Dad, son, and daughter graduate together, earn master's degrees in education

Ja'Coby Cole, left, his sister Iesha Gully, center, and their father Commondre Cole, right, show their diplomas after graduating during Mississippi State University's commencement in Meridian, Miss., on May 12, 2022. Each of the three earned a master

A father and his two children have graduated together from a branch of Mississippi State University, each earning a master's degree in education.

Commondre Cole, his son Ja’Coby Cole, and his daughter Iesha Gully were among the 153 graduates Thursday at MSU-Meridian's spring commencement.

"They're all mine! They MASTERED it!" Commondre's mother Mary wrote on Facebook as she posted video of her son and grandchildren receiving their degrees.

Commondre Cole teaches at Northwest Middle School and Ja’Coby Cole teaches at Oakland Heights Elementary, both in the Meridian Public School District. Gully teaches at Northeast Elementary in the Lauderdale County School District.

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"This is a big accomplishment for our family," Gully 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."

Commondre Cole, left, his daughter Iesha Gully, center, and his son Ja'Coby Cole, right, each earned a master's degree in education. (Photo courtesy: Mississippi State University - Meridian)

Ja’Coby Cole said he never thought he would become a teacher right away.

"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 their footsteps."

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Commondre Cole said his wife, Jessica Gully-Cole, also teaches. She encouraged him to return to college with their children.

"We accomplished this and we’re all walking together," he said at the ceremony.