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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 -- and 0 missed days

For 12 years, she attended classes no matter what. At her graduation, the accomplishment was recognized.

By MICHELE MILLER

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 14, 2000


Come rain or shine, Angela Scurti was a constant. Even a fever that might have some crawling back under the covers, or senior skip day, when those in authority tend to look the other way, could not deter the Ridgewood High School student.

She was serious about school; she felt she had to be there.

And she was: Angela had perfect attendance the past 12 school years.

"I just always liked school -- I liked being out with everybody," said Angela, who maintained an A-B average throughout her high school career.

When it came to the common cold or a stomach ache, Angela said she believed in the "mind over matter" theory.

"I didn't want to dwell on the subject of being sick so I'd just go (to school)," said Angela, who lives in New Port Richey. "And it worked -- pretty soon I wasn't feeling sick anymore."

"It was really something," said her mother, Marjorie Scurti. "She just wouldn't miss a day. If she was sick she was sick on weekends or holidays."

It was a long haul, but at her high school graduation, Angela was recognized for her commitment and received a certificate and hearty round of applause for her 12 years of perfect school attendance.

At graduation time, administrators look back over school records to see whether anyone has made it without missing any days, said Ridgewood principal Art O'Donnell. Angela met that criteria at Ridgewood, he said, but she said she had a 12-year streak.

"We had no way of checking that because she had come from out-of-state," O'Donnell said. "So we had her bring in all her records from her other schools, her perfect attendance pins and report cards. It was all there."

"I think it's terrific," O'Donnell said. "We always like to recognize the kids for something like this. (But) I'm not sure we've ever had any student that's ever done that."

Now that she has graduated, Angela says she's headed to Pasco-Hernando Community College and hopes eventually to major in psychology.

Is she committed to extending her perfect attendance record?

"I don't know," said Angela with a smile and a shrug. "We'll see."

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