Chris Biggs stood on stage at Woodlawn School Tuesday morning.
The Kansas secretary of state asked the 109 students seated on the gym floor if they knew what was in the case by his feet.
Several shouted back: “A guitar!”
“A giraffe?” he asked.
“No!” they shouted back. “A guitar!”
Finally he relented and pulled out a 1944 Gibson guitar and started playing some tunes.
Biggs was there for the last day of school, especially to congratulate the 109 Woodlawn students who had no tardies and no absences for the last month. The school had monthly perfect attendance celebrations this year, and 13 students had unblemished records for the entire year, Principal Jeanne Fridell said.
“I just encouraged them that they are establishing habits at this young age that will follow them throughout life, and one of the basic things is being where you’re supposed to be and being there on time,” Biggs said. “That’s good for you and good for everybody else you’re working with, so I’m real honored to be here today.”
Fridell said the monthly perfect attendance celebrations helped motivate students and parents throughout the year. The 13 students who had yearlong perfect attendance will each receive two free tickets to a Kansas City Royals game, compliments of the team, she said.
Biggs also spoke to the entire school about civic involvement. The school is one of five in the state nominated for the 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award. Fridell said the school would find out in the fall if it won the award.
“It’s just been an incredible year for us,” Fridell said. “For (Biggs) to come and help us acknowledge and recognize the students and staff for all they’ve done, it’s great.”