tuesday.

"This is a remarkable accomplishment and a testament to these students and their families," state Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek said.

"They have demonstrated their commitment and resilience, and no doubt this will serve them well throughout their lives," he added.

"These young people have demonstrated their perseverance, and we are extremely proud of them for earning this recognition," BESE President Keith Guice said.

The only perfect-attendance student from Central Louisiana who was not from Rapides Parish was Kari Leigh Heath of South Beauregard High School in Beauregard Parish.

The Rapides students made it to class in circumstances which kept others away.

"One day I was so sick. I felt awful, and halfway through the day my friend offered to take me home," Lauren recalled.

But she resisted the temptation of leaving school and spoiling her perfect attendance goal. "I just had to stay there," she said.

Jeremy remembers one day he just "did not want to get up!" But he did anyway and made it to school to keep his attendance record intact.

During the unofficial "senior skip day" at ASH, "I think I was the only senior in my class who went" to school, Travis Eddlemon said.

The students said they received support from their parents and many of their classmates to keep their attendance streak going. Cenedra could not be reached for comment.

Travis Davidson didn't let sickness stop him from attending school.

"I went on a basketball tournament and got food poisoning," he said. When he woke up before school, he was still very sick and "threw up on the way out the door." But he made it to school.

After that, he said, he told himself: "I do not want to break my record."

Stefanie also recalled a time when she was sick at school.

"I had a lot of work to do that day, and I didn't want to miss it," she said. Despite not feeling well, Stephanie did not want the pressure of trying to take make-up tests.

"I hate to miss school because I hate to make up work, and I would rather just go to school and deal with it. It's really not that bad," Stefanie said.

Brianna used this philosophy to get her through tough days: "I just had to tell myself to get through the day, and then you can come home and sleep." She also said her mom was a big inspiration for her to keep her attendance record.

Jeremy too said he was inspired by his mom to never miss a day.

Lauren knew she could not give up the perfect attendance record after she finished eighth grade. "I wanted to finish those last four years," she said.