Aug. 23—Zeb Proctor, a recent Midland Valley High School graduate, has been recognized for having perfect attendance in school from elementary to high school.
This achievement, while outstanding on its own merit, is especially interesting considering that Zeb followed in the footsteps of his two older siblings, Cassidee and Zeke, who accomplished the same thing. Zeb's younger brother, ninth grader Zac, is also on the path towards a squeaky clean perfect attendance record.
Zeb was involved in Beta Club, the National Honor Society and Student Council, and graduated in the top 3% of his class. He talked about how he balanced his extracurriculars while still managing to never miss a day.
"I'm really ambitious about getting my school work, and if I miss class then I will miss important instruction," he said.
For Zeb, missing a day of school "wasn't really an option in my mind." He is now beginning his first semester at USC Aiken, where he plans to study environmental science. Later, he plans to work for the Savannah River Ecology Lab.
Before Zeb earned this honor, his older brother Zeke graduated with perfect attendance in the spring of 2020, at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"COVID made my graduation year very unique," said Zeke. "I did not get to fully participate in all of the normal senior activities, but I conquered it and I'm here today."
Zeke is now entering his senior year at USC Aiken as a business major and runs a small landscaping business on the side.
In 2018, both Zeb and Zeke were preceded by older sister Cassidee, who now teaches at Graniteville Elementary School. Cassidee said the tradition "started with her" and everyone else followed suit. As an educator, Cassidee believes that students should be dedicated to learning because "it can make them go pretty far."
It's not just about perfect attendance to Cassidee."It's about an attitude of excellence," she said.
Their mother, Ginger Proctor, spoke on what it took to ensure that her children were and still are in school each and every day.
"I am a very stubborn person. And I am a perfectionist," she said. "It wasn't really an ambition that I set out and said, 'Hey, we're never going to miss it.' It just happened."
As a teacher herself for 29 years, Ginger understands the importance of consistently being in school.
"When they're not in the classroom listening to instruction, instruction is still happening without them and they're missing what they need to be doing. Then it's a catch-up game."
Zeke added that their mother instilled in them a valuable life lesson: "You get up and do what you're supposed to do day after day after day. And in the long run, you'll see that things pay off."
Zeb said that he would tell current high school students that the time in school is going to go by quickly.
"When you actually graduate, you look back and realize it wasn't that long," he said.