Perfect attendance earns Central grad a Subaru Impreza

The best thing Mandy Johnson ever won was a stuffed gorilla at an arcade — until Saturday.
Johnson, a Central High School graduate, was the lucky winner of a 2009 white Subaru Impreza given away as part of School District 51 and Grand Junction Subaru’s “Be Cool and Stay in School” campaign, which rewards district students with near-perfect attendance their senior year.

Johnson did not miss a day at Central High School this school year.

“She’s probably had that rate of attendance since kindergarten,” said Laura Johnson, her mother.

Johnson graduated Wednesday. The diploma, coupled with the unexpected surprise of a new car Saturday, helped make last week a pretty successful one for the aspiring high school math teacher.

“This is an amazing way to finish up high school,”  Laura Johnson said.

This is the second year that Grand Junction Subaru owner Ron Bubar has given away a car to one District 51 senior who missed two or fewer days during their last year. Thirty-four seniors were eligible to win the car this year, said Terri Smatla, District 51’s community partnership coordinator. Only 22 of those students showed up Saturday.

“When we sponsor something, we want it to truly value our community,” Bubar said. “There is a correlation between going to school and learning. I hope we are influencing attendance.”

Although Johnson said winning the car was not the reason she went to school every day, she did say the chance of winning a new Subaru crossed her mind on occasion during her senior year.

On Saturday, the Mesa State-bound teenager was still in shock that she won a car simply by showing up for school.

Now she has learn how to drive stick shift, because the Impreza has a manual transmission.

After that, Johnson is going to give her younger sister the keys to the 1995 Volkswagen Cabrio she was driving.

“Look for the white Impreza around town,” Johnson warned friends and family. “This is a good upgrade, I think.”


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