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Valedictorian has never missed a day of school, earns more than $430K in scholarships

Never missing a day of school paid off for this valedictorian, literally!

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A senior graduating from Mount Vernon, Washington made two great achievements on her way out: Class valedictorian and a spotless attendance record her entire education.

Ashanti Palmer recently graduated from Nellie A. Thornton High School in the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Program, ABC7 reports.

"I've never had a bad teacher; my teachers made it easy for me, made me enthusiastic to go to school," said Palmer.

On the back of her accomplishments, Palmer earned multiple scholarships adding up to more than $430,000. The haul will cover the entirety of her expenses as she pursues a four-year biomedical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Dr. Kenneth Hamilton, superintendent of Mount Vernon City School District, gave Palmer praise for her "remarkable" achievements.

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"We strive to ensure our students graduate from here college- and career-ready, and Ashanti is a testament to that goal," said Hamilton. "Her perfect attendance record throughout her many years in the District have helped build a foundation of academic excellence that she will utilize in the next chapter as a student of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute."

"Being named valedictorian feels good because it shows that all the hard work I've put in over the years has paid off, and that effort is being celebrated in a big way," said Palmer from a broadcasted valedictorian speech. "In terms of my perfect attendance, it wasn't something that I sought out. I knew that showing up to school every day was important, because even missing one day can set you back. It wasn't until 10th grade that I realized I hadn't missed a day, and then I wanted to keep up the streak."

Palmer hopes to use her education to open her own research company, with an aim to employ more women of color in STEM fields.