By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Perfect attendance pays off
Park Elementary school students Valerie Luna and Kaiden Back each received a new bicycle Wednesday morning as recognition for having perfect attendance the entire school year. Neither missed a day of school, nor were they tardy. A group of private donors gave a boys and a girls bicycle to each elementary school in the district to award perfect attendance. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Perfect attendance is a rare accomplishment for most students.  It takes planning and preparation, with illnesses and bad weather to contend with from time to time, to make it in to school every day on time.   But for those who achieve it, it’s nice to be recognized for the effort.  Dale Shaner wanted to do that for USD 428 students.  He had an idea, and after sharing it with his wife, Karen, and some friends, the group put the idea into action.

This week one girl’s bike and one boy’s bike were given away in at each of the five elementary schools to reward students for perfect attendance. The names of students with perfect attendance and no tardies were put into a drawing at each school.

“It’s a wonderful way to motivate students to come to school and be on time,” said Tom Vernon, superintendent of schools.

“What makes the program even better is that the program was suggested by a grandparent of a child in the district who then sought private donors to fund the cost of the bicycles,” he said.

“Those efforts are truly appreciated,” Vernon added.

The group purchased the ten bicycles through Golden Belt Bicycle Company.  Owner Doug Chambers contributed by throwing in professional assembly of each bicycle.   Each 20 inch bike is equipped with both hand and coaster brakes.

“They’re great bikes for kids to get around on,” he said.  

Wednesday morning, Park Elementary teachers recognized one girl, Valerie Luna, and four boys, Kaiden Bach, Eli Hernandez, Keanu Yager and Angel Barrera, achieved perfect attendance during the 2012-2013 school year.  Each student received a Barton County perfect attendance t-shirt, and the boys entered their names into a drawing.  The winner of the boys bike was Kaiden Back.  Donors Gail Carpenter, Jane Isern and Karen Shaner were on hand to congratulate all five students.  (

The group of donors included the Shaners, Rick and Lois Ball, Jane Isern, Gail Carpenter, Maureen Lehey and one other anonymous person. They plan to do it again next year.

Those winning bicycles at other USD 428 elementary schools include Devin Brown and Kamryn Johns, Lincoln School; Collin Saffa and Karley Stukey, Jefferson School; Citlaly Sanchez and Lionel Sarinana, Riley School; and Caden Guesnier and Autumn McHenry, Eisenhower School.