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By NORMAN LEIGH



Published: Mon, June 11, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- When Korisa McCoy heads to the University of Akron this fall as a freshman, she'll have a more reliable car in which to make the trip.

For that she can thank her perfect attendance record during her senior year at the Columbiana County Career Center and an usual program the school offers to encourage students to come to class.

McCoy, 18, of Negley, was the winner this year of a 1993 Chevrolet Cavalier.

She won the car in an annual drawing the career center holds among students there who post the best attendance.

"It's an incentive for these kids" to come to school regularly, teacher Diane Leeson said of the program, which began in 1994.

Encouraging: Leeson, who coordinates the giveaway, said she believes the program encourages good attendance among the more than 350 students who attend the career center.

"There's an enthusiasm about it," Leeson said. "It's a motivating factor."

McCoy said the chance of getting a car was certainly an incentive. But she added that she probably would have posted perfect attendance this year regardless. "I don't miss much school," she said.

To be eligible for the drawing, students can have no more than four absences during the school year.

To encourage an even better record than four misses, the school awards tickets for the car drawing based on the number of days absent.

A student who has perfect attendance gets five drawing tickets, one day missed equals four tickets, and so on up to four days, which is awarded 1 ticket.

This year's drawing had about 100 tickets in it.

The school gets the cars through its auto repair program, which purchases them at salvage auctions.

The salvaged vehicles are worked on by students until they are restored to working order.

Before a student gets the car, it's inspected by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Leeson said.

McCoy said she's excited about her teal Cavalier, which has about 43,000 miles on the odometer.

"I needed a new one to go to school," McCoy said, referring to college, where she'll be majoring in civil engineering.

The Cavalier will be replacing a 1991 Buick Regal she's been driving, McCoy explained.

Others' opinions: The Columbiana County Career Center's car giveaway is "a heck of an idea," said Gary Hoffman, dean of students at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center.

The center currently doesn't offer incentives for attendance. But Hoffman said the Columbiana County Career center's program is worth looking into.

At the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, students who post perfect attendance for each nine-week grading period are eligible for a free lunch in the school cafeteria, said Edward Kapusinski, principal.

The school takes those who don't miss a day all year to dinner at an area restaurant.

In the coming school year, the school is considering reserving special parking spaces for students who post good attendance, Kapusinski said.




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