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Rio Norte student gets medal for seven years without an absence

Ahead of the class

Posted: February 19, 2009 12:58 a.m.
Updated: February 19, 2009 9:00 a.m.

Rio Norte Junior High student, Dylan Ryndak, 12, proudly displays his medal for perfect attendance during his seven years, K through 6th grade, at James Foster Elementary School.

When Dylan Ryndak was in third grade, he got sick and ended up with a bad cough.

His mother, Alana Altmayer, wanted her son to stay home and feel better.

Ryndak’s reaction was a temper tantrum, demanding to go to school so he wouldn’t miss a minute of class.
From that point on, Ryndak focused on the goal to have perfect attendance.

He’s held his perfect-attendance record since kindergarten. His next step is to finish seventh grade at Rio Norte Junior High School to mark his eighth consecutive year.

"He’s very focused, very determined,” Altmayer said.

Ryndak wants to make it all the way through high school, which would mean 13 years of perfect attendance.

He hasn’t decided if he wants to extend his goal into college.

But college is in the plans, as he hopes to either become a drill sergeant or a lawyer one day.

“I’m really good at persuading people and helping people,” he said, about being a lawyer.

Twelve-year-old Ryndak’s idea of perfect attendance is not just going to school everyday.

He’s never late for school and has never left class early.

Family vacations are scheduled around Ryndak’s school calendar.

Even a trip to Disneyland can’t convince Ryndak, a Valencia resident, to miss a day of school.

“If we’re going to go somewhere, he’ll go, ‘Who’s going to pick me up after school?’” Altmayer said.

Call it luck or good timing, but Ryndak will get sick when ever school’s out.

“He has a very huge immune system. We could all have it and he doesn’t get it,” Altmayer said.

Ryndak’s drive for perfect attendance relates to his goal-driven attitude.

“It’s just a goal I set I’d like to accomplish,” he said.

Ryndak is also a Boy Scout and wants to follow his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout.

Ryndak typically arrives at school 20 minutes early.

When the bus can’t take him to school, his mom makes sure to get him to Rio Norte on time.

“They have a start time for a reason. It’s the same for a job,” Altmayer said.

His perfect attendance earned him six certificates, one medal and the awe of friends and family.

“They don’t believe it,” Altmayer said.

Ryndak’s perfect attendance impressed Kelly Karter, his sixth-grade teacher at James Foster Elementary School.

“It was nice to have Dylan there everyday and somebody that I could definitely count on and be there to get the job done.”

Ryndak’s goal turned him into a positive role model for other students, Karter said.

Typically, a handful of students will go an entire year without missing school.

Ryndak’s achievement is much more unique.

“I have never seen anything like that,” Karter said.


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