Like most seniors, Allison Coy was counting down the days until the last day of high school.
The Northwood senior was not just looking forward to graduating, starting a summer job at the Toledo Zoo and then going off to college in the fall…she was wrapping up a perfect attendance record that spanned 13 years in Northwood Schools.
In the beginning, Alli got up, got ready and went to school each and every day under the guidance of her mom, Leeanne.
“When I was in around the third or fourth grade, I remember there was a fifth grader who went all the way through elementary school without missing a day and got a $25 gift card,” she said. “I thought, I only had a couple of years left, and I could do that too.
“When I said I was sick, Mom said, ‘Go to school, if they send you home, that’s ok,” Alli said. “That happened only once in fourth grade. Our whole family was sick, and it got passed around.
“But I was there most of the school day, so it didn’t count against my attendance,” she said.
“It’s not that she went to school sick all the time, the truth is, she just doesn’t get sick,” said her mom, Leeanne LaForme. “And when she does happen to get sick, it’s very short-lived.”
After achieving a perfect attendance record in elementary school – and scoring a gift card and a certificate – Alli resolved to continue the streak in middle school.
Perfect attendance in high school had its own allure and reward. “In high school, if you go without missing a day of school, you get to exempt one of your exams for the semester,” she said. “For seniors, for second semester, if you miss under three days of school and get under three tardies, then you can exempt every exam in every class that that you have a B or higher in.
“I had a B or higher in all my classes other than pre-calculus, and I used my perfect attendance waiver for that, so I didn’t have to take any exams,” she said.
Showing up every day, along with diligence and hard work, also helped Alli achieve an overall grade point average of 3.642, she said. “Being there every day, I never really had to catch up on work that I missed. I know when I was on college visits or school trips – both excused absences –I had to work to catch up.”
Her attendance, along with years of volunteering with the ZooTeen program, helped her land her summer job. “I went into the school office last week and the secretary said the zoo had called to ask about my school attendance,” Alli said. “She said that the person from the zoo had never heard of anyone going that long without missing any school.”
Asked if she’ll strive for perfect attendance at Ohio Wesleyan, where she will study zoology, Alli said, “I don’t know…I’ll probably try to get to everything unless I’m extremely, extremely sick.”
On May 23, at Senior Awards assembly, Alli received a plaque in commendation of her perfect attendance. “It’s very rare and equally impressive,” said Northwood High School Principal Jason Kozina. “In my nine years in administration, I’ve occasionally seen perfect attendance throughout high school, but never throughout a 13-year school career.”
Alli also received the honor of being named the Class of 2013’s Outstanding Citizen. “Each year, the faculty of Northwood High School meets during the month of May to select a graduating senior for the honor of Outstanding Citizen,” Kozina said. “The faculty determines this award based on a demanding set of criteria, including leadership, service, courtesy, honesty, tolerance and other attributes. Our staff considers this an extremely important award and gives it their most serious consideration.”
The daughter of Leeanne LaForme and Randy Roslin, Mike Brice and the late Kevin Coy, Alli is a member of the National Honor Society and played varsity soccer and track all four years. She is the recipient of a Branch Rickey Scholarship at Ohio Wesleyan.