Photos provided
Two Noblesville High School graduating seniors -- Jake Gerhardt (left) and Josh Kozicki (right) -- both achieved perfect K-12 attendance, and both will graduate tonight with the NHS Class of 2019 in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Photos provided Two Noblesville High School graduating seniors -- Jake Gerhardt (left) and Josh Kozicki (right) -- both achieved perfect K-12 attendance, and both will graduate tonight with the NHS Class of 2019 in the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Jake Gerhardt has had perfect attendance since kindergarten at Hazel Dell Elementary.
Josh Kozicki has had perfect attendance since kindergarten at Forest Hill Elementary.
Tonight, both are expected to walk across the commencement stage to receive their Noblesville High School diplomas, each having never missed a day of school.
Achieving 13 years of perfect attendance is a rare accomplishment.
Both were recognized for perfect K-12 attendance at their recent NHS awards night ceremony, each receiving a plaque with their name and achievement, presented for “Extraordinary attendance.”
These two young men -- among 650 seniors expected to graduate during the 2019 NHS commencement at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on the Indiana State Fairgrounds -- were inspired by their teachers, their principals and their families.
Meet Jake Gerhardt.
He was motivated by his elementary school principal, John Land, upon Jake’s first year of perfect attendance award. “After a handshake and an autographed book from Mr. Land, Jake decided he wanted to continue to try to make this his goal,” said his mom, Julie Gerhardt. “Fortunately, Jake never had any illness that kept him from attending school but he did have to rearrange quite a few things in order to keep his goal. He thinks it was an easy goal to achieve in that he just showed up every single day,” the mom said.
She and husband, Ken, are proud of their son. As was Jake’s grandmother, who had always told him that she had perfect attendance until her very last day of high school. “Jake loved knowing that he would have his very own story to share,” Julie Gerhardt said. His grandma passed away during the last week of school, however, he was able to show her the plaque that he was given on awards night. “This achievement meant a lot to Jake, and we were all so proud of his determination,” she said. In high school, Jake was involved in DECA and Cru and has been accepted to Purdue University in the fall. But before he left school, his mom said, “Jake went back to Hazel Dell Elementary and encouraged other young kids to always do their very best and just show up.”
Meet Josh Kozicki.
He was a member of the two-time State Fair Champion Marching Millers and the State Champion Thespian competition show, both of which require both talent and commitment to create a winning ensemble, as well as the Wind Ensemble band that received Gold with Distinction at ISSMA, and he was recognized by both directors for his servant leadership. He swam his freshman and sophomore years before deciding to focus on theater and music. He is also an Eagle Scout with Troop 101, and he traveled to the Florida Sea Base High Adventure Camp with the Boy Scouts, where he canoed to a deserted island off the Florida Keys for a week. The 18-year-old is headed to Indiana University in the fall where he will attend the Media School specializing in writing and producing for television.
Josh has been very lucky with his health, his mom said. “The persistence and determination developed in regular attendance have helped him achieve his goals with Scouts and in music and theater, and they will serve him well in the future.”
Josh might have gotten some inspiration from his older brother, J.D. Kozicki, a 2017 NHS grad who had nine years of perfect attendance in school. “I achieved my nine years of perfect attendance through years of hard work and some good fortune,” he said. “Perfect attendance is highly valued in my family, because we believe that every day has the potential to be the most important day, and therefore if at all possible we try to make it to every day of school or work. This relates directly to work ethic because if you've been there every day than you know what's going on and can continue to achieve at the highest level. My parents showed me these values by making sure I honored my commitments and stayed focused on bigger goals like getting a good job and going to college eventually.”
J.D. was not only a varsity swimmer at NHS, but graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He just finished his second year at Indiana University, where he is majoring in physics.
“Jeff and I are extremely proud of both boys for their persistence and commitment to being present, which has been the basis for many of their wonderful accomplishments,” said mom Julia Church Kozicki.
The two brothers also likely get inspiration from their mom, who has “missed maybe three days for personal illness in 16 years at Sigma Kappa,” where she is the sorority’s legal counsel.
“They come from healthy stock, but we also have a general commitment to being present. Having served on the attendance review committee during my school board tenure, it was also important that my children modeled the policy expectations,” said the mom, a Noblesville High School graduate, former president of the Noblesville School board and recent Noblesville mayoral candidate.
After the oldest Kozicki son finished his first year at IU in spring of 2018, his mom said, “He tells me he’s missed one class, due to the professor changing a lab time at the last minute, but he feels that his good habits have led to a successful first year.”
The mom said attendance is a baseline requirement to meeting goals. She is proud of all of their sons’ accomplishments in high school and glad they set the stage for those accomplishments with their perfect attendance. She said, “We have a number of sayings in our family, and the one most appropriate to this is, 'Must be present to win.'”

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.