AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Most people cannot say they never missed a day of school from kindergarten through high school, but one Austintown family has made this something of a tradition.
George Rohrbaugh started a legacy in 1971 when he graduated from Austintown Fitch High School without ever missing a day of school, receiving a certificate every year.
“After I got my first one, I said, ‘You know, I’m going to see if I can just go along and you know, get the rest of them,'” he said.
Once he did, George challenged his younger brother, Harold, to do the same.
“He said, ‘You need to tie me on this record that I set,’ and he bought me an alarm clock in 1975, about a week or so before school,” Harold said.
With the help of the alarm clock, Harold had perfect attendance when he graduated in 1988.
“It did come in handy for jobs and jobs interviews. You know you’re reliable,” he said.
It’s now a goal that two of Harold’s five kids have accomplished too, and the other three are on track to do the same.
He said he never pressured his kids to do this, but it is something he is really proud of.
“To show the dependability and reliability of their character, that they’re going to commit to something,” Harold said.
His oldest, 21-year-old Alyssa Porter, graduated from Austintown Fitch in 2016.
“I just wanted to kind of take it on and see how far I could go with it and then once I got so far with it, I’m like very determined to do it,” she said.
Alyssa said there were days she did not want to go to school, but she also did not want to quit.
“Just having to push through and get out bed that day and just continue on the legacy with that too,” she said.
She wanted to be a role model for her four younger brothers. Her brother, 2019 graduate Brett Porter, snatched a perfect attendance title just over a week ago.
All family members said it has paid off for them and taught them to be dependable.
“It’s not easy to do because there are some days that you don’t want to go to school, but it kind of just teaches you to keep working hard and push through,” Brett said.
The legacy is now in the hands of Harold’s junior son and eighth grade twins.