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Senior recognized for never missing a day of school

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Mikayla Prioleau in class Mikayla Prioleau in class
Mikayla Prioleau in 2nd grade (left) and senior photo (right) (Source: LR) Mikayla Prioleau in 2nd grade (left) and senior photo (right) (Source: LR)
CHAPIN, SC (WIS) -

2,160 days.

That's how many days Chapin High School senior Mikayla Prioleau showed up for class. In her 12-year school career, she never missed a day of school. She is one of 63 students statewide who were recognized by the South Carolina Department of Education for perfect attendance.

""Once I actually grew to realize what it was and how big of an accomplishment it would be, I set out to make it, you know, one of my goals," said Prioleau.

She said after she was recognized for perfect attendance at Fifth Grade Graduation, she wanted to see it through, with the support of her mother.

"My mom was like, ‘What? Really?' And then she was like, ‘Well maybe we should try to maintain it just to see,'" said Prioleau.

She said on those days when she was tired and didn't want to go to school, her mother kept her on track.

"Some days I would be stressed out but my mom made me go anyway," she said.

"It's a tribute to her household," said Chapin High Principal Dr. Akil Ross. "They made education important."

"I am not only surprised by the attendance rate that she's kept, I'm impressed by what she's  done with her attendance," said Ross. "She is active in the community. She's active in church. She's a leader amongst her peers and she performs well in class. So she's not only coming to school, she's coming to school to make an impact."

Ross says Prioleau is the first student in his career to accomplish perfect attendance.

"This is one of those once in a lifetime things," he said. "And I'm glad we're celebrating and recognizing and she deserves every bit of it."

"I remember being told about the story of this ninth-grader coming in with perfect attendance and we were so excited to hear something like that," Ross said. "And every year after, to see the streak going, it made me closer and closer to her. I will never forget not only her achievement, but the young lady herself."

Prioleau attended schools in Lexington-Richland District Five, including Irmo Elementary, CrossRoads Middle, Chapin Middle and Chapin High Schools.

"My motto is, ‘Anything that I want to do, I can do it. There's nothing I can't do," she said. "There's nothing that anybody can't do if they don't put their mind to it, put the effort into it to actually get the reward."

She managed to show up every day despite a full extra-curricular schedule that included marching band, student government and Beta Club. She even showed up on Senior Skip Day.

In the fall, Prioleau will be studying mass communications at Coastal Carolina University to prepare for a career in broadcast media.

"I'm a very determined person. I like to get stuff done," she said.

Prioleau said she tried to influence her classmates into being as dedicated as she was.

"I let them know that they can do anything they want to do. Don't let anybody tell them otherwise. Because if they want something they have to work for it just as hard as anybody else," she said.

She graduates June 5th.

"Keep working hard because it pays off in the end.

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