A 4-year-old made a promise to his sister after she died. He kept it for 13 years.

Why a student vowed to never miss a day of school

Brunswick, Ga. — Outside of band practice, Alex Kunda isn't one to toot his own horn. But over the last 13 years the mild-mannered senior from Brunswick High School in Brunswick, Georgia, has accomplished something remarkable. He has never missed school — not one day — since he started kindergarten.

That's despite his parents' efforts when he was in fourth grade to thwart his achievement. Arlene and Preston said their son was putting too much pressure on himself. They offered to take him to Disney World.

"On a Friday, we were going to take him out of school. And he said no," Arlene said.

Alex made his promise of perfect attendance to his sister, Miranda, who died in 2006 from autoimmune hepatitis, a debilitating illness. 

"This was the one promise I remembered making to her. And I can't make any more promises to her in person, anymore. So the one promise I did make, I was going to keep it," he said.

Because she loved school, Miranda never missed a single day of first grade — all the way up until the day she died. Her perfect attendance certificate was awarded posthumously — to her little 4-year-old brother, Alex.

Alex crossed the stage and went directly to his father. "He says, 'I'm going to do this for her,'" Preston said. "He was going to get perfect attendance in honor of her."  

At that point, Alex hadn't even started school. All he knew was that his best friend was gone — and he wanted to do something for her. Today, 13 years later, his tribute is complete.

We can't expect our kids to love each other as much as we love them. But somehow, Alex did. And somehow, even at 4, he knew the best way to honor someone was to do something honorable.


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  • Steve Hartman
    Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.