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Park Profile: Molly Aderholt

Stories featuring people in and around our community doing their ordinary but extraordinary things.
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Molly Aderholt is a mother of three kids, a Board of Education member, an attorney, and the most successful, inspirational woman I have ever met. Aderholt grew up in Billings, Montana but moved to the D.C. area in Maryland as a teenager.

“I loved growing up in Montana…I walked to school, rode the city bus to the pool, and played hide and seek with the neighborhood kids under the street lights in the summer,” said Aderholt.

In 1999, Aderholt graduated from Grove City College with a double major in English and Christian Thought (theology/ philosophy) and a minor in Philosophy. She got married that same summer to my dad, John Aderholt, whom she dated throughout college. She took one year between graduating and entering law school where she coached high school volleyball and softball, assisted basketball, worked various retail jobs, and started the Young Life club in Mercer, PA. 

After a little over a year in law school at WVU, Aderholt found out she was pregnant with my older sister, Annalese.

“It was challenging. I was very sick at first but missing class in law school isn’t really a thing,” said Aderholt. “She was born in June and I took off the first semester of my third year and stayed with her.”

This means she completed most of her second year of law school while pregnant. She struggled with not only morning sickness, but other symptoms including “pregnancy brain”, where she experienced brain fog and poor memory.

My dad always describes my mom as “hardcore”, which is ironic to people who don’t know her because she is also a very kind and gentle person, and most people view her that way. John recounted one story in particular from law school where Molly dealt with morning sickness.

“The other day I said that this is how I knew mom was a bad***. So, she was pretty pregnant, you know, 15 to 20 weeks. I dropped her off for class and I parked pretty close by so I was walking fairly close behind her, but she didn’t know it. And we were late, so we were both walking really fast. And while walking really quickly, she whipped out a Kroger bag from her pocket, threw up in the bag without breaking stride, tied the bag without breaking stride, and threw the bag in the trash, all without breaking stride! She kicks the door open and sits down right before class starts and I’m watching this whole thing from 15 yards behind her. I just thought ‘That’s pretty hardcore’, you know? Like that’s not a normal thing to do when you’re pregnant!”

Even after having her baby, Aderholt managed to keep herself busier than most. “I was also a high school volleyball coach at the time. I went back part-time after that because I did not have childcare. John and I were both law students and working for Young Life, but we couldn’t afford childcare once she was born,” said Aderholt. 

Family ranging from several to many hours away, the two young parents had to figure out how to continue their schooling, work at their jobs, and take care of their baby at once.

“We took classes at opposite times so someone could stay with her, but at least twice a week I took her to class with me. That was an adventure. I would go in with my backpack, computer, diaper bag, and baby,” said Aderholt. 

Luckily, she had friends and professors who made the process easier for her. “My professors were wonderful and some would allow me to bring her to class and were very supportive,” said Aderholt. “Other times, my friend Beth would watch her for me in the student lounge while I was in class.”

While it is commonly thought that women cannot have a family and a strong career, Aderholt broke that stereotype very quickly. From working on Capitol Hill for a US Senator to attending law school, she then became a successful attorney and had three kids along the way. What more can a person do in life?!

“I joke that all my dreams came true by having a family and pets. That is ultimately all I ever wanted in life,” said Aderholt. “That said, I was also always an ambitious person, and from a young age I wanted to be a lawyer. I have been fortunate and blessed to have both a family and a successful career. I have had opportunities over the years that have allowed me to further my career while also devoting time to my family. I am very grateful for that.”

Fast forward to when her law school baby was in high school, Aderholt decided to run for the Board of Education. “I had three children in school at the time…I had been part of many different districts in multiple states as a student, a high school coach, and a parent. I felt like I had something positive to offer being a parent and an attorney and someone who had a real interest in education,” said Aderholt.

This position comes with more pressure than is commonly seen in the public eye, but Aderholt handles it well. I have seen firsthand the hours of thinking and researching that she puts in before voting on any issue at a meeting.

“I learned quickly that you can’t make everyone happy– and shouldn’t try. I have tried very hard to hold to my convictions and stand up for what I think is important,” said Molly Aderholt. 

Out of all of her educational and professional experiences, Aderholt said her greatest accomplishment is her children. “Being a mom is my greatest joy and my most rewarding job.”

“I am grateful for God’s grace along the way. I never doubted we would figure it out and be happy one way or another,” said Aderholt.

While Aderholt may be referred to in the paper as merely a “soccer mom” or seen by the public as some lady who asks too many questions at board meetings, I find it best not to categorize her, because you simply cannot. So instead of referring to Molly Aderholt as simply a mom, a lawyer, or a board member, I usually just say, “She’s the coolest person I’ve ever met.”

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Lucy Aderholt
Lucy Aderholt, Editor-in-Chief
  • Journalism II
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