Teen recognized for perfect attendance from kindergarten through high school

essence-mitchell-newA Virginia  teen has been able to achieve an incredible feat very few students can achieve; now her high school is recognizing her for it.

Midlothian High School has recognized Essence Mitchell, a senior at the school, for perfect attendance throughout her entire academic career.

That’s right; Essence has never missed a day of school since Kindergarten.

“It’s very important to me; my mom has made it a routine for me to go to school every day, and, in not doing so, it would just feel different,” Essence said in the December edition of the Midlo Scoop newspaper.

Essence mom, Tawanna Mitchell said she recently realized the impressive feat while talking with one of Essence’s teachers about a college recommendation letter.

“That’s when it clicked; she’s never missed a day of school,” Mitchell said.

She said she used to keep track of her attendance in elementary school, but lost sight of it through middle and high school. “It just happened that way,” she said.

“Her dad and I encouraged her to be all that she can be in all her endeavors,” Mitchell said.

“I think I’m most proud of Essence because she not just willing to just do great things for herself, but she wants to do well and give back to others,” Mitchell said.

The 17-year-old’s community service includes feeding the homeless with a local church and donating her clothes to less fortunate children.

In school, Essence was inducted into the National Society of High School Scholars in August for overall academic achievement. She is the Vice President of the Hand and Hand club, which mentors kids at Evergreen Elementary. She is also in the Service Learning program and assists teachers and students in the classroom at J.B. Watkins Elementary School.

“I’m truly blessed because I know that essence, despite all of life’s challenges, she’s persevered,” said Mitchell. “Coming from the inner city in New York, she’s definitely beat the odds.”

Mitchell said Essence has an interest in forensic psychology and practical law and is still looking at colleges.

In addition to her outstanding academic performance,  Essence has also been dancing since she was two and is also a professional dancer with the Encore Performing Arts Dance Studio.

With all this on her plate, Mitchell said Essence’s perfect attendance record wasn’t easy.

Essence has battled through the usual colds, but she’s also broken her leg/ankle on three separate occasions with dance, gymnastics, and while skating.

“What’s most admirable is despite surgery; the use of crutches and a wheelchair, Essence went to school every day,” said Mitchell.


56 thoughts on “Teen recognized for perfect attendance from kindergarten through high school

  • January 1, 2016 at 11:49 PM
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    Man… never got the flu? Never broke a leg? Never had a doctor’s appointment? Never played hookie even once? I admit its an achievement but some of the things that defined me as a person and shaped me into who I am today happened on days when I didn’t show up to school. I got sick, I was hit by a truck, went to the doctor for checkups now and then, played hookie to play with friends, to discover myself. Sometimes I think our school system does a real disservice to kids and rips their personalities and fundamental humanity from them, churning out high-powered brain buckets making money for people that probably spent their time in high school smoking weed (most CEOs fall into this group). I’m sure she’ll live a happy, enlightened, complacent, sheltered life but all the experiences she probably missed out on, ugh, I don’t know. I guess I’m just very fond of the experiences I had when not playing the perfect child.

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    • January 2, 2016 at 10:28 AM
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      Did you read the entire article? She has had colds & broken her ankle/leg three different times! She is smart, dedicated & beautiful. Great attributes!

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      • January 14, 2016 at 4:51 PM
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        How did she go to school on the days of surgery?

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        • May 1, 2016 at 10:47 PM
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          Possibly weekends. School holidays. Maybe

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      • May 5, 2016 at 5:00 PM
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        I think this is a tremendous feat. Back when my youngest daughter graduated from HS one of her classmates had the same achievement. The local Chevrolet dealer gave him a car to mark that achievement. This was in 2007. This young man still drives that car and is now an Airman in the Air Force. I would love to hear some organization or dealership could reward her in this fashion.

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    • January 2, 2016 at 4:07 PM
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      Way to crap on this young woman’s achievement Rob. Please leave your own shortcomings out of her spot light. Everyone is different, and Essence is a step above the rest. Great job, Essence, for hanging in there until the end.

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    • January 8, 2016 at 8:40 PM
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      They said she has broken legs and gotten sick and still attended school finish reading

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    • January 16, 2016 at 8:45 AM
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      I mostly agree with you, Rob.
      Also, going to school sick & infecting others is not admirable

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    • March 11, 2016 at 8:43 AM
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      03.11.2016

      Just incredible for a person to achieve such tremendous achievement and accomplishment not everyone is capable of doing. Congratulations! You made your parents, teachers, classmates and
      schoolmates very proud of you.

