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Lawler cherishes life's precious days

Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School senior Molly Lawler is a member of the school's golf team.

By Sandy Hadler, Contributor

ZUMBROTA — There are barely enough hours in the day for Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School senior Molly Lawler to accomplish all that she wants to do. The daughter of Patrick and Carlene Lawler, she is a member of the National Honor Society, is a freshmen mentor, a member of the Senior Class Committee and the concert band, symphonic band, marching band, and is a Youth Service Volunteer and tutor.

Lawler said her favorite subject is, “Any math class I’ve taken. It is my strong suit and I find it to be a very interesting subject.”

Science teacher Angela Heitmann is her favorite teacher. Molly said, “Ms. Heitmann prepares us for our future college classes and is able to keep the class interesting and a fun place to learn.”

Heitmann responded, “Molly is an outstanding student who works very hard. She works to do her best. She is very likeable, funny, and has a great personality.”

High school Principal Erick Enger added, “When it comes to Molly, she always has a good attitude. She is very talented and creative.”

A member of the Z-M golf team, Lawler’s days lately have been filled with golf competition in the Hiawatha Valley League. She said she won’t let her parents watch her participate in golf tournaments, as it makes her too nervous.

Her team competes in the section tournament today.

She was also a member of the girls basketball and volleyball teams. Her best memory of her school years, she said, is going to state competition in basketball during her sophomore year.

Besides her commitment to school, Lawler is actively involved in community activities. She has participated in 30 Hour Famine, a Wyoming mission trip, National Youth Gathering, and has collected food for the Zumbrota Area Food Shelf.

“The majority of my volunteer work comes from being in the National Honor Society,” she said.

She also dances — and has since joining Zumbrota Dance Studio when she was 3 years old. This month she performed in the “Romeo and Juliet” segment of “Tales from Other Lands,” along with five other young women. Later in the evening, she and her partner, Jacob Ugland, danced with eight other couples in “The Little Mermaid” segment of the “Hans Christian Anderson” portion of the recital.

“It was an emotional night, dancing for the last time with the Zumbrota Dance Studio,” she said.

Lawmler said she finds that maintaining a steady balance between school, sports, her friends and family has been a real challenge.

She said her dad has been the greatest influence in her life. Now retired, Patrick Lawler was diagnosed with lung cancer six years ago, right around the end of the school year.

“Dad has shown me how thankful a person can be, even when I thought it wasn’t possible. The first few years after the diagnosis were the hardest. It wasn’t easy by any means for my sister, Katie, and I,” she said.

“The greatest thing about my parents was that they never gave up hope,” she continued. “Dad has taught me how to be thankful for every single thing that I have in life, and that there is always someone out there who has it harder than me.

“Every time my dad is feeling good and we are able to do things as a family, I am so thankful and happy that we are still able to have those times together. It makes those times more memorable, and my family and I learn to cherish them so much more.”

Lawler plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she will major in occupational therapy.

If you go...

What: Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School commencement

Who: The Cougars

How many: 84

When: 7 p.m. Saturday May 31

Where: Z-M High School gymnasium