Brainerd senior's secret of success: "Don't miss a day" - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Brainerd senior's secret of success: "Don't miss a day of school"

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Saturday is graduation day for thousands of Tennessee valley high school students.  Many will be honored for outstanding achievements in academics.  

A select few will also be honored for just showing up -- every single day from kindergarten through 12th grade.

As Jamal Govan and his fellow seniors at Brainerd High rehearse for their graduation ceremony at Memorial Auditorium, he looks back on what he calls a journey: 13 years of school, never missing a day.

"I've never got real, real I just go to school then go to band practice later," he said.

Jamal admits there were a couple of mornings when he overslept, but still managed to make it to school on time.  That kind of commitment impresses his principal.

"You won't find many people who go every day, from K through 12," said Charles Joynes. "That's a wonderful accomplishment."

Jamal says that other than keeping the streak alive, his participation in band and student council kept him motivated.  But the most important factor: academics.

"I want everyone to stay in school," he advises his fellow students. "Don't miss a day, you won't miss anything, you'll always have high test scores."

There's another key ingredient to the success of a student who makes it to school every day.  A supportive and encouraging family.

"I just feel that when you have parents who make sure you go to school, it shows you that they value education," noted Joynes.

And while some might celebrate Jamal Govan's 13 year stretch of uninterrupted school attendance, he makes it clear that the streak isn't over.  He's headed to college to pursue a career in physical therapy.  

And when the roll is called?

"I plan on going to Tennessee State University, and yes, I plan on having perfect attendance in every class," Jamal promises.

Among other Tennessee Valley high school graduates with perfect attendance are Dakota "Coty" Rymer of Bradley Central High and Taylor Madison Smith of Sequatchie County High School.

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