Fernley graduate finishes K-12 schooling with perfect attendance
In most aspects of life, perfection is impossible. But Austin Handka, a 2020 graduate of Fernley High School, achieved it simply by showing up.
On Friday, Austin graduated having not missed a day of school his entire life. From kindergarten through fourth grade at Cottonwood Elementary, fifth and sixth at Fernley Intermediate School, seventh and eighth at Silverwood Middle School and ninth through twelfth at Fernley High School.
"I just thought about going to school and hanging out with friends," said Austin, who recently turned 18. "I never thought about perfect attendance."
Roughly 2,300 days of school in which Austin was always "here". Though he did have a close call when in middle school.
"There was one time I didn't come in until 7:45," said Austin, who was just 15 minutes tardy that day. "I fell asleep at my house and my dad had someone come drive me to school."
Austin says his family always took vacations during his Summer break, and he happened to only get sick on weekends.
"I just kind of got lucky," said Austin.
And Austin is reaping the benefits of his impressive achievement. While on a shoot with KOLO8, he was surprised with a 50 dollar check by the principal of Fernley Intermediate School. Later, he collected a brand-new laptop from Fernley High School, an incentive for never missing a day. He's somewhat the talk of the town.
"I never figured I would've got all this," said Austin. "Congratulations. "It's crazy seeing everyone congratulate me."
Austin will put his computer to use when he attends Truckee Meadows Community College in the Fall. He's not sure what he'll study, but he says he certainly won't miss any classes.
"It's crazy it's so rare that people don't miss a day of school," said Austin. "It's not hard. You just show up!"