4 brothers have perfect attendance
QUARRYVILLE, Pa. - For nearly 9,400 days, when attendance was taken in Solanco School District, the name “Munro” was answered with “Here.”
One hundred eighty days or so at a time, year after year, Neil Munro was in his seat when the school day began. From the first uncertain days of kindergarten through senior year, he never missed a day in 13 years.
A few years later, his brother Evan graduated from Solanco without ever missing a day.
Next up: brother Kyle, with 13 years of perfect attendance.
And on June 6, the final Munro brother, Alec, walked across the stage at Solanco’s commencement with his own record of 13 years without a single day missed.
Not for illness. Not to take an extra day to study for a test. Not because they just wanted a break.
“You have to be a motivated person,” Evan says from his Air Force posting in Cheyenne, Wyoming. And, with each subsequent brother, a little sibling rivalry might have snuck in, too.
“I think it’s competitiveness,” Kyle, a rising junior at Lebanon Valley College, says with a smile. “To me,” he added, “it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.”
But the achievement is definitely rare. The district office, where official records back up the Munros’ perfect attendance, confirmed that having a student graduate without missing a day “is pretty remarkable.”
Having all four siblings reach that milestone? Even more so.
Part of his motivation to continue the streak, Alec says, had little to do with the actual attendance record at all. A three-sport athlete, he says, he never wanted to let down his team.
“And if you stay home” from school, he says, “you can’t practice, or you can’t play. … It’s more than just school.”
“Once I got a certificate at the end of elementary school for a thousand and some days” of perfect attendance, “I thought that was pretty cool,” Kyle says. “And then I think it’s just easier to just go to high school and middle school than it is to make up all that work” if you miss a day.
“Even making up the work when I would leave (school early) for track meets — it’s not the best time,” he says.
The brothers, sons of Ronald and Melanie Munro of New Providence, all competed in sports for the Golden Mules, running cross country and track and playing basketball.
What instilled this kind of determination in the brothers?
“It’s just the way things are done,” Melanie Munro says. The brothers eat well, they’re never sick and they have their parents’ work ethic to emulate.
“I mean, I work hard; I used to work two jobs; my husband works hard,” she says.
“Our parents definitely motivated us,” says Neil, the oldest brother. Graduation from high school, and then college, was the expectation.
Neil “didn’t really keep track” of his perfect attendance until his junior year, he says — but then, in senior year, the streak “definitely influenced” his resolve.
And today, Neil, 24, is back where he spent all those days: in a Solanco classroom. The York College of Pennsylvania graduate works during the schools’ summer vacation for Cook Brothers Landscaping, but during the school year he’s a personal care aide at Swift Middle School, working one-on-one with a student, and is busy coaching junior high track and girls basketball.
Evan, with the Air Force, serves in the 90th Security Forces Group Tactical Response Force.
Kyle, the LVC student, runs cross country and indoor and outdoor track for his college while studying criminal justice, and works two jobs over the summer break. (Not surprisingly, he’s never called in to work sick, he says.)
And Alec, as he prepares to attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania to study culinary arts and hospitality management, juggles two jobs: working on a flower farm in the mornings, then heading over to Quarryville landmark Dottie’s Snack Bar in the afternoon.
The brothers have learned a thing or two in their school careers — not the least of which, Alec says, is what a difference getting involved can make.
Activities like sports, he says, “gave me most of my friends that I still talk to. Especially playing sports, you get to make new friends, and being on a team kind of motivates you to have good grades” so you still qualify to play.
And now that he’s a few years out of high school, Evan says, he still sees the impact of having the kind of drive that propels you — day in and day out — to get to school.
“Everything you do growing up always translates to your adult life,” Evan says. “Even in my professional military career. You’re reliable. People know they can depend on you.”
Information from: LNP, http://lancasteronline.com