It’s easy to get perfect attendance through one semester, or maybe even the whole school year. But how many people can say they’ve had perfect attendance throughout their entire educational career? One 17-year-old in Brunswick, Georgia can.
Alex Kunda was only four years old when he walked across the stage at Satilla Marsh Elementary School to accept an award on his sister’s behalf. Back in 2005, Miranda Kunda never missed a day in school, despite the fact that she was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. Miranda loved going to school and didn’t let her debilitating illness keep her from attending. The seven-year-old didn’t miss a single day of first grade – up until the day she died.
Miranda didn’t return to school after winter break, having passed away on January 6, 2006. The school granted Miranda’s perfect attendance award posthumously. When Alex accepted her award, he walked straight up to his dad and said, “I’m going to do this for her.” Alex promised to get perfect attendance in honor of his sister and it was a promise he made before he had even started school himself.
Indeed, when Alex started kindergarten his perfect attendance streak began. His parents thought it’d be impossible for him to keep this promise. Worried Alex would start putting too much pressure on himself, they even tried to end the streak themselves. Around the time Alex was in fourth grade, his parents wanted to take him out of school on a Friday so they could take him to Disney World. Alex refused.
The streak continued throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school. He’s never been tardy and has never left school early. Thanks to his immune system, he’s hardly ever been sick and if he had to go to the doctor, it was always scheduled outside of school hours.
“This was one promise I remembered making to her. And I can’t make any more promises to her in person, anymore. So the one promise I did make, I was going to keep it,” Alex told CBS Evening News. Thirteen years later in 2019, Alex’s promise to his older sister Miranda is fulfilled.