Winning an award is usually a good thing. But when Taylor Gaul realized she might have to miss school to accept her scholarship from the Exchange Club of Naperville, she was really worried.
After 12 years of school in , Gaul was set to graduate with perfect attendance. She was concerned that taking time out from school might jeopardize her attendance record, her mother Angie Gaul said.
“She said, ‘Mom, I don’t want to miss school,’” Angie Gaul said. “I told her we would work it out.”
In the end, Gaul was credited with a field trip so she could make her speech before the club and accept the scholarship, her mother said.
Taylor Gaul, 18, is among the first class of students to graduate from Metea Valley High School. She will graduate Sunday with her class. Unlike most, she’s never missed a day of school.
“I was never, ever really sick,” she said. “I just got allergies like everyone else, and was fortunate that I missed all the bugs that went around. … School was really important to me.”
She never wanted to miss class and then in middle and high school the course work was more difficult, Taylor Gaul said. Having to do all the make up work wasn’t really worth missing school.
Her friends were always amazed that she hadn’t missed any school and they even threatened to keep her out of school on senior ditch day, but Gaul wasn’t about to miss a day.
Taylor was always self-motivated to get up and get going in the morning, her mother said. Unlike kids who might need a day off to decompress, Gaul wouldn't consider missing class.
“If I was ever a bad kid, my mom said my punishment would have been not going to school,” Taylor Gaul said.
She is an Illinois State Scholar and an Indian Prairie Education Foundation Scholar. In the fall, Gaul will attend Elmhurst College. She plans to major in math with a minor in secondary education. She wants to teach math one day.
Her love of math was cultivated by her teacher Mr. Raleigh at Still Middle School, she said. She had him for math in sixth, seventh and eighth grade.
“He just really made it come to life and made it fun,” she said.
Now that school is over and graduation is days away, she said she is happy to have the distinction of attending every day of school throughout her school years.
Gaul said she is looking forward to what is next.
“It will be interesting and a learning experience,” Gaul said of college. “And, that was one of the reasons I liked school; it was a learning experience.”