News Release

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Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757


Perfect Attendance: Heritage senior hasn’t missed a day of school in 13 years

May 24, 2017


As graduation approaches, many high school students are reflecting back at their time in school – 13 years or 2,340 days to be specific.

For one senior, his high school experience encompassed precisely that — 2,340 days and not one day less.

Heritage High School student Mario Welch is graduating from the Rockdale County Public Schools without having missed a single day at school.

“I’m really happy, it’s a big milestone,” Welch said. “I guess it was in third grade that my teacher realized that I had perfect attendance, and I was realizing I was only getting sick on the weekends and the breaks.”

Once cognizant of his attendance record, the Shoal Creek Elementary and Davis Middle alumnus said that he made it his goal to keep that track going until graduation. He even scheduled his knee surgery during Christmas break to avoid missing a day at school.

“I have to thank God first, but I definitely want to thank my mom because she pulled me out of the bed every morning,” he said.

In addition to his mother and also his father, Welch thanks the sport that provided him constant motivation.

“Football really did keep me in school, it kept my grades up,” he said. Welch was a linebacker for the Heritage Patriots team.

He also played golf his junior year and was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has been a technical intern at the Rockdale Career Academy for two years as part of the work-based learning program. Welch is graduating with a GPA of 3.39.

He says his friends are amazed that he has gone to school every single day since kindergarten.

“Sometimes they make fun of me, but most of the times they are like ‘Wow, that’s really a great accomplishment,’” he said

Welch added that he has never been the type of student who has wanted to skip school. Even on Senior Skip Day, while some of his classmates upheld the tradition, Welch simply went to his classes at the Rockdale Career Academy. He is dually enrolled in a Georgia Piedmont Technical College program.

“Everything kind of worked out,” he said.

Welch will be taking his determination and dedication to Kennesaw State University next fall where he plans to major in information technology and, if all goes well, continue his attendance streak through college.

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About Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Established in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is one of the top technical colleges in Georgia. As a student-centered institution, GPTC prepares individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing, global economy. In August 2016, Georgia Piedmont was ranked among the top ten technical colleges in terms of enrollment by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. GPTC’s graduation rate is more than 74.3 percent, and its graduates secure employment at a level resulting in a 98.7 percent placement rate. With nearly 4,000 students, Georgia Piedmont’s adult education program is among the largest in the state. The college has 12 learning centers in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). Contact Lisa Peters, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1154, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170; or Dr. Debra Gordon, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1176, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103 for assistance. For more information about our graduation rates and other important program information, please visit our website at

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.