Perfect attendance, not something most of us can claim we’ve ever had, whether we’re speaking of work, school, or an organization we’ve belonged to. If we’re referencing perfect school attendance, we’re looking at about 13 years, with 40 weeks per year, or 520 weeks total. If we break that down further, we can estimate that perfect attendance in a State of Florida school could mean not missing any of the estimated 2,600 school days that exist from PreK through graduating high school. Not a feat typically accomplished or even aspired to by many.

For graduating senior from St. Cloud High School Zabrina Hellmer, in her words, it was just “something” she did.

“When I was younger I went to school every day, so it was just a routine. I’ve never been sick, so I just never thought of  – not –  going to school. I’ve never thought of saying, hey mom my stomach hurts,” Zabrina shared during the Positively Osceola interview.

Attendance isn’t the only thing Zabrina has been focused on during her school years. She participated in four years of Varsity soccer, four years as a Varsity cheerleader, JROTC, Track and Field, Flag Football, served as Secretary of her Sophomore class and was a member of the National Honor Society and the nursing program at St. Cloud High.

Zabrina has demonstrated tremendous qualities of self-discipline, determination, and dedication to success – all traits that will serve her well wherever she goes. I congratulate her and her family on this accomplishment, and I thank them for the great value that they have placed on education.

Dr. Debra Pace

Superintendent, School District of Osceola County

Zabrina Hellmer

Certainly, the influence Zabrina’s mother Zoraida has had on her daughter has been positive and long-lasting. Zoraida started working in the Osceola County School District as a bilingual paraprofessional at Narcoossee Middle School, but when her daughter Zabrina began attending St. Cloud High School, that’s where Zoraida headed. She currently is a secretary in the Dean’s Office at St. Cloud High School and has been working with the district for 17 years, and by the way, she also had a perfect attendance record in her school years, as did Zabrina’s older brother Bryan –  a recent graduate from UCF.

You might think that Zabrina would have jumped at the chance of participating in dual enrollment at Valencia since her grades were so strong, but she did not. “I didn’t want to rush, Zabrina proudly share.” Her mother Zoraida added, “I wanted her to enjoy High School, so that’s what she did”

When asked about how the COVID-19 pandemic affected her Zabrina quickly answered, “I’m used to going to school every day, so wearing a mask didn’t bother me, it just kind of made me stronger and more focused.

Looking ahead, Zabrina will be attending Valencia College in the Fall and after two years she is planning on Direct Connecting to UCF with a goal of becoming a nurse.

On May 27, City of St. Cloud Mayor Nathan Blackwell will issue a proclamation to Zabrina at the City Council meeting – something the Mayor did only a few years ago for Zabrina’s older brother as well.

We asked Zabrina’s mother how she would encourage other parents with regard to school attendance. Ms. Helmerr responded by saying, “If your kids are healthy, get them out of bed and encourage them to get to school. It’s that’s simple! They’ll thank you later.

At the end of our interview, Positively asked Zabrina whether she would encourage her future children to also strive for perfect attendance during their school years…  the answer was a resounding yes!

It’s easy to see that although Zabrina Hellmer has already achieved great things in her life, the best days look to be ahead of her!