Perfect attendance is a goal only a handful of students achieve each year. Some achieve it across multiple years, but to be at school all day, every day from kindergarten through 12th grade is a truly rare feat.
That’s what Jason Brooks did, completing a goal he’d set for himself after his sixth-grade year.
“It feels good to see that I set a goal and achieved it, even while I was playing football and other sports,” he said.
In addition to being in class, Brooks played football and tennis, participated in the Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School program and tallied more a thousand hours of volunteer work. All of that extracurricular activity resulted in some late nights, but Brooks never wavered.
“He’s an outstanding student,” said Shonda Brooks, Jason’s mother. “I know, as a student, I might have tried to take a day off and recover some energy. We’re proud that he made a goal and stuck to it.”
This isn’t the first time that Brooks has set a goal and followed through with it. He became an Eagle Scout at 14, much earlier than most achieve the honor.
When Governor Ralph Northam closed schools in March in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Brooks was concerned he wouldn’t be able to achieve the goal he’d spent so many years working toward.
“I was concerned with how they were going to figure out the days [for perfect attendance],” he said. “I didn’t know if they were going to base it off of the work we were doing, or on finishing our classes, or what they would do.”
Attendance was determined by the days students had gone to class prior to schools closing, and by them completing the work that was sent home for them. Brooks was one of seven members of the class of 2020 to earn perfect attendance for their senior year.
Brooks will be taking his resolve with him to James Madison University where he plans to major in kinesiology and exercise science. He intends to continue the discipline of attending every class, every day.
“It shows the professors that I care about learning the most with the opportunity I have,” he said.