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Dad, son and daughter graduate together, earn master's degrees in education: 'They mastered it'

It was Commondre Cole's wife who encouraged him to return to college and graduate along with their two children.

Dad, son and daughter graduate together, earn master's degrees in education: 'They mastered it'
Image source: Mississippi State University - Meridian

It's a proud moment watching your children graduate but for Commondre Cole, it was doubly special because he was graduating with them. Commondre Cole and his two children—his son Ja’Coby Cole and his daughter Iesha Gully—also graduated on Thursday from a branch of Mississippi State University. "They’re all mine! They MASTERED it!!" announced Mary Cole, Commondre's mom, to her Facebook followers. The three of them were among 153 graduates this past Thursday at MSU-Meridian's spring commencement, reported Fox News. All three of them are teachers and got their master's degree in education. "Mond Cole... Yessir, you did it, son. This is just the beginning. Sky is the limit for you. Put God first in everything you do and your outcome will be great!!!" wrote Commondre cheering his son, on Facebook.


Commondre Cole teaches at Northwest Middle School while his son, Ja’Coby Cole, teaches at Oakland Heights Elementary and his daughter Iesha Gully teaches at Northeast Elementary in Mississippi's Lauderdale County School District. Mary Cole also posted a video of her son and her two grandchildren receiving their master's degrees. The college provides site-based credit and noncredit course work as well as classes through distance learning. Commondre Cole revealed that it was his wife, Jessica Gully-Cole, who encouraged him to return to college along with their two children. "This is a big accomplishment for our family," Iesha told WTOK-TV. "Just to keep driving and keep going forward and to lead by example and to show my younger siblings and the rest of my family that we can do it. We started strong, and we finish strong."


"We accomplished this and we're all walking together," said Commondre Cole at Thursday's commencement ceremony. Ja’Coby Cole said he didn't think he would become a teacher but was proud to follow in the footsteps of his mom, dad and sister. "I knew I’d have to have a backup plan, so I thought about my mom, my dad’s, and my sister’s footsteps," he said. "They’re all educators, and I thought it’d be best for me to follow in their footsteps." It was extra special for the family as the graduation ceremony was held in person after it being in remote over the last two years due to the pandemic.


The family graduation comes at a time when Biden is mulling over canceling student debt. “I’m not considering $50,000 in debt reduction,” said Biden during a speech in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, reported CNBC. “But I am in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness." Many Democrats have called on the President to cancel student debt, explaining that it could also help the economy. 


Wisdom Cole, the national director of the NAACP Youth & College Division, stressed that a partial student debt cancelation wasn't enough. “For the Black community, who’ve accumulated debt over generations of oppression, anything less is unacceptable,” said Cole. Bernie Sanders has called for canceling the total of $1.7 trillion of student loans. “Cancel student loans. All of it,” he said. Elizabeth Warren is another senator who has called on Biden to cancel student loans. "The pause on student loan debt repayment has shown how significant it is in the lives of millions of Americans. The pause has given people a chance. It’s a reminder of how student loan debt now profoundly affects our economy,” she told Teen Vogue. She explained how it would benefit the economy. "Canceling student loan debt is good for the whole economy. Right now, people who are struggling with student loan debt don’t move out of mom’s house, don’t buy cars, don’t buy homes, and don’t start small businesses. All of that holds our economy back," she said. 

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