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'I don't know how I did it' Lakota, N.D, High School senior has had perfect school attendance since kindergarten

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BROCKET, N.D.  — "The days are long, but the weeks fly by," are true words from an area high schooler who can inspire all of us.

For Cole Matejcek, it's one last walk up the cement stairs at Lakota High School.....the end of his high school career.

"I feel like I'm going to be lost after school ends here, what am I going to do here without this routine everyday," said Cole.

'Routine' is almost an understatement for Cole. School is a way of life. He's never missed a single day.

"It didn't feel right skipping and having to make up stuff afterwards."

Not just in high school - the streak started in kindergarten.

Cole has spent more than 2,200 days in the classroom.

So has Cole ever thought about missing a day?

"Oh yeah when I was younger I always wanted to, but my mother always got me going."

"Every years it was like can we get through another year, is he going to be sick, is he not going to be sick," said Cole’s mother Stephanie Matejcek.

Stephanie says Cole only got the stomach bug once as a child - and that was on the weekend.

"I don't know how I did it," said Cole.

It is believed Cole is the first person here in Lakota to have perfect attendance K-12,  and what makes the accomplishment more amazing is when he walks through those doors each morning he's already been up for several hours.

"It has to be done, rain or shine, snowing or storming you just get used to it. They don't care what it's like, they just want to get fed."

While most kids struggle to start the day with the school bell, Cole's days...they're well underway.

"“When we're calving it could be 2, 3 hours before school."

He gets up around 5:00 every morning for a few hours of chores on the family farm.

"Usually doze off during some classes at school, teachers usually wake me up."

And his day isn't over when the bell rings either.

This hardworking teen participates in football - student council and band before returning home to the 4,500 acre farm.

"Been going late nights trying to get everything in, we've been going to until midnight trying to get crop in."

While school may be over - Cole plans on keeping his classroom attendance streak going. He has enrolled in the precision ag program at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake.

"Learn more about the computer side and prescription making and map making."

"Education comes first, you need to be educated whether you are going to go out and do a big corporate job or come back and farm, you need that education to get you through life," said Stephanie.

A work ethic that has taken him far-- he already owns cattle and some land.

"It's what I always done, I've never worked for anyone else really, and I don't want that to change."

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