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Move to Idaho pays off years later, Lakeland senior says

Lakeland High school senior Megan Rauvola is photographed wearing her official Idaho Senate page vest at the school in Rathdrum. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Lakeland High school senior Megan Rauvola is photographed wearing her official Idaho Senate page vest at the school in Rathdrum. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
By Greg Lee For The Spokesman-Review

Megan Rauvola was a month short of her ninth birthday when her parents moved from Southern California to Rathdrum.

“I told them ‘You are ruining my life,’” Rauvola said, smiling.

On a recent drive with her parents, Rauvola, a Lakeland High School senior, offered a belated apology.

“The 8-year-old me was wrong because it was the best thing you could have done for me,” Rauvola told them.

Her parents were planning retirement and they wanted to raise their youngest daughter in a less dog-eat-dog environment. They literally got out a map and picked out North Idaho.

Two years before moving, they spent a week in the Rathdrum area, scouting out land to build a home. A month before Rauvola was to start the fourth grade, the finishing touches on the home were completed and they moved.

“They did it for me,” Rauvola said.

She doesn’t know what she may have missed out on in California, but it doesn’t matter. She’s had nothing short of a beautiful life in North Idaho.

Rauvola is a twin. Two daughters were born to her parents, but her sister died at 8 weeks old because of a noncancerous tumor in her brain.

Just before she started her junior year, Rauvola’s mother told her she wasn’t her biological daughter.

Her parents had married after divorces and wanted to have a child. But after a couple of miscarriages, her parents decided to try in-vitro fertilization using eggs from a donor.

“I wondered for a long time why I was the only one with brown eyes and everybody else had blue eyes,” Megan said.

She doesn’t know who her biological mother is but wants to find out.

“I plan to meet her so I can learn about my heritage,” she said.

Rauvola has a 4.0 grade-point average and ranks eighth in a senior class of 169.

She became the first Lakeland student to be a legislative page during the recent Idaho legislative session. She was a page for Sen. Bob Nonini (R).

Rauvola was lined up to go to Boise when she had second thoughts, so she talked with Lakeland principal Trent Derrick.

“He told me I was going through buyer’s remorse,” Rauvola said. “He said it would go really fast.”

She spent most of the third quarter in Boise, doing homework by correspondence during free time.

“I cannot believe it went as fast as it did,” she said. “I am so glad I went. It’s definitely the best experience I’ve had my entire high school career.”

“She has a way of coming into a space and making it brighter,” Derrick said.

Something else Derrick said to Rauvola will stay with her the rest of her life.

“It’s going to be my life motto – when you’re out of your comfort zone is where you grow the most.”

Rauvola plans to attend the University of Providence in Great Falls, Montana, where she wants to play soccer.

She plans to major in biology and minor in political science. She hopes to be a pediatric anesthesiologist.

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