By KIM ESTES, Four Points News
Gavin Gurrola graduated from Vandegrift High School earlier this month with a record of perfect attendance – not just for his senior year but also for all previous 12 years.
“It just came naturally to me. Going to school is what you’re supposed to do,” Gavin said.
Fortunately, good health came naturally too, so Gavin did not miss school due to illness either.
Gavin was in 7th grade when he realized he had no school absences. “At first, it was just a coincidence, but as it went on longer, I took it more seriously and made sure I never missed. It became a goal for me because I realized how rare it was and I would be able to do something that most kids don’t do,” he said.
It all began in Albuquerque, N.M., where Gavin attended kindergarten through 2nd grade.
In 3rd grade, he and his family moved to Austin and he enrolled at Steiner Ranch Elementary and then went to Grandview Hills Elementary for 4th and 5th grades, Canyon Ridge Middle School for 6th grade, Four Points Middle School during 7th and 8th grade and, finally, to VHS for his last four years.
His mom has his records of perfect attendance from New Mexico and Leander ISD has the remainder. “He did not miss a single full day of school,” said VHS assistant principal, Tiffany Phelps. “Amazing!”
However, Gavin can recall a few times when he did not feel well and could have stayed home, but it was never anything “serious”. So, on to school he went even during flu season and virus outbreaks.
“What was really bad, though, was the last two weeks of school when for a whole day I would be the only one in most of my classes,” Gavin said.
Then, there was the traditional senior skip day. “Since my freshman year, friends would ask me what I would do when ‘senior ditch day’ came around. So, I had plenty of time to think about it,” he said.
Finally, the day arrived, and he did what he had done every school day for 12 years and almost 9 months – he showed up. “With approximately 12 days of school left, I didn’t want to ruin what I had worked for. Why quit now? I was so close to the end and it didn’t seem worth it,” Gavin said.
“Being the only senior at school on senior skip day, that was pretty boring,” he added.
The upside to perfect attendance was always being present for lectures and never having make-up work due.
He also admitted, “Yeah, I like school.”
During his educational career, Gavin played the trombone in the middle school band. He was also a member of the VHS football, track and wrestling teams and the National Honor Society.
The son of Cheri and Marc Gurrola, Gavin will move from their Grandview Hills home this fall to enter Texas A&M University and major in engineering.
He also leaves three brothers, 16-year-old Ashton, 11-year-old Noah and nine-year-old Bodhi, all of who have good attendance records but with some absences.