Oxford student graduates with perfect attendance
● By Steven Hoffman
Nick Carter never stayed home from school because he had a cold. He never feigned having an upset stomach or a headache so that he could stay home to play Nintendo. He never skipped out on a day of classes to extend a family vacation. He never played hooky.
Each day that school was in session, day after day, week after week, year after year, Carter was there, taking notes, completing assignments, and taking tests.
When Nick and his classmates at Oxford Area High School graduated on Friday, June, 2, he officially achieved a record of perfect attendance during his scholastic career at Oxford. If the typical school year is 180 days—the minimum required by the state—then he attended his classes on 2,160 consecutive school days.
Incredibly, Nick is not the first person in his family to accomplish this impressive feat. His brother, Mike, had perfect attendance when he graduated from Oxford five years ago.
On the night of his graduation, Nick quietly attributed his achievement to the fact that he was able to avoid getting sick. It isn't any more complicated than that. Having an older brother who went to school every day set a good example. Nick figured that if Mike could do it, he could do it, too.
Their parents, Mike and Jen, always encouraged their children to attend school if they could.
“I would tell them that if you miss a day of school, you're missing something important,” Jen Carter explained.
According to Nick, he didn't have many close calls through the years. He suffered a concussion in an automobile accident during his junior year, but he still managed to make it to school each day to maintain the perfect attendance.
The pursuit of perfect attendance wasn't without its minor drawbacks, of course. On the “Senior Skip Day,” Nick was all alone in one of his classes. He jokingly sent a Snapchat message to his mother, thanking her for making him go to school that day.
At the Senior Awards Night, Nick shared the Ocklokonee Council No. 212 Award for attendance with Charles Sisler.
He said that he liked high school, and his favorite classes at Oxford were history and wood shop. Brenda Moran, a graphic design teacher at the high school, was particularly encouraging, and told him not to give up at a time when he was trying to earn a spot on the school's baseball team. Now that he is a high school graduate, Nick will be joining the Marines. They are getting someone who will show up and do the job.
Jen Carter said that she's proud of her sons' accomplishments.
“It shows character, discipline, and dedication,” she said.