UNION, NJ – Judenique Auguste graduated from Union High School Friday night.
And she didn’t miss a day of school in those four years. She never missed a day while in middle school, either. Or elementary school. In fact, she never missed a day of school since she started Pre-k.
Auguste said she didn’t think about her attendance until she was in fifth grade at Jefferson School, when the teachers would hand out awards for perfect attendance each marking period. And she got one every time. “I’ll make this my goal now,” she thought at the time.
“I’ve always wanted to go to school,” said Auguste. She said before her older brother Nickdy began Pre-k, “I was upset because he got to go and I wasn’t going.”
“In third grade, I was almost late for school one day,” said Auguste. “I was so upset.” [For the record, she wasn’t late that day.]
“I think being present every day made me passionate about school and learning everything I could while I was there,” said Auguste.
Auguste spent all of her academic years in Union schools from Pre-K (Union Township Community Action Organization); elementary years (Washington School), fifth grade (Jefferson); middle school (Kawameeh) and then Union High School.
Auguste attributes some of her attendance success to luck. “There have been times when I was sick during a school break, but I got better by the time school started up again.”
“When I was younger, I didn’t want to go on school field trips, because I thought I’d get marked absent,” continued Auguste. “But then they told me it counts as being there, so I went.”
She said she didn’t participate in ‘senior skip day’. “I figured I’m almost finished, with only a few days to go. So, I went to school.”
Auguste played the flute in the marching band and the orchestra. She was the founder of the DIY Club at school. “We’d create small projects and teach the class how to make them.” She said her favorite subject is math.
Auguste is bound for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in the fall to study electrical engineering. When asked if she plans to try for perfect attendance in college, she jokingly said, “I hope so. But it’s pretty cold up there, so I’m hoping I don’t get sick.”