Senior graduating from Golden West High school celebrating 13 years of perfect attendance

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Hayley Brown's parents motivated her with a trip to Disneyland at the end of her kindergarten year if she did well and got perfect attendance. (KFSN)

Hayley Brown's parents motivated her with a trip to Disneyland at the end of her kindergarten year if she did well and got perfect attendance.

"After that she just decided that she wanted to keep going," said Dana Simas, mother.

Brown's mom said that motivation turned into determination, a pattern that would last through the end of high school.

"The first time I got sick and my parents tried to say, okay, you're going to stay home from school and I don't know why I just freaked out like I did not want to miss school-- I loved school so much," said Brown.

Now, Brown is graduating from Golden West High without being absent or even tardy in 13 years.

"It's actually kind of surreal right now that I actually went through the 13 years."

The honor roll student said even through suffering sports injuries like a broken nose, dislocated elbow, and concussion-- she was able to keep pushing.

"At that point we were encouraging her that she needed to stay home and she was just determined that she wasn't going to stay home and she wanted to be at school-- so we just continued to support it," said Simas.

Brown even skipped senior ditch day.

"That was definitely really hard on me but I knew after going this long just to blow it for one day on something it wasn't worth it."

The 17-year-old said she couldn't have done it without her parents; her dad lived in a hotel and with friends for eight months when he had to relocate jobs so Hayley could finish her school year in Modesto before moving to Visalia-- continuing on her path of perfect attendance.

"I guess it became a way of life, so at that point we weren't really considering it a sacrifice, so everything was planned around that," said Simas.

Brown said this long journey has taught her responsibility, and she is proud of herself for making it this far.

"It's just something really important to me and it's always been important to me and I just couldn't imagine going through school with missing school."

Brown will be going to Fresno State in the fall and plans to keep perfect attendance there. She's also foregoing a class trip to Costa Rica this summer, she said she will be going to Africa instead to teach and build schools for children there.

"The feeling you have at the end, the feeling I'm having right now, it's definitely worth it-- it was worth it for these 13 years."

Related Topics:
educationgraduationvisaliatulare countyVisalia
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