Kim didn’t miss a single day at school in 14 years

Kim Hamilton, a former pupil of Linn Primary School and Larne Grammar School, with the certificate she received for achieving 14 years unbroken attendance. INLT 40-363-PR

Kim Hamilton, a former pupil of Linn Primary School and Larne Grammar School, with the certificate she received for achieving 14 years unbroken attendance. INLT 40-363-PR

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DENTAL student Kim Hamilton’s crowning glory is a 14-year unbroken attendance record in her school days.

The Larne girl, who left Larne Grammar School in the summer for undergraduate studies at Queen’s University, Belfast, did not miss a single day at the Grammar, or at Linn Primary.

And such is Kim’s devotion to her studies that she did not even take a day off from Queen’s to attend a recent function hosted by the North Eastern Education Board to congratulate full attenders. Kim’s mother, Linda, received an award on her daughter’s behalf from board chairman Rev Selwoode Graham at the Antrim Board Centre.

Eight young people were recognised for full attendance from 12 years, upwards but Kim was one of only four who had managed the full 14 years from P1 through to Upper Sixth.

Linda said it was never a problem getting Kim out to school in the mornings. “She loved it. That was one factor in her full attendance. Another is that she was very fortunate to have good health and when she did get colds and sniffles she always managed to carry on,” said Linda.

The future dentistry student became increasingly aware that she would never get a second bite at this particular cherry.

“As time went by and her attendance was building up it started to mean something to her and she was more determined to keep it going, but we didn’t set out thinking when she was in P1 that she would never miss a day,” her mum explained.

Kim’s record has stood her in good stead and not only in achieving excellent A Level grades: it was also a factor in being accepted to the School of Dentistry at Queen’s.

“We’re glad that now Kim has a certificate from the education board to prove that she had unbroken attendance,” said Linda.

Rev Graham said it was “absolutely fantastic” to see young people being honoured for not having missed a day off school in 12 or 14 years. “You all should feel extremely proud of yourselves for such dedication, which I hope continues into your adult life,” he added.