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There are a number of important qualities that define the ideal Manchester Valley High School student, according to Principal Ken Fischer, and Mayson Lawyer exemplifies them all.

"As we reflect on what it means to be a Maverick and the different values and the profile of what we would hope a grad would be, Mayson is at the top of that list," Fischer said. "She's well rounded, she's intelligent, she's respectful and polite. She pursues success, but she does so as part of a team — have never known her to put herself first."

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Lawyer was among the 200 students who graduated from Manchester Valley on Friday and one of two students recognized for completing 1,300.5 hours of community service, according to school registrar Kim Cashen.

Active in the National Honor Society and the Student Government Association, and as a student journalist and a missionary, Lawyer has had a hand — and lent a hand — in all corners of the school during her time at Manchester Valley, according to Kirstie Troutman, National Honor Society adviser for the school.

"She also helped with the Relay for Life; she took on the responsibility of getting the gifts for survivors and the hospitality area for the survivors," Troutman said of Lawyer's leadership with Manchester Valley's fundraiser for the American Cancer Society on April 10. "She wears a lot of hats and you can always count on her."

Lawyer said National Honor Society gave her the opportunity to organize large numbers of students for events in and out of school — the first time she had ever taken on such a challenge.

"I was a service chair for the community connections group, which basically meant I was in charge of planning any of the events we were doing with groups outside of school," she said. "My main focus was planning the blood drive we did in October. … We raised like 33 units of blood, which is our school high."

In the case of the blood drive, it turned out that the logistics were easy; it was the in-person sales aspect that proved a challenge, Lawyer said.

"The hard part was recruiting students to give blood, because they are not too excited about getting stabbed with a needle," she said. "I would just go around to people during lunch with a clipboard and just tell them where their blood would be going. … Explain that it's more than just having your blood get taken — you could save someone's life."

Lawyer had participated in SGA since she was a sophomore but became SGA secretary in her junior year, taking on more executive responsibilities.

"My main jobs were to communicate with the students within SGA; I kept attendance and if anybody wouldn't be there, they had to inform me," She said. "I helped a lot with planning our homecoming this fall and was the head of the winter formal.

A love of language arts also led Lawyer to get involved in student journalism at Manchester Valley's student newspaper, the Valley Voice, first as a writer and then as editor this year.

"I have been writing for the paper since sophomore year," she said. "I had read the editions freshman year and thought they were really cool and it seemed like a lot of fun. I love English class, so I decided to get involved."

When it comes to her plans for higher education, Lawyer said she will be attending the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in the fall but neither management nor journalism are her planned fields of study.

"My major right now is pre-dentistry, so I plan to go into the dental field," she said. "It's kind of random."

Lawyer has really enjoyed science classes, she said, especially human anatomy, but she also enjoys helping people. She has been on five mission trips with LifePoint Church — to Mexico, Haiti, Ethiopia, Haiti again, and this past summer, Guatemala — during her time at Manchester Valley, and the idea of combining something medical with mission work appeals to her.

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"I definitely want to do medical mission trips after I get my degree and while I am working on it," she said.

Looking back for a moment at the cusp of matriculation, Lawyer said her four years at Manchester Valley taught her a great deal about balance.

"I have been able to be involved in so many different things at still get good grades and keep my family as a priority," she said. "High school definitely taught me that: how to spend my time and focus on things that matter."

As for Lawyer's plans for the summer, those few months of calm between graduation and the outset of her college career, she plans to take it easy, keep it simple and help out her neighbors.

"I'm going to be a nanny; that's all I have planned," she said. "I'll just be babysitting for a family I am watching their kids for these days."

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Manchester Valley High School Class of 2015

Number of graduating seniors: 200

Valedictorian: Alexandra B. Morris

73 percent plan to continue their education.

45 percent plan to attend a four-year college.

25 percent plan to attend a two-year college.

3 percent plan to attend a trade school.

4.5 percent plan to enter the work force.

4.5 percent plan to enlist in the military.

5 percent indicated they are undecided.

Other accomplishments:

•Four 4.0 (unweighted GPA) scholars: Kirsten Hahn, Brittany Lippy, Alexandra Morris and Steven Priester.

•Two students, Mayson Lawyer and Christopher Cheatwood, were recognized for each performing 1,300.5 hours of community service.

•The Principal's Challenge Award was given to 41 students who took five or more Advanced Placement classes.

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