Addison Skinner, a recent graduate of Grayson High School, was determined to not let anything get in the way of accomplishing his goal of graduating with perfect attendance like his mother had, not even the unusual circumstances of the last two months of his high school career.
Both his parents are graduates of Gwinnett County Public Schools, but only his mother graduated with 12 years of perfect attendance from Shiloh High School in 1989. His mother’s brother graduated with perfect attendance six years after her.
“It really started in middle school, because once I went from kindergarten to middle school with perfect attendance I jut wanted to be able to finish it out through 12th grade,” Addison said. “It feels pretty cool to have accomplished, because I don’t know anyone besides my mom who has done it. It’s running in the family, which is pretty cool.”
Addison worried that he wouldn’t get the recognition after the COVID-10 pandemic forced him to attend school online rather than in the physical building, but he made sure to log in every day to complete his assignments.
Among the many events the pandemic disrupted, his high school also canceled their senior award ceremony, where Addison would have received recognition for perfect attendance. Instead, he drove by one day to pick up his cap and gown and the certificate without any type of celebration.
His plaque and certificate now sit on the kitchen table.
“It was a little different from the type of recognition he was hoping for,” Addison’s mom, Angie, said. “ … I thought that was a big accomplishment. Not all kids have that desire or will follow through to do that, and he did. He set that goal for himself that he wanted to achieve it.”
Angie is a teacher at a local elementary school. She said she decided in second grade she wanted to be a teacher and so she never had the desire to miss school. As Addison’s mom, he knew she had achieved perfect attendance and that pushed him to do it too.
“I think that hard work pays off in that if he sticks his mind to something he will be able to achieve that goal,” Angie said. “He missed out on things like the senior skip days. In January, his youth group went on a ski trip and they missed two days of school. All of his friends went, but he said, ‘I’m not going.’ He made those decisions.”
Addison said he learned from his accomplishment that school is important and should be a top priority. He now plans to carry that with him to LaGrange College, where he hopes to study digital media and play lacrosse.