Kayla Berryhill achieved something this year that most students wouldnâ€™t dare try.
The eighth grade student at Long Shoals Wesleyan Academy has had perfect attendance all nine years of her education.
â€œI just have never been sick,â€ said Berryhill.
Sheila Berryhill, Kaylaâ€™s mother, credits her daughterâ€™s good health to genetics, luck and a strong sense of habit.
â€œItâ€™s an accomplishment she always wanted to achieve,â€ said Sheila.
Kayla, who will be freshman at West Lincoln High School this fall, enjoys science and art and plans to go into graphic design when she grows up.
She is also an accomplished gymnast who will be participating in the National Junior Olympics in Houston this summer.
Similar to her attendance ethic at school, Kayla also approaches her extracurricular activities in the same way.
Out of the 11 years she has been a gymnast, she has had eight years of perfect attendance at practice.
While Kaylaâ€™s achievement seems rare, she is not the only Berryhill family member who takes attendance seriously.
â€œWe never stay out of work even,â€ said Sheila.
Kaylaâ€™s older sister, Casey, who graduated from West Lincoln High School, also had very good attendance.
Out of her 12-year education Casey only missed about a dozen days, said Sheila.
There have been many times when Kayla could have easily missed school because of vacations or sports competitions, but she always insisted she go to school.
â€œI just get up every morning,â€ said Kayla. â€œItâ€™s a routine.â€
Kayla hopes to continue her perfect attendance into high school and never miss a day of school.
â€œHer goal is to make it the 12 years, but if she gets sick we wonâ€™t make her go to school,â€ said Sheila.
With the temptations of driverâ€™s licenses and demands of high school still ahead of her, time will tell if Kayla can achieve her goal.
However, her mother has faith in her daughter.
â€œSheâ€™s a doer. Sheâ€™s an achiever,â€ Sheila said.
by Mary Williams