West Jordan High graduate boasts perfect attendance record
Jun 20, 2019 01:47PM
By Jet Burnham
Brooklyn Gaskins receives an award for 13 years of perfect attendance. (Photo courtesy of Katherine Gaskins)
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
In 13 years, Brooklyn Gaskins has never been tardy or had an unexcused absence from school. She has a perfect attendance record.
“Sometimes, people will have a reaction to Brooklyn, like they think that it's just unbelievable, that it is crazy,” said Brooklyn’s mother, Katherine Gaskins. “It didn't start off that she was going to try and do it from kindergarten through 12th grade. She just started out getting perfect attendance, and she thought it was kind of a fun goal with herself to see if she could accomplish that.”
Brooklyn won an award from West Jordan High School for her perfect attendance before she graduated at the end of May. She was hoping to get a scholarship for her accomplishment but hasn’t been able to find one. Fortunately, she is as equally dedicated to her grades—she also graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
But her perfect record doesn’t stop there.
As a cheerleader at West Jordan High School, Brooklyn attended every practice, every game—even those that were optional. She has had the same dedication to the WJHS choir. This past semester, she never missed a day of her internship as a dental assistant—even during Spring Break.
“What she is emulating is very much my personality,” said her mother, who also had perfect attendance from kindergarten all through college (earning five degrees). As a teacher at Granger High School, Gaskins has also never called in sick in 22 years of teaching (though she did take maternity leave). Brooklyn’s younger sister Avery, who just completed seventh grade, also has perfect attendance and a 4.0 GPA.
“I don't expect perfection from my children; I expect them to do their very best.” said Gaskins. “Being a teacher myself, education is extremely important in our home. Brooklyn knows that her No. 1 job is to be a student and to try her best in everything she does.”
Brooklyn has missed class for school-excused absences such as choir tours, cheer competitions and field trips but never for illness or outside activities. She prefers not to miss class, even though it isn’t always easy.
“There's been plenty of times I wanted to sleep in and not go to school,” said Brooklyn. “But I just think that I'm going to miss something. So, I just always decided to go to school no matter what.”
Brooklyn also believes if her teachers took the time to plan a lesson, the least she can do is to be in class and do her best. Teachers appreciate her effort.
“I am frankly blown away that Brooklyn managed this amazing accomplishment,” said WJHS choir director Kelly Dehaan. “I've been teaching for 22 years and have had thousands of students—this is a first.”
Dehaan said in a participation-based class such as choir, attendance is essential. There is no way a student can make up for a missed day.
“The dynamic of having everyone there together cannot be replicated in any other way,” he said. “When a student is absent—even in a large choir—it slows down the progress of the team.”
In addition to choir and cheerleading, Brooklyn also takes dance classes, is involved in National Honor Society and is president of her church youth group. She still makes time to babysit, hang out with friends and spend time with her family. Brooklyn said she prefers to keep busy and stays organized by utilizing the calendar on her phone and one hanging in her room to keep track of activities and tests.
“I just know I have a lot on my plate,” said Brooklyn. “So, I just make sure that I give myself time to do my homework and do cheer and spend time with my family.”
Now that Brooklyn has graduated from high school, she plans to continue her habit of perfect attendance as she heads to Salt Lake Community College to study to be a dental hygienist.
“Now it's just muscle memory—I go to school,” she said. “And I feel like when I grow up, when I get a real job, it will be a good habit.”