Murrieta Valley High School graduates Shyah Ghaseminia and Quentin Montoya may be headed to the next stages of their lives, but high school will be an experience that will stick with them for a long time to come. They’ll have plenty of memories of their school days, perhaps even more so than some of their peers.
Unlike other students at Murrieta Valley, Ghaseminia and Montoya never missed a single day of school from kindergarten through the end of high school. They made it in for every single day’s lessons, and their record attendance was solidified when they graduated earlier this year.
The students’ effort to never miss a day started as a friendly competition at the end of elementary school. Both Ghaseminia and Montoya had never missed a day of school throughout the time they were elementary school students.
“When Shyah and I had both completed it for elementary school it became kind of a competition for us to see who would drop out first,” Montoya said. “And neither of us missed a day throughout high school, which was actually kind of fun to see.”
Although in later years their motivation to be in school every day would be spurred on by the competition and an interest in academics, Ghaseminia and Montoya made it to elementary school every day for very different reasons.
For Ghaseminia it was because her brother had made it to school every day and she wanted to be like him, and for Montoya it was because his parents made him go every day.
Both said that they would later realize the value of getting an education and that desire to learn would be further bolstered by the friendly competition. The two would look for each other in the mornings to see if the other had not made it to school that day, only to find that wasn’t the case.
Still not everything was smooth sailing over middle school and high school. There were difficult times for both students, yet they made it to school in spite of those difficulties.
“During my high school career I hit a little bit of a burn out,” Montoya said. “I kind of slacked off on my work, but what I learned through some of my classes, teachers and administrators was that if you ever hit a wall you should pick yourself up and keep going.”
Ghaseminia faced a different set of difficulties in high school. When she was a freshman her mother was involved in a car accident and had to be hospitalized for six months. It was a difficult time for Ghaseminia and her family but she still found a way to make it in every day.
“I still went to school every day because I knew she would want me to go and stay on the right path,” Ghaseminia said.
Then during her sophomore year Ghaseminia would face difficulty again when she was diagnosed with anemia due to low hemoglobin levels. Rather than skip school to go to the doctor, she scheduled an appointment with a different doctor for one day.
Both Montoya and Ghaseminia watched all their hard work pay off when they finally graduated on Friday, June 13 and again when they were presented an award from Murrieta Valley Unified School District for their perfect attendance several days later.
Now the two graduates are college-bound. Montoya is planning on studying Computer Engineering at the University of California, Riverside and Ghaseminia will be studying Business at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Both plan to never miss a single day of college.