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    • May 1, 2016 at 2:00 AM
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      You don’t need to miss school to have all those “extracurricular activities” you refer to. You just do those on the weekends or in the summer!

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    • May 2, 2016 at 11:52 PM
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      You just showed everyone why you should have never missed a day of school….. You sound stupid, to try and take away from her achievement because you could do it is idiotic at best.

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    • October 3, 2016 at 11:15 AM
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      Essence has battled through the usual colds, but she’s also broken her leg/ankle on three separate occasions with dance, gymnastics, and while skating.

      Rob, did you miss the days where they taught reading comprehension? Just because your life was “so much more exciting and filled with so many experiences”– who is to say this young women didn’t as well? But thanks for the trip down “memory lane”. You know, rumination is destructive to forward movement….

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  • January 7, 2016 at 2:54 AM
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    Clearly Rob didn’t read the article. Throughout her trials, tribulations and volunteer work she still had perfect Attendance. That’s just amazing

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    • January 10, 2016 at 8:21 AM
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      She might have broken the leg over the summer.

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  • January 8, 2016 at 12:27 PM
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    Congratulations on an accomplishment that we dont all get close to claiming. What a fantastic achievement!

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    • January 14, 2016 at 4:53 PM
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      “I myself also did the same.”

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      • April 29, 2016 at 10:24 PM
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        I too had perfect attendance from kindergarten through high school. If I tried to stay home sick my mom would say….Go to school. If you are that sick the nurse will send you home! She never did though….

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      • May 7, 2016 at 1:32 PM
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        I did too. 13 yrs perfect attendance

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    • May 5, 2016 at 5:07 PM
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      What an awesome achievement for you, Joseph. Even in the face of some adversity you continued on like a true warrior. I hope life is treating you well and you realize all of your dreams. You possess the determination we don’t see in many young people these days. Congratulations! Your Mom seems like a great mom too! May she have a Happy Mother’s Day as she beams her love to you.

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  • January 9, 2016 at 12:46 PM
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    My sis had 13 years of perfect addendence and my baby sister has 9 years so far

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  • January 9, 2016 at 11:16 PM
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    Well anyone that doesn’t think she is an exception in this day and time is jealous and on all the not missing any days she did charity work for the needed and I think she is a very dedicated person and she will go thru life helping other and that to me show how much she loves the Lord and she was raised by some exceptional parents for her to turn out the kind of person she …God Continue to Bless her and her family….

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  • January 10, 2016 at 10:43 AM
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    Admire her dedication, BUT going to school when you are sick is simply not a good idea.

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    • January 10, 2016 at 11:58 PM
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      Agreed. Her illness might have caused some other students to get sick. My parents were very against missing school, and would send me on the bus, with no exceptions. I’m just glad I had teachers who were more observative and sent me to the school nurse, who then would send me home, when I was clearly too sick to be at school. I am all for parents supporting education, but there’s a time when you have to draw the line.

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    • January 11, 2016 at 7:28 AM
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      It’s good practice for adulthood since enployers don’t even give you the luxury of taking a sick day very often. They sometimes even make you feel like a criminal or worried about keeping your job for missing work!

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  • January 10, 2016 at 10:50 AM
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    This is definitely a remarkable young woman and hopefully we will hear more from/about her and others that persevere in spite of the odds. Great person, great article. Thanks to my own remarkable granddaughter for posting.

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  • January 10, 2016 at 11:18 AM
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    I’m just wondering about annual check up, vaccinations, dental appointments, etc.. My children’s doctors office is a M-F office hours are 8:30-4:30 the same as school hours. So did she not go to regular check ups? Just curious. Not to take anything away from this amazing young lady who not only attended school, but took every advantage of the education offered her and did something with it! Most kids these days just do the bare minimum needed to finish school where she persevered and made the best of school! I’m just curious is all.

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    • January 14, 2016 at 4:57 PM
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      She may have gone after school

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    • May 5, 2016 at 3:27 PM
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      It doesnt say she left school early it just says she never missed so she could have went an in the afternoon left for appointment think it put people

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    • July 20, 2016 at 4:43 AM
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      Perhaps her parents put enough of a premium on her education to find a doctor and dentist who had evening or weekend hours.

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  • January 11, 2016 at 12:35 AM
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    i went 4 years with perfect attendance then had the misfortune to get
    German measles. I tried to sneak out the door to go to school, but mom caught me.

