Bloomer student achieves 13 years of perfect attendance

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BLOOMER, Wis. (WEAU) -- A high school student was recognized for an accomplishment few can say they've achieved.

Joe Pake, a senior at Bloomer High School in Wisconsin, said he never missed a day of school. He had perfect attendance since kindergarten: a unique accomplishment he said is preparing him for future goals.

"I've made a lot of sacrifices by not going on some family trips and some other stuff like that," said Pake.

Pake is on a 13-year perfect attendance streak. He said it wasn't until after sixth grade he'd realized he had never missed a day. That's when he set the goal to make it through high school without missing.

"I'm not really an athlete or anything, so I kind of thought this would be a good goal I could set for myself, like athletes can set goals of how many points or how many touch downs or something like that, so I set a goal of never missing a day," said Pake.

Rain or shine, Pake made it a priority to show up.

"Sick wise, I was lucky. I got sick on weekends. Besides like a headache or something, I just took ibuprofen and went to school," he said.

Pake says while his parents have been supportive, his perfect attendance goal is 100 percent self-motivated.

"They encouraged me, but they didn't force me. If I wanted to stay home even last week, they would have let me. It was my personal goal and I stuck with it to make sure that I would make it this far and accomplish it," he said.

Chad Steinmetz, the principal at Bloomer High School, said he admires Pake's dedication. "Having perfect attendance for one year or for a couple years, I think is a significant accomplishment. We've had a few students that have had perfect attendance through high school and maybe a portion of time beyond that but to have perfect attendance for an entire K12 career in school is nothing short of amazing," said Steinmetz.

Aside from his attendance, Pake is actively involved in the Bloomer FFA chapter, serving as president. Darren Swartz, the FFA advisor and teacher, said Pake was often hesitant to even go on school trips, fearing he would ruin his attendance record. He described Pake as reliable. "A great accomplishment obviously by him, I don't even have perfect attendance this year so for him to have perfect attendance for 13 years of school is outstanding," said Swartz.

Pake said above all, accomplishing this goal has taught him a big lesson about discipline. "It feels really good to have stuck with this goal for so long. It's probably the longest goal I've stuck with and accomplished so far so I'm looking forward to seeing what other goals I stick with this long," he said.

Pake is set to graduate from Bloomer High School on Friday, May 25th. He enlisted in the United States Army and is scheduled to leave for basic training the first week of June.