When Stephanie Scott was in kindergarten she almost missed a day of school. Her mother, Debbie, was leading her out of the house when Stephanie got sick all over the floor. Debbie told her she needed to stay home but Stephanie insisted she go to school, and she did.
Fast forward 12 years and Stephanie, now a 17-year-old senior at Pitman High school, still hasn’t missed a single day of school. The Cal Ripken-like accomplishment wasn’t without trials and tribulations.
“I’m like most people, there have been days when I woke up and I didn’t want to go to school, especially when I was little, but as I got older it just became like a routine to go,” said Stephanie.
Perhaps even more remarkable — Stephanie is not alone. Her older sister, Sabrina, graduated Pitman in 2008 with perfect attendance for 13 years of school, and Stephanie’s younger sister, Samantha, is a freshman at Pitman with perfect attendance to date.
“They just never really get that sick. I can’t recall the last time any of them had the flu or really bad fevers and they had all their vaccinations, so they never got chicken pox or anything contagious. They’ve just been really healthy,” explained Debbie, who also had perfect attendance in grades K-12. Debbie graduated from Tracy High School in 1980.
Attendance officials at Pitman cannot recall another circumstance, other than the Scott girls, in which a student has had perfect attendance for their entire school career.
The incredible streak has paid off for Stephanie. Earlier in her schooling she called herself a “semi-good student” but this year she is maintaining a 3.9 GPA.
“It helps when you come every day because you never miss anything and you don’t fall behind,” she said.
Stephanie’s work ethic is something, she says, anyone can have.
“I really think anyone can do this, it’s not hard, you just go to school. People don’t have good attendance because they don’t want to,” she said.
The Scott family’s life is built around showing up and doing their work. Fred Scott is an accounting controller at Delicato Vineyards and never takes a day off for sickness. When the Scott girls were younger Debbie had to drive them all to three different schools. Sabrina was at Pitman, Stephanie was at Dutcher Middle and Samantha was at Crane Elementary.
“It wasn’t easy at all, the kids started at different times, but we just made it work,” said Debbie.
On top of that, doctor visits and other appointments have always been made after school hours. Even a funeral for the girls’ grandmother was held after school hours.
Next year Stephanie plans on attending Modesto Junior College then transferring to California State University, Stanislaus and majoring in business administration. She wants to own her own business and hopes to one day open a teen club for activities and functions in Turlock. Currently she is not employed, but is looking for a job.
To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.