When MaST Community Charter School holds a high school graduation drive-in on Friday, Mykali Bader will be sure to be there.
After all, she has been going to MaST for 13 years. Every day.
Mykali earned perfect attendance from kindergarten through 12th grade.
“It’s something I never thought of until my eighth-grade graduation, when they brought me up on stage,” she said. “When I was starting high school, I figured I might as well complete my last four years with perfect attendance from K-12.”
Meanwhile, her younger sister has a pretty good attendance record, too.
Montara Bader just completed her junior year at MaST, and she’s never missed a day in 12 years.
“Every day, I wake up and go to school. It’s a routine,” she said.
The girls, the children of Troy and Jacqui Bader, live in Bustleton. They’ve attended the MaST campus at 1800 Byberry Road since kindergarten, though Friday’s graduation drive-in will take place at the campus at 12345 Roosevelt Blvd., site of the old Crown Cork & Seal.
“We were supposed to be there with all our friends,” Mykali said of the long-set June 12 graduation date.
Instead, she and her sister haven’t been with their friends since March 13, when the state ordered all schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. After that, MaST conducted virtual learning.
“A lot of my friends were bummed about not being able to go to prom, graduation and the Disney trip,” Mykali said. “But we’re only teenagers. We have our whole life ahead of us to experience things.”
The girls and other students received some excused latenesses. Mykali would drive Montara to school, but because of a lack of parking at MaST, they had to park at a church at Byberry and Worthington roads and take a school van to campus. Because of all the morning traffic on Byberry Road, the vans didn’t always make it on time.
Looking ahead to next year, Montara plans to keep her streak of perfect attendance intact.
“It would feel like an accomplishment to go 13 years straight,” she said.
Schools will reopen in August or September.
“Honestly, I’d rather be in school,” Montara said. “I miss my friends. There’s texting and FaceTime, but it gets to a point.”
As for Mykali, she will attend Penn State Abington, living at the Lions Gate residence hall. She’ll study psychology.
“I want to help people in that field,” she said.
Both girls are very good students.
Mykali graduated with a 3.9 grade point average. Montara brings a 4.067 GPA into her senior year.
The girls cat-sit on a regular basis and stay busy besides going to school every day.
Mykali, 18, works at Penn Cinema, in Huntingdon Valley, taking tickets, working the concession stand and making brick oven pizza. She has attended Camp Galil and volunteers for Jewish Relief Agency, packaging and delivering boxes of food to the needy.
Montara, 17, is in the Environmental Club and National Honor Society at MaST. She has worked at the ShopRite at 11000 Roosevelt Blvd. since November 2018. She’s a cashier and was just promoted to handling some human resources duties. She also plays video games and competes in e-sports. Her favorite game is Overwatch. She is undecided on a college, perhaps New York University, and wants to study computer science or cyber security. ••