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  • January 11, 2016 at 1:06 AM
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    This girl is going to accomplish anything she wants to and will change people’s lives. Watch.

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  • January 12, 2016 at 5:27 AM
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    I’ve had perfect attendance since 2nd grade through 12th grade. I cared so much about perfect attendance! I won 200 dollars though from my principle in a assemby right before o graduated

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  • January 15, 2016 at 7:44 PM
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    I am the seventh of eight children. The only boy, I might add. All eight of us did this very same thing!!! All EIGHT!! I know first hand how this young lady feels and I could not be more happy for her. Great job!!!

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  • January 15, 2016 at 8:23 PM
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    My sister has done the same, never ever missed a day of school. She even rode the bus when she was still a infant since my mom drives a bus. She only got a award at the school awards ceremony and that was it.

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  • January 16, 2016 at 8:43 AM
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    Good for her, a great girl .. But, who never gets sick? Hate to be cynical, but is she going to school ill, infecting others?

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  • January 16, 2016 at 1:27 PM
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    She never missed a day, if you read it all, they said she broke her ankle and her leg. She showed up to school on crutches, and in a wheel chair. I don’t know about anyone else, but I think that is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME !!! I wish all great things for you in your future, one really special person !!!

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  • January 18, 2016 at 1:26 AM
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    That is an amazing accomplishment. I am really impressed with her and her parents for teaching her to do the right thing. This is something I wouldn’t even have the discipline to do although I didn’t miss that often. She is a role model and an inspiration.

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  • January 19, 2016 at 5:50 PM
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    That’s great, congratulations Essense. Keep up the good work, now a day its a great accomplishment, pat yourself on the back for me

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  • January 23, 2016 at 8:49 PM
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    Congratulations! Someone should open a GoFundMe account for her. I would donate!

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  • January 24, 2016 at 2:02 AM
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    My son missed 1 day from kindergarten to 12th grade and I had to force him to stay home. He was running a fever and threw up his breakfast and the battle began! He insisted that he felt better after throwing up so he was going to school. I was not about to let him out the door running a fever. He threw a tantrum and slept the rest of the day. Luckily it was only a 24 hour bug because I don’t think I would have survived another morning battle! lol

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  • January 24, 2016 at 4:06 AM
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    That’s terrific! I’m proud of you young lady!

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  • February 3, 2016 at 10:05 AM
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    Reading she was from NY then movd to VA. Big cities have Dr appointments on saturdays. When you are an acedemic scholar such as Essence and you go above and beyond administration will make accommodations for you when you’re sick such as allow you to work in empty classrooms, etc . This is the negativity that has built a generation of children that look for excuses not to keep climbing the hill. I thank all of you who only had positive things for this accomplished lady to build on and applaud her and anyone also trying to reach their goals.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 11:28 AM
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    my sister received the same recognition in 1964 when she graduated high school. Congrats to both.

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  • May 3, 2016 at 9:54 PM
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    My kid hasnt missed school because of a doctor appt, idk about where ur at, but a lot of the pediatric offices have extended hours, my kid get his shots and checkup either after school or on early release days.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 3:28 PM
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    Congrats!! Too bad I had chickenpoxs and had to miss a week 🙁

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  • May 4, 2016 at 8:35 PM
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    Congrats to her. My sister had 15 years of perfect attendance and all the school district gave her was a plaque. She had to repeat 1st grade she attended headstart and pre-kindergarden which gave her 15 years. Maybe if they take the time to recognize these great accomplishments the kids would do better.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 9:11 AM
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    Congratulations on an awesome accomplishment hats off to the parents as well bless you and your family

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  • May 7, 2016 at 1:33 PM
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    Congrats young lady, welcome to the club. I had 13 yrs perfect attendance too!

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  • May 13, 2016 at 2:48 AM
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    IMPRESSIVE & INSPIRING…I NEVER WENT A YEAR IN HIGHSCHOOL WITHOUT SKIPPING A DAY OR TWO….OR EIGHTEEN LML GOD BLESS ATTENDANCE RETRIEVAL LOL

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  • July 13, 2016 at 7:14 AM
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    This is one heck of a feat; I think even harder than becoming an Eagle Scout. Congratulations to this fine young woman and people better watch out because with this type of determination and commitment there is no telling where her life will take her.

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  • September 26, 2016 at 4:48 PM
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    We need more parents like her’s.

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  • October 3, 2016 at 2:48 PM
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    This young lady is truly a role model & inspiration. I wish her an abundant future.

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