Hazelwood West High graduate boasts perfect attendance since kindergarten

HAZELWOOD • From kindergarten through graduation, teachers could always count on Tanner Whitworth.

The Hazelwood West High School senior and shortstop on the baseball team did not miss a single day of school since starting kindergarten in 2006.

Whitworth's perfect attendance record over 13 years topped 2,200 consecutive days of class, with not even a single missed period in high school. Whitworth also attended Russell Elementary and West Middle schools.

The streak became more important to Whitworth as he got into high school, and although he says he's not a morning person, he made sure to get up in time every day with help from his mom.

A little luck helped too, with any childhood illnesses coinciding with winter and summer breaks, said Whitworth, 18.

School officials said Whitworth will be known as Hazelwood's own Iron Man, recalling the record-breaking streak of another shortstop, Cal Ripken, Jr.

After graduating from West High on June 1, Whitworth's attendance streak will continue in the fall at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. where he plans to play baseball and major in actuarial science or accounting.