A high school senior in Georgia was just recognized for his perfect attendance record. But the story behind the achievement goes beyond a penchant for learning and zero sick days. When Alex Kunda was just 4 years old, he vowed to never miss a day of school in honor of his older sister, who died in 2006.
Kunda’s sister, Miranda, never missed a day of first grade. When she died from autoimmune hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that can lead to liver failure, he received her perfect attendance award in her honor. His father, Preston Kunda, told CBS Evening News that after walking across the stage to accept the certificate, the little boy made a promise.
“He says, 'I'm going to do this for her,’” Preston said. “He was going to get perfect attendance in honor of her.” In the 13 years since making that promise, Alex has been set on keeping it. He even turned down a trip to Disney World in the fourth grade because he didn’t want to miss a single day.
“On a Friday, we were going to take him out of school,” his mom, Arlene, explained. “And he said no.”
Now, as his years of primary and secondary schooling come to an end, Alex has accomplished his goal. But even while he accepted his own perfect attendance award from Brunswick High School, he told CBS that he was thinking of his sister.
“This was the one promise I remembered making to her,” Alex said. “I was thinking about her the entire time. I was like, ‘This is for you.’”
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