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13 years of school without missing a minute

An Indiana teenager graduated from high school on Sunday having never missed a day of school since kindergarten.
/ Source: The Associated Press

It's been a long 13 years for Brittani McCalister — 2,340 days, to be exact.

The teenager graduated from high school Sunday having never missed a day of school since kindergarten. She stood and was recognized for her sterling attendance record by classmates and their families during commencement at West Vigo High School.

"Every day, she has made it to school and stayed the entire day," Principal Tom Balitewicz said.

Conceding it was tough at times, McCalister said she'd go to school sick.

"I loaded up on Tylenol," she said.

Balitewicz said the school would send students home if they showed up with a fever, but not if they have a minor case of the sniffles.

"It's not like she's dragging herself in here with pneumonia," he said Monday. "She has been extremely healthy."

Never late
McCalister also never missed even one minute of classes. She was never tardy for school and never missed a class because all her medical and dental appointments always took place after school.

McCalister said it began when she and her brother started a competition to see who could maintain perfect attendance. He made it part of the way through elementary school, but she just kept on going, and going.

She actually completed coursework in February and has been studying cosmetology at Harrold Beauty Academy. She hopes to complete the program next month, but it's only a start.

"I'm still going to go to college, too. I'll do hair on the side," said McCalister, who plans to attend Indiana State University and may eventually pursue law school.