Two students from St Louis Community School in Kiltimagh have graduated without missing a day of secondary school.
Ciara O’Rourke from Barnacarroll and Brigitta Curry of Knock picked up awards for full attendance from first to sixth year.
It was principal Tom Forde’s introduction of attendance awards at Barnacarroll National School that put Ciara O’Rourke on the road to full attendance.
“I was going into fourth class and if I didn’t miss a day I got a trophy. I was very competitive and wanted a trophy and then I wanted it to continue. I just got into the habit of going to school every day.”
She admits there were days when she might not have felt the best or would have loved a day at home.
“Mum said if she had to go to work then I had to school and to just get on with it.”
The Leaving Cert student is hoping to continue her clean record in college where she plans to study Business. She would rather sit the exams than have the predicted grade system but is looking forward to catching up with classmates at graduation – whenever that will be.
“We didn’t want a virtual grad; it will be nice to see everyone again,” she said.
Ciara’s younger brother has an impressive attendance record but he won’t beat hers.
“He misses one day every year – he goes to the Ploughing Championships!”
Brigitta Curry rarely missed a day in national school and after getting three certificates for full attendance up to Third Year in St Louis, she was determined to keep a clean sheet. The fact she liked going to school helped.
“I have good friends and I loved lunchtimes,” she said.
It’s that fondness for the social aspect of school life that has her keen to hold off on a virtual graduation and have a “proper goodbye to close the chapter” before she embarks on college life. She is hoping to study Business in Dublin City Univeristy.
Brigitta wasn’t the only member of her family to pick up an attendance certificate this year with her younger brother not missing a day in school for the 2019/2020 school year.