May 23, 2019  

Current weather

Overcast, mist

DuBard School’s Lawler Representing State in Miss Senior America Pageant

Main Content
Mary Jane Lawler

Mary Jane Lawler hopes to be a role model for a younger generation of women as she represents her home state in the Miss Senior America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.

Lawler, 61, graduated from Hattiesburg High School in 1975 and later earned a certificate in child development from The University of Southern Mississippi (USM). A teacher assistant with the DuBard School for Language Disorders at USM, she won the Miss Mississippi Senior America title in July at the state pageant, held at the historic downtown Hattiesburg Cultural Center.

The Miss Senior America Pageant is designed for women age 60-plus and includes the competition categories of talent, personal interview, evening gown and “philosophy of life.” Lawler says she’s grateful for the support of her family, friends and co-workers as she pursues the crown, which will be awarded Oct. 18.

“They call it the ‘age of elegance,’” Lawler said of the contestants’ age group. “We should recognize seniors are the foundation of America through their previous experiences and knowledge. They’re our most valuable treasures, and I believe this contest can help provide examples for our younger generation to look to in order to build a better society.”

Lawler’s talent is a song and dance performance to the tune of Quincy Jones’ remake of “Tuxedo Junction.” Her philosophy of life includes her belief that she has “learned to live life in the present” and that “the past is over, and our future is uncertain, therefore all we have is today, it is important to speak kind words and not let an opportunity pass without showing love.”

“We’re very proud of Mary Jane and her title of Miss Mississippi Senior America,” said Missy Schraeder, interim director of the DuBard School. “The DuBard School staff will be cheering her on as she competes for Miss Senior America.”

Learn more about Lawler and the Miss Senior America Pageant at