Justin Shelmire, a senior at American Indian High School, has had perfect attendance since entering Kindergarten in the fall of 2001 and will be graduating this Spring with Honors and a 4.7 GPA.
Shelmire, 17, is the youngest of two sons and has spent his entire academic career in the Oakland Unified School District. Until his senior year, Justin has completed eight Advanced Placement courses and is in the process of completing two more. He has also completed two junior college courses and is in the process of completing 2 more.
He has been accepted to several schools including UC Riverside, Holy Names University, San Jose State University, California State University East Bay, California State University Monterey Bay, and San Francisco State University. He is currently considering a career in the law field but remains open to other possibilities.
The mission for Justin to achieve perfect attendance began in Charles P. Howard Elementary school. His mother, who attended various schools in many districts throughout grades 1-12, was relentless in her efforts to get Justin to school everyday. This goal was continued by Justin himself in Middle School, and then in High School.
“When Justin got out of 11th grade, he had 116 credits over what he needed to graduate because he had taken so many AP and college prep classes,” said Gail Shelmire, Justin’s Mother. “I’m proud of his discipline and desire to work hard to achieve his goals.”
Although it was a challenge at times, Justin’s determination was not hindered by the multiple bus and BART routes that he had to take to arrive at school on time. Justin remained focused on his academics and his attendance on a daily basis, and continues to do so.
When asked how it feels to be one of the few students who have never missed a day of school since Kindergarten, Shelmire said, “With effort, determination, and the support of my mother, anything is possible.”