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Cobden, IL

Local graduate has perfect attendance since pre-school

Local graduate has perfect attendance since pre-school
By:Carly O'Keefe

COBDEN, Ill. - Most of us have played hooky from school or at least taken a sick day or two in our lifetimes. But one southern Illinois teen has a perfect attendance record that spans her entire academic career--pre-school through high school.

JoAnn Shipley of Cobden started HeadStart pre-school at age three, and hasn't been absent to school even once through her senior year.   

"We give a perfect attendance award each year and so we knew from kindergarten up she hadn't missed and in 8th grade she got it again and each year after," said Cobden High School Principal Karl Sweitzer.

It appears that sort of dedication runs in the family. Shipley's younger sister also maintains perfect attendance.

"My mom has always encouraged me to go to school and make something of myself, and she said if you go to school, I go to work so we've done that. She goes to work, I go to school," said Shipley.

Now Shipley is going on to college, and she plans to continue that perfect attendance record--no matter what. "Temptation's always going to be there. It always has been since I started school, but you have to just be willing to get up in the morning and go to school. It's fun for me," said Shipley.

As the school year winds down, Shipley has just two days left at Cobden High School: the last day of classes and graduation. There's no doubt, she'll be there for both.

Shipley plans to pursue a teaching degree. She says she won't be too tough on students in her class who miss a day--as long as they have a good excuse.

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