Smithsburg High graduate rewarded for 14 years of perfect attendance

June 03, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS |
  • Smithsburg High School graduate Dylan Eyler was given an award for 14 years of perfect attendance.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

The audience at Smithsburg High School's graduation had been asked to hold its applause until the end of a list of awards, but at the mention of one particular honor, gasps and murmurs were followed by a round of clapping and cheering.

The award for 14 years of perfect attendance went to graduating senior Dylan Eyler, who has not missed a day of school since he started pre-kindergarten, according to school officials.

Eyler, 17, of Cascade, Md., said after the ceremony that he did not initially set out to achieve perfect attendance, but as the years added up, he became reluctant to break the streak.

"As soon as I kind of got to the fifth-grade mark, I said, 'Well, I'm this far, I might as well see how much farther I can get,'" he said.

Smithsburg High School Registrar Grace Priest said Eyler was the only student she had known to achieve 14 years of perfect attendance since she started at the school in 2002.

Priest called the achievement "remarkable."

"It certainly shows diligence, for one thing, and stamina and perseverance," she said. "There had to be days that this young boy didn't feel good, and education must have meant a lot to him to be in school every day."

Eyler said he doesn't do anything in particular to stay healthy, but his immune system has served him well.

"I never got really sick or anything," he said.

The only time he has had the flu happened over winter break, he said.

Eyler received a medal for his perfect attendance at a May 23 awards ceremony.

He plans to study criminal justice at Hagerstown Community College and is interested in becoming a police officer, he said.

He is also an Eagle Scout, plays baseball and enjoys fishing, he said.

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