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Class act: Mound Westonka High School graduate's perfect streak had early start

  • June 6, 2014 - 7:31 PM

Write this down: Vitamins, swimming, lots of sleep and good genes.

That’s what recent Mound Westonka High School graduate Sari Mailey credits with helping her maintain a 14-year perfect attendance record, a streak that actually started in preschool.

“I did not set out to get perfect attendance, but did not feel that I had a reason to miss school,” Mailey said.

Her parents, Charla and Don Mailey, said they never had to employ extra motivation to get their daughter to go to school. Non-school days were a different story.

“Unless she had a previous commitment, yes, we had to drag her out of bed many times,” Charla said.

In the fall, Mailey will attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she will swim for the college team.

She said she plans on keeping her perfect attendance streak alive in college.

Kim McGuire

‘Officer Mike’ leaves Lucy Laney elementary

On his first day of first grade several years ago, Jessie Montgomery walked into Lucy Craft Laney Community School and saw a police officer. It was “Officer Mike,” the guy he would get to know over the next few years as the blue-shirted adult who kept the peace in the hallways, handed out bike helmets and took honor-roll kids to the Thomson Reuters Champions Club at Target Field for Twins games.

“He smiled and it made me feel good,” said fourth-grader Montgomery, 10.

Six years after he took the assignment at Lucy Laney, Minneapolis police officer Mike Kirchen is moving on, leaving behind a school that knew him as the wisecracking, good-natured cop.

A former bodyguard to past Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Kirchen will take up patrols in the Cedar-Riverside area after his last day at Lucy Laney.

Matt McKinney

Dayton dishes up breakfast at Morris Bye

Gov. Mark Dayton served breakfast to students at Morris Bye Elementary in Coon Rapids, taking time to dish on the state’s recent investment of $4 million in school lunch and breakfast programs.

State lawmakers approved legislation that includes $3.5 million for the school lunch program to help ensure that 61,000 low-income students have access to healthy meals at lunchtime.

The legislation also provides $569,000 for an initiative that guarantees 64,000 kindergarten students will be provided a free breakfast.

“We cannot expect our students to succeed on empty stomachs,” Dayton said. “Healthy meals are crucial to our students’ achievements. I thank Sen. Alice Johnson, Rep. Jerry Newton, Sen. Jeff Hayden and Rep. Yvonne Selcer for passing this very important measure.”

Newton and Johnson, along with Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, joined Dayton at Morris Bye.

The new initiatives follow a January report from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid that showed 46 school districts had policies that denied students lunch if they could not pay for it.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that 138 Minnesota schools were eligible under a new provision of federal law that would make it easier for low-income families to apply for free or reduced-price lunches.

Kim McGuire

© 2014 Star Tribune