Central Los Angeles : Student's Record a Lesson in Perfection

A stomachache? No problem. Tired? Be serious. Senior skip day? Forget it.

Nothing, nada, zip, kept Marre Cummings of Watts out of school for even one day, from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Cummings, 18, graduated this year from King-Drew Medical Magnet, a school for gifted students with aspirations for jobs in health care.

"This feels really good," she said recently. "I never had the desire to miss school. If you miss a day of school, you miss a day of your education."

School officials say records show that Cummings, who plans to become a pediatrician, kept her string intact through stints at Ritter Elementary School, Markham Junior High School and the magnet school.

Her mother, Mary Thomas, made sure a few months ago that Principal Ernie Roy knew of Cummings' achievement.

"It was my goal to see that she have perfect attendance," said Thomas, a dental assistant. "I felt the only way you were going to accomplish anything in life is by going to school, and you have to be there every day so you don't miss an important subject."

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