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Taking charge and growing up: Z-M senior excited for post high school life

Stephanie Everly will graduate from Zumbrota-Mazeppa on June 2. Everly will attend Winona State University in the fall. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Everly

Editor's note: This story is part of a series highlighting outstanding graduating seniors. Find more profiles here

ZUMBROTA — Stephanie Everly didn't always view school as important.

Her freshman year, Everly failed a class.

Failing that class her first year of high school, changed the way Everly viewed school and her life in a way.

"If I as the same person as I was as a freshman, this would be a completely different story," Everly said.

"The feeling of, 'Wow, I'm doing really terrible, now I have to make up this thing' and never wanting to show up to class, just feeling awful all the time," Everly said. "Then realizing I never want to feel that way for something so simple as a grade. So taking that and changing your attitude ... to being the best you can be."

Everly will graduate from Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School on June 2. Everly will continue her education by attending Winona State University in the fall.

Everly is still undecided on her major, but if she could have a dream job, she said she'd pick acting. She found her way into acting in middle school when she was told by a teacher that she'd do well in speech. Everly joined, and stayed in speech throughout her high school career, even acting in various plays.

Everly refers to herself as a "social person," also being involved with FCCLA, National Honor Society, band and choir among other activities.

Originally from Rochester, Everly and her family moved to Zumbrota when she was in third grade. Everly's parents split up when she was 3 years old, and her father died when she was 9. She said she's looked up to her mom as a role model, seeing how she's a "happy, caring human being" after going through much in her life.

Her mother has encouraged her to do whatever she wants with her life, as long as the career will make her happy.

"Crappy things happen in life and you can't control it," Everly said. "But as long as you go through it with a positive attitude and just try to always look at the brighter side, things will be good."

Everly said she'll miss all of the friends she made at Z-M, but looks forward to making new friends at Winona State this fall. When she thinks about her high school career, along with the friends she made, Everly knows the experiences have shaped her into the person she is today.

"Looking back and seeing how much I've grown as an individual," Everly said. "Going through the friend groups and all of those hard times with people ... just seeing how the people around you have really influenced who you are now."

The Zumbrota-Mazeppa graduation will be at 7 p.m. June 2 at the high school in Zumbrota.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2018 covering school board, public safety, and writing features. Lambert previously wrote for the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication: Journalism. 

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