From the time they started school, Bryson White and Coltyn Roemisch decided not to miss a day.
For White, 18, his parents got him started, but for Roemisch, it was something he decided on his own and got help from his parents. Each received a scholarship of $1,500 from the Geo Group Foundation.
“In elementary, it was really my parents,” White said. “Every time I would get sick or not want to go to school or something, they’d make me go to the doctor, so I always had a doctor’s note.”
Once he was in junior high, he’d kept it up so long he thought he might as well keep going.
“In high school, it was almost like more work to miss school. I wanted to be at school. That way I wouldn’t have to catch up on everything. My parents started me off and it just kind of kept going from there,” White said. “Days when we weren’t supposed to be at school, it felt weird not to be at school because I was just so used to showing up every day.”
Having played football all his life, most recently on Permian’s offensive line, White said going to school every day involved luck, as well, because he didn’t have any big injuries or major illnesses.
White said getting the scholarship from GEO Group Foundation was “pretty cool.” He and Roemisch were recognized at a recent Ector County Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting.
“I was hoping I would get something. I haven’t really gotten much recognition for having perfect attendance since like sixth grade, so it was really nice to actually see people saw that and recognized that. It was nice,” he said.
White said he’s excited about graduation, which was May 25.
“I’ve been waiting on it for a while. I know if I had worked for it, I could have graduated like at Christmas. I just really want to enjoy this last semester of spring because this week I didn’t go to school at all, and last week I hardly went to school so it was just nice to kind of cruise to graduation, but I’m really excited for it,” White said.
White plans to attend Texas A&M University and study chemical engineering with a minor in business. During the summer, he plans to relax, get a part-time job and visit Houston and College Station to see what they’re like.
“I’ve been looking at engineering for a while and (A&M is) probably the top engineering school in the state. Also, I really just like the culture there. I come from Permian where there’s a lot of tradition … and it’s pretty much the same environment down there, so it’s just transitioning from one place to the other with the same ideas and everything,” White said.
He added that it’s going to be kind of sad to move away from Odessa, because it’s home.
“But at the same time, I’m not going to be sad that I don’t have to deal with all the bad parts of Odessa like traffic and stuff like that,” White said.
Roemisch plans to attend Arizona State University, where he was awarded an academic scholarship, and become a gymnastics coach. He is in gymnastics at Permian.
Roemisch said he just wanted to have perfect attendance.
“… I pushed myself and my parents helped to get me where I am. I really don’t remember what made me want to do it. I just remember wanting to do it because I know it was very uncommon to do something no one else would,” he said.
Roemisch became serious about gymnastics in seventh grade and has been on the varsity team at PHS for four years.
“I had some experience in elementary school and thought it was fun, so I ended up signing up for it when I got into junior high,” he said.
At this point, Roemisch said doing gymnastics is easy because he’s been doing it so long.
“Most of the basics are really easy,” he said.
He added that it has helped him keep his health up.
Having grown up in Odessa, Roemisch said he’s a little apprehensive about moving to Arizona, but his gymnastics coach said it has one of the best gymnastics programs in the country.
Permian College and Career Counselor Jennifer Perkins said perfect attendance is an impressive feat for White and Roemisch.
“… You don’t see that these days, at all. Our attendance is our biggest issue, so let alone two kids coming out of 846 seniors, that’s pretty good for us,” Perkins said.
“.. So I’m very proud for both of them because it’s very uncommon,” she added.