(Correction: an earlier version of this report said “more than 4,427 students” took the short quiz. This has been corrected to state exactly 4,427.)
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Hoping to have fewer kids miss school this year, O’Gorman High School has offered a relaxed dress code, pizza and freedom to leave campus during lunchtime.
“The goal was to reduce the percent of students with 10 or more absences per semester compared to last year,” assistant principal Alex Anderson said during an assembly on Wednesday. “If we look at the fall, we decreased that by 8%. If we look at the spring, our current semester, we’ve decreased that by 9%.”
But there was another incentive, this one financed by Sioux Falls Ford Lincoln: a two-year lease on a Ford Bronco Sport. To have a shot, a junior or senior had to have a calendar month’s worth of perfect attendance. And various kids had more than one of these this year; while there are 204 juniors and 175 seniors at O’Gorman, there were more than 900 entries this year. The school drew for the winner on Wednesday, but there was a twist.
Senior Tiegen Crow was not on hand when she was announced as the winner. But she had a perfectly good reason; she went home sick after third period on Wednesday. The school quickly made contact with her after the announcement.
“I just FaceTimed with Tiegen because she wouldn’t believe her friends that she actually won,” principal Joan Mahoney said. “She actually wanted to try to come back for the assembly but she wasn’t feeling well so she couldn’t.”
Crow plans to attend SDSU this fall.
“Tiegen is an absolutely perfect kid, so we couldn’t pull her name out and say just because she was sick today she didn’t deserve it,” Mahoney said. “So she’s very deserving.”
It wasn’t the only announcement we saw at O’Gorman this afternoon. Freshman Robbie Sealey was randomly selected as the winner of $10,000 from among 4,427 students state-wide who took a short quiz this year about driving safety. Additionally, another $10,000 will go to a school program which Sealey wants to receive the money. The money comes from the South Dakota Broadcasters Association.