It's got to be the fortified cereal.
That's the running joke in the Brennecke household. Around eight years ago, Logan Brennecke set a goal for himself -- to have perfect attendance for all 13 years of school in the Cape Girardeau School District.
For anyone who knew Brennecke as a toddler, the goal was laughable.
He was not a healthy child. There were numerous trips to the doctor's office and emergency room with 104-degree fevers and ear infections.
But then, at age 3, he had his tonsils and adenoids removed. The infections stopped.
Kindergarten, first and second grades passed without a day missed.
His closest call to absenteeism came in third grade, when he came home from school with a high fever.
It was a four-day weekend and he ran a fever all four days. His mom, Cheryl decided that after more than three years of perfect attendance, her son had no choice but to stay home.
She was wrong. The fever was gone when Logan woke up the next morning and off he went. Over the next few years, he decided to go for 13 years of perfect attendance.
"When I got to fourth or fifth grade, I realized it was something I didn't want to mess up," he said.
In sixth grade, students at his school donned "Logan Brennecke" buttons and his teacher declared June 2, 1999, to be "Logan Brennecke Day" in honor of seven years of perfect attendance. The plaque he received is displayed in his bedroom.
By high school, his attendance feat was well known.
"Every day I get asked, 'Did you miss a day yet?'" he said.
The answer is always no.
His mom thanks God and good genes. Cheryl Brennecke only missed three days of school in 13 years. Logan's younger brother, Jaron, is an eighth-grader and is continuing the perfect attendance record.
It hasn't been easy for Logan or his family, though. Cheryl drove her son to Festus, Mo., to an orthodontist who agreed to see him after school or on Saturday.
He missed his great-grandparents' funerals. He even came to school on the recent senior skip day at Central High School, when most of his fellow graduates were enjoying a day off.
He's never missed work at Cape West 14 Cine either, though he admits to being late a few times.
He received recognition last week from Central officials, but there are no scholarships or major prizes for the achievement. But then again, that was never really the point.
"The thing is, how many other people have done this," he said.
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