June 2, 2014

Two Waterloo students graduate with perfect attendance record

A pair of Waterloo High School graduates -- Dylan Hemmer and Weston Liefer -- never missed a day of school the last 13 years -- from kindergarten all the way through high school.

"I'm glad I made it all the way, and I actually did it," Dylan said, "but I'm glad I don't have to go to school anymore."

Dylan, 18, said he never got sick and doctor appointments were made around his school schedule.

"I had no reason not to go to school," he said.

His mother, Chris Hemmer, said Dylan did it all on his own.

"His goal was to be able to make it all the way through school without missing a day," she said. "His pride and joy was to be able to tell people I've got dedication and commitment."

Dylan first attended school at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Waterloo. He transferred to Rogers Elementary School in Waterloo during his fourth-grade year and then went on to Waterloo Junior High and Waterloo High School.

Dylan's perfect attendance was recognized at the Waterloo High graduation May 25.

Classmate Weston Liefer, 18, was also honored for perfect attendance at the graduation. Like Dylan, Weston never missed a day of school.

He also ran track and cross country and is a published author of "A Spartan's Journey: The First Strike." Weston works part-time at Schneider's Quality Meats.

Weston, the son of Curt and Shawn Liefer of Waterloo, will start at the University of Mississippi later this month.

Shawn Liefer said her son's perfect attendance record shows his dedication. "It was a goal that he set in kindergarten," she said. "I think it says a lot about how he sets a goal and then attains them."

Chris Hemmer is also proud of her son's accomplishment.

"It's a lot more rare than good grades," she said. "To me, it should be recognized."

In July, Dylan starts vocational school at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Orlando, Fla. He's enrolled in the Harley-Davidson Technician Program, which runs 66 weeks.

"I've always liked messing with my hands on little engines," said Dylan, who currently works at a skateboard shop in Waterloo.

When Dylan heads off to school, it will be the first time he and his twin brother Devin Hemmer are apart for an extended period of time.

Devin, this fall, will attend Illinois College in Jacksonville, where he will play football.

"They are definitely going in two different directions," their mother Chris Hemmer said.

Unlike his twin, Devin Hemmer did not have a perfect attendance record.

Their father is Scott Hemmer and older brother is Kyle Hemmer, a graduate of Ranken Technical College. The family lives in Waterloo.

"I'm the first one in my family to leave the state for college," Dylan said.

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