West valedictorian reflects on 13 years of perfect attendance
June 2, 2011 at 1:02 a.m.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: West High School graduation
WHERE: Memorial Stadium
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
PARENTS: Peter and Janice Takacs
PLANS: Attend University of Texas and major in international business
At least 2,340 - that's how many days Rebecca Takacs has been to school since kindergarten.
The West High School valedictorian seemed unfazed by her feat of achieving perfect attendance throughout her school career.
"Well, I liked to stay in school, so I wouldn't have to make up any work," Rebecca said. "I rough it out. If it was a little cold, it will be OK."
It's that discipline and attitude that led Rebecca to the top of the first graduating class at West.
"I just wanted to try my best. Not really aim for this, but continually improve myself," she said.
Rebecca has been involved in everything from soccer to the National Honor Society to the science club, to name just a few. While the schedule was time-consuming Rebecca said she learned it's important to balance extracurricular activities and academics.
"There were some late nights when you're on the bus, and you have your flashlight and textbooks ... it was hard," she said. "But I don't regret it. It's definitely doable. Anyone can do that if they try."
Luckily, Rebecca had the unending support of her parents, close friends and little sister, who Rebecca said she will miss most.
She plans on heading to the University of Texas to maybe major in international business. Learning about and experiencing other cultures were things Rebecca has explored thanks to her soccer friends and joining the foreign exchange club.
"I like learning about different origins and how it affects people," she said. "If I was an international lawyer - that'd be neat if I was stuck with that."
Rebecca has malleable yet ambitious goals for herself and offered encouragement to those who searching for the discipline it takes to reach success.
"Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something," she said. "Be yourself, never try to be someone you aren't."