Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Lissummon schoolgirl’s perfect attendance rewarded

A Lissummon schoolgirl who has not missed a day of school in her 7 years of primary school has been presented with an award from Education Minister John O’Dowd for her fantastic achievement.

Eleven year old Emma Rafferty finished her primary school education in June this year with a perfect attendance record, racking up an incredible 1330 days of school at St Joseph’s and St James’s Primary school in Poyntzpass.

Proud dad Paul told The Examiner his daughter deserved all the credit for her remarkable  achievement.

“Emma just loves school and going in to see her friends and she was always a very healthy child who was never sick enough to stay off school.  She always wanted to go to school no matter what,” he said.

In fact, rain, hail or snow the dedicated student insisted on going to school, with Paul recalling how during a winter of particularly bad snowstorms when the school bus could not access the country road to her home, he had to dig out his jeep and take young Emma to school.

Her commitment to her school was recognised by Minister O’Dowd in July when he invited her to Stormont to present her with her award and certificate.  The 11 year old and her family travelled to government buildings for the memorable presentation and Emma beamed with delight at receiving such an accolade.

As she enters secondary education with such an impressive track record behind her, dad Paul has no doubt her perfect attendance achievement will “stand by her” in the future.

“A business associate of mine told me if he saw such an achievement on a CV, he would hire the person straight away – he felt it was better than any qualification!

“Hopefully Emma’s love for school and education will continue and her perfect attendance record will be a great benefit to her in the future. We’re all very proud of her.”