P.K. Yonge graduate kept perfect attendance record
Published: Friday, June 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
For most schoolchildren, the temptation to trade a day of reading and writing for one of video games and television can be overpowering.
Missing school because you're sick, because you need a day to decompress, to tack an extra day onto a vacation, they're all a given.
Unless you're Arnett Hall II.
In his 13 years at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, school records show Hall never missed a single day of class.
Hall, who graduated from the high school last week, attributes his perfect attendance mostly to being healthy and having a strong immune system.
"Some days are tough, but I treat school like a job," said Hall, 18. "I feel like you have to be there every day."
Hall admitted the temptation to skip school was sometimes overwhelming, especially when senioritis set in, but instead of ditching class and risking falling behind in school, he just waited for the weekend.
"I don't like asking my friends what happened last class because they might not have been listening as hard as I would have been if I were there," he said.
Hall said his parents, Arnett Hall Sr. and Rosalind Hall, have also been big influences on his commitment to take school seriously.
"They're real organized and always on top of things," he said. "They motivate me and inspire me to do the same."
Rosalind Hall, now director of exceptional student education for Levy County schools, said when she was a child, her mother stressed to her the importance of treating school like a full-time job and that what a person does in school is a reflection of the degree of success they'll have later in life.
"That was instilled in me as a child, and it became important for us not only to tell (our children) how important it is to be in attendance every day but that we model that behavior ourselves by reporting to work every day," she said.
Hall's parents, who rarely miss a day at work and claim to have had near-perfect attendance when they were in grade school, said they believe their roles as educators were also influences on their son's perfect record.
"One of the things I tell my kids in my class is that going to school is like a job," said Hall Sr., who teaches math at Hilltop Alternative School in Levy County. "Getting an 'F' is like getting fired, so it's very important to prepare yourself."
Young Hall's perfect attendance record was recognized at last week's senior banquet, where he was presented with an award in honor of his achievement.
Fran Vandiver, the director of P.K. Yonge, who presented the award, mentioned to the audience in her speech that the main reasons people aren't successful in the workplace can be attributed to tardiness and absence.
"His attendance is a characteristic that shows Arnett will be successful," Vandiver said, adding that Hall's record is also an indication of several things, including the high priority his family places on education and Hall's understanding of the importance of school.
"The fact that he came to school every day is quite a feat for both he and his family," Vandiver said. "We need more families with that kind of commitment.
Hall said he plans to continue his perfect attendance record at the University of North Florida where he will major in business management and minor in advertising.
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