Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Steady Steven

There's perfect attendance, and then there's perfect attendance:
Call him the Cal Ripken Jr. of the New York City school system.

Only instead of showing up for baseball games, 18-year-old Steven Reneau shows up consistently for class.

When asked how many days of school he's missed over the last 12 years, Reneau smiled.

"Not one. In kindergarten I missed three days, but since first grade I haven't missed a single day."

That means when Reneau graduates from Staten Island Technical High School on Tuesday, he will have attended class for more than 2,000 straight school days.

"I got sick once and I came to school with the flu," Reneau said. "But it wasn't that bad."

It's a dedication that Reneau said he brings to everything he does. He insisted on doing the interview Monday in Jersey City, where he's now a summer intern in his mother's office, so he wouldn't miss any work.

At school, he was class president and a member of the swim team. And someone his teachers said you could always count on.

"Not only is he smart, but he has a sense of responsibility," said student activities coordinator Kenneth Bonamo. "He's reliable. He'll be there for you and he'll do the right thing."

The perfect attendance has paid off for Steven. He played it up on his college applications, and this fall he's heading to Yale, where he doesn't plan on missing any class there either.

"It's something I've done for a while and I plan to keep going," he said. "Why stop now?"

He will stop for a moment Tuesday ... to accept an attendance award from the borough president and, probably, a standing ovation from his fellow graduates.
I remember missing only one day in first grade and none in second grade. It kinda went down hill from there...
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