- Associated Press - Sunday, June 8, 2014

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - As he walked out the doors to the center seating area at the Arkansas State University Convocation Center, Brady Moody didn’t realize he would be presented with more than a high school diploma.

When Westside’s superintendent Bryan Duffie gave his commencement ceremony speech in May, he cut it short to call senior Brady Moody to the stage.

Duffie announced that Brady had not missed a single day of school from kindergarten through 12th grade. Every day school was in session, Brady was there. He went to school 2,314 days during the past 13 years.

Duffie told The Jonesboro Sun (https://bit.ly/1kup6lM) he found out about Brady’s perfect attendance about a month before graduation.

“I had my administrators check and double check and triple check and even quadruple check,” Duffie said. “I had to make sure we didn’t make a mistake somewhere down the line. Sure enough, Brady hadn’t missed a single day of school.”

Duffie presented Moody with a 6-foot-tall trophy of achievement and a $2,314 check - a dollar for every day he was in school. The check was sponsored by the Westside School District, Celeste Tinsley’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports group, Tate General Contractors and Bailey General Contractors.

“I figured Mr. Duffie would say something about it, but never did I think I would be rewarded with a huge trophy or especially the check,” Brady said. He plans on putting the money toward college necessities.

Duffie said he told the students and audience, “It does actually pay to go to school.”

“We were really surprised,” said Brady’s father, Ron Moody. “Of course, we knew he hadn’t missed any school, and we had heard that something was going to be announced at the ceremony, but we had no idea what was actually going to happen.”

The elder Moody said he tried to keep Brady in school as best as he could while he was in elementary school.

“I always made sure he was up and was on time to school,” Ron said. “I’d also give him some incentives to go to school.”

Ron said he would give his son money at the end of the school year if he hadn’t missed any school, but by middle school, Brady was determined to go to school every day.

“It was always really important to me,” Brady said. “I didn’t know of anyone else who had ever gone to school every day. It was something I could be proud of for accomplishing.”

Ron said he was always prepared for when Brady was not feeling so well.

“I had the medicine in hand, ready at the first signs,” Ron Moody said. “He didn’t want to miss any school, and I didn’t want him to either.”

Ron said there were days when Brady would go to school feeling ill and then come home feeling completely miserable.

“He might have gone to school a few times when he really shouldn’t have,” Ron said. “But he didn’t want to miss any school, so he didn’t. I think he would have had to been on his death bed before he would miss.”

“I had gone through grade school and middle school without missing any school,” Brady recalled. “In high school, I couldn’t let all that effort go to waste. I would go to school and act like I felt fine, just so no one would send me home.”

Brady hopes to carry his no-missing-school streak to ASU in the fall where he plans to study to be a doctor.

“It’s all in the mind,” Brady said. “I’ve been pushing myself all through school to get perfect attendance, and I plan on using that mindset to go to all my college classes, too.”

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Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, https://www.jonesborosun.com

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