Rain or shine, sneeze or cough, Naya Enriquez was at school by 7:30 a.m.
At Bishop McDevitt High School’s graduation ceremony on Wednesday, with Archbishop Charles J. Chaput presiding, Naya Enriquez will be singled out for quite an accomplishment.
The 18-year-old Lawncrest resident completed 13 years of perfect attendance.
“It’s in me to go to class,” she said. “I want to do good in school. My parents (Edward and Wanda) instilled that in me when I was younger. I can’t be OK with Cs and Ds.”
Enriquez attended St. William Elementary School from kindergarten through seventh grade.
St. William, though, was plagued by declining enrollment and closed in 2012.
For eighth grade, Enriquez attended St. Cecilia. She was never late or absent through elementary school.
For high school, she chose McDevitt, in Wyncote, Montgomery County. A bus picked her up at Rising Sun Avenue and Levick Street for the first 3½ years of her high school career. She drove to school starting in January.
The bus driver would occasionally arrive at McDevitt past the 7:45 a.m. start of classes, but the students were not marked late because they were at their pickup spots on time.
Since Enriquez has been driving, she hasn’t even come close to being late, especially since she has a free first period and does not start class until 8:30.
“I’m always here at 7:30,” she said, adding that she earns service hours by working in the guidance office.
Enriquez also stayed healthy throughout high school.
“Nothing more than coughing and sneezing. Nothing serious,” she said.
At McDevitt, she’s in a class of 111. She received grades of B-plus or better and is in the National Honor Society, along with the honor societies for English and Spanish.
Her next step will be West Chester, where she’ll major in biology. She has plans to attend medical school, perhaps at Penn, with a goal of becoming a pediatrician.
“I love children. I’ve liked science and working with medicine since I was younger,” she said.
Enriquez, whose two older brothers, Eddie and Marcus, attended Northeast High, enjoyed her days at McDevitt. She was a member of the Asian Student Association, the Black Student Union and Best Friends, a program that pairs McDevitt students with the special-needs students at Our Lady of Confidence, which is located in the high school building’s lower level.
Also, she took part in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
“I had a lot of fun in high school. I’m going to miss it. It was the perfect experience,” she said.
Enriquez singled out school president Stephen Finley for praise for his support of school clubs and activities.
“Mr. Finley really makes school fun for us,” she said.
Enriquez will work at Sesame Place’s culinary department as a food server before heading to West Chester. She reports Aug. 25.
“I’m nervous and excited to be on my own,” she said. “I’ll make new friends, but I won’t see my parents every day.”
In college, Enrique will be living on campus. That’ll allow her to walk to class rather than driving from Lawncrest.
Does she have four more years of perfect attendance in her?
“I’m going to try.” ••