The Scott family has done it again. Following in the footsteps of mom Deb and older sisters Sabrina and Stephanie, Samantha Scott graduated from Pitman High School on May 30 without having missed a single day of school since kindergarten.
Samantha maintained a 4.00 unweighted GPA at Pitman and graduated as a distinguished scholar. She believes her attendance was a huge factor in this, because “being there every day makes it a lot easier to keep up with all your assignments.”
The summer before her junior year, Samantha was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a digestive condition that sometimes made her feel too sick to go to school. However, Samantha’s desire to continue her family’s tradition helped her overcome the pain and attend class anyway.
Despite everything, Samantha remains humble about her accomplishment. “People think of it as such a big deal,” she says, “but I just see it as going to school and putting my education first.”
The Scott family tradition of perfect attendance started when Samantha’s mother, Deb, started kindergarten. “My mom had a hard time getting me to get in the car to go home,” Deb recalls. “I just loved playing with all the kids, learning and recess. I ended up being the only one in my kindergarten class to get perfect attendance. It just got better from there.”
Deb graduated from Tracy High School in 1980 with 13 years and 10 summers of perfect attendance. Like Samantha, Deb “felt proud yet didn’t feel like it was a big deal. I thought anyone could do it.” As a result and with the support of her mother, Deb instilled the desire to attend school in her three daughters.
“A few times throughout the years (when) they would just want to stay home from school because everyone had, I laughed and said, ‘Let’s go, time for school!’ Once they got older, kids would tease them or not believe them, and they took it in stride. They all went to school at one time or another with the common cold, no fever and not contagious, but not up to par, and had to tough it out and made it.”
Deb says she is especially proud of Samantha for not letting anything stop her. “Samantha (always) decided to go to school and tough it out. I left it up to her. She’s been a trouper, very determined.”
Samantha will attend California State University, Stanislaus, in the fall to pursue a major in sociology. She plans to become a high school guidance counselor.
Lauren Stanislaw is a new graduate of Beyer High School, a freshman at Scripps College and a member of The Bee’s Teens in the Newsroom program.