Twelve JCPS seniors from Class of 2018 to graduate with perfect attendance

For these JCPS seniors, perfection came one day at a time

By Toni Konz Tatman | JCPS Communications

Mikayla and Miranda Morton remember their first day of kindergarten back in 2006. 

They woke up, got ready, and boarded a school bus that took them to Foster Traditional Academy. 

It became part of a routine they would repeat every day as they went on to Jefferson County Traditional Middle School and then Louisville Male High School.

For 13 straight years, the identical twin sisters have never been marked tardy or left school early. And they have never missed a day of class.

"Some days it wasn't easy because sometimes you just don't feel like going to school," Miranda said. "But to me, it was important because you learn new things every day. It was about dedication and getting my education."

It helped that the two are best friends and have never been separated since birth. It also helped that their grandmother, a retired Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) teacher, always encouraged them to never miss school.

"Almost everything we do, we do it together," Mikayla said, noting that they even participate in extracurricular activities together. "And our grandmother, she just always told us about the importance of being there each day."

Miranda and Mikayla, 18, are among seven students from JCPS who will graduate with 13 years of perfect attendance throughout their entire school career. The others include Luke Anderson from Male, Lily Adcock and Aliza Brown from duPont Manual High School, and Amanda Davis and Ugonna Okorie from Ballard High School. 

In addition, six other JCPS seniors will graduate with 12 years of perfect attendance. They are William Moore, Lily Paulin, and Hailey Pickard from Male; Ashley Monteiro from Ballard; and Makayla Reeves from Central High School.

"Perfect attendance throughout one’s entire school career is both a tremendous personal and educational achievement and speaks to these students’ determination and goal-driven attitude," said JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio. "I’m very proud of each of these seniors who made that commitment." 

There are approximately 6,100 seniors in the Class of 2018, said Brent Lynch, the district's director of Pupil Personnel.

"Each year, JCPS schools are in session 175 days for students," he said. "For the seven who never missed a day since kindergarten, that's 2,275 days of school. For the other five, they have been present, ready, and on time for 2,100 instructional days without an absence. When you think about that, it truly is remarkable."

More than 70,000 students have graduated from JCPS since 2010 and during that time, only 68 have had perfect attendance, according to district data.

This year's group of seniors say that some days, it wasn't easy to come to school.

"It was hard when I wasn't feeling as mentally well as I probably should have been, but waking up and coming to school just became a routine that was easy to stick to," said Adcock, 17, who is in the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) at Manual.

Anderson, 17, agreed, saying he didn't want to get behind in any classes or miss out on anything important. He added that coming to school every day wasn't hard to accomplish.

"It would seem like it, but not really," he said. "You just have to push through the tougher days when you feel a little tired or sick. I almost lost my perfect attendance in second grade, but they didn’t make me go home so it turned out to be okay."

Brown, 17, said maintaining perfect attendance was sometimes a struggle between wanting to have fun outside of school and wanting to keep up with her studies.

"My mom always said 'Work hard, play later,' and I believed her and wanted to live up to that expectation," she said. "I (also) see school as work, where showing up every day is mandatory, even if you just seriously do not feel like it."

Each of the 12 seniors will be honored at their school's individual award ceremony later this month.

Name: Lily Adcock 

Age: 17

Schools attended: Fern Creek Elementary School, Noe Middle School, duPont Manual High School/Youth Performing Arts School

Parents: Colleen Adcock and Greg Adcock

Plans after high school: Attending Northern Kentucky University, majoring in Theatre Design and Production

Name: Luke Anderson 

Age: 17

Schools attended: Audubon Elementary, Jefferson County Traditional Middle School and Louisville Male High School

Parents: Pamela and Kelly Anderson

Plans after high school: Attend University of Louisville and major in music therapy

Name: Miranda Morton

Age: 18

Schools attended: Foster Traditional Academy, Jefferson County Traditional Middle School and Louisville Male High School

Parents: Keisha Morton

Plans after high school: Attend University of Louisville and major in nursing

Name: Aliza Brown 

Age: 17

Schools attended: Greenwood Elementary, Stopher Elementary, Crosby Middle, duPont Manual High

Parents: Denette Brown

Plans after high school: Attend the University of Kentucky and major in mechanical engineering, hopefully getting my aerospace certificate around junior/senior year.

Name: Mikayla Morton 

Age: 18

Schools attended: Foster Traditional Academy, Jefferson County Traditional Middle School and Louisville Male High School

Parents: Keisha Morton

Plans after high school: Attend University of Louisville and major in sports administration.

Name: Ashley Monteiro 

Age: 17

Schools attended: Chancey Elementary, Kammerer Middle and Ballard High

Parents: Ulisses Monteiro, Pauletta Monteiro

Plans after high school: Attend college for four years

Name: Amanda Davis 

Age: 18

Schools attended: Chancey Elementary, Kammerer Middle, Eastern High and Ballard High

Parents: Sharon Davis

Plans after high school: Attend the University of Louisville

Name: Ugonna Okorie 

Age: 18

Schools attended: Wilder Elementary, Meyzeek Middle and Ballard High

Parents: Nkem and Ifeanyi Okorie

Plans after high school: Attend the University of Louisville

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