PRINCE GEORGE, Va. (WRIC) — The bell rings to signal the start of class at schools across Prince George County, and a pair of students never missed even one of them during their academic career there.

Courtney Noel South and Elizabeth Newbold graduated from Prince George High School on June 16, 2018, and accepted their diplomas along with a very unique honor.

The school system says South and Newbold both had 13 years of perfect attendance, from kindergarten through her senior year.

Elizabeth (left) and (right)

“When you think of all the reasons that prevent students from having perfect attendance due to Illness, medical appointments, court appointments, family emergencies and funerals, you realize the magnitude of this accomplishment,” says Superintendent Renee Williams. “The Prince George County School board applauds this outstanding accomplishment.”

South will now continue her studies at James Madison University, where she will begin coursework to become a veterinarian.

“She loves animals,” explains her mother, Sabrina South, who contacted 8News about her daughter’s honor. “Since she was five she wanted to do this.”

Williams credits South’s family for helping her to reach a goal many students would see as impossible.

“The distinction of having perfect attendance for 13 years is remarkable and a tribute to Courtney and her mother,” says Williams. “At a very early age, Courtney’s mother must have instilled in her the importance of a good education and being in school every day.” 

Newbold, who also celebrated 13 years of perfect attendance at graduation, is the daughter of a teacher and school nurse.

Congratulations to both students!