Madison Central grad "iron lady of academia" - - Jackson, MS

Madison Central grad "iron lady of academia"

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There are lots of outstanding students in Madison Central High School's 2012 graduating class. They include straight A students, star athletes, and scholarship recipients.

But arguably, one of those outstanding students stands the highest.

"I have had perfect attendance since kindergarten," says Charence Higgins, adding that she's never been tardy either.

This iron lady of academia, or Cal Ripken of classrooms, says her formula for success is a ton of determination with a sprinkle of luck.

"No major illnesses. Never had the flu, never had stomach viruses. That's always been on my side. Just encouragement from my parents," she says.

It goes without saying, her mother, Daphne Higgins, is beaming with pride.

"It's been a wonderful, wonderful experience knowing she's dedicated. This dedication will take her through life. It will make her successful," Mrs. Higgins says. "She has been a perfect child. If any parent understands what a perfect child really is, I have one."

History teacher Auston Edwards had Charence as a student in her tenth grade year. Her attendance was better than his.

"I was out a couple days, birth of my child. Charence was always there, steady," Edwards tells us. "Most students are going to miss for vacation, exemption, senior skip day. Charence was never one of those students. I think it speaks well to the achievements she had in attendance, but also in the classroom."

The goal was set in her youngest years because her mother told her to make school a top priority. That goal never waned through elementary, middle, or high school.

Perhaps, the streak isn't over yet.

"I will be at Jackson State in the fall, studying psychology. Hopefully after I get my degree, go to grad school, I'll be a child psychologist," she says.

When asked if she will continue her perfect attendance tradition, Charence says, "I will try. Definitely gonna try."

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