While many students invent illnesses in order to play hooky, 17-year-old Hawaiian teen Ciara Cetraro has the unique distinction of never missing a day of school in her entire academic career, dating back to kindergarten. She is hoping to graduate on May 19 with a perfect attendance record.

Cetraro, who attends Konawaena High School in Kailua-Kona, started out with a goal to have a flawless attendance record and it developed into a disciplined habit.

“I never did this for the recognition or awards. It’s always been a personal choice and a hard habit to break,” she said. The fear of “possibly missing something” fueled her desire to attend every single class. She continued, “I just wanted to try my best, learn as much as I can and continually improve myself.”

She was pretty type A about maintaining her record, as well. It required diligent attention. She would ask teachers to correct roll calls that may have mistakenly marked her as tardy, since those could cumulatively add up to absences. She nixed senior ditch day and rescheduled vacations.

That determination runs in the family. Her older brother Nicholas graduated a year ago with the same perfect record and was valedictorian. So her perfect record glory is not singular.

Hawaii is plagued by chronic absenteeism, so for a student to attend more than 2,000 days of school without taking off for sickness, vacation or laziness is a “remarkable feat,” according to Brian DeLima, the board of education vice chairman.

[West Hawaii Today]