Stories

Mother and Daughter will Graduate Together

McReynolds family at Vol StateMany a parent has wondered what their kids were up to at college. That hasn’t been the case for Jacki McReynolds of Hendersonville. She only needed to look to the seat next to her in the classroom at Volunteer State Community College. Her daughter Kayla is set to graduate with her this May.

“We haven’t been in college unless we’ve been together,” said Kayla. “And no, I don’t mind it at all.”

“She has let me go to school with her this whole time,” said Jacki.

But the family love for Vol State doesn’t stop there. Let’s add a few more family members to the mix. Daughter Christina graduated from Vol State last year with an associate’s degree in communication. Another daughter, Courtney, attends Vol State currently as a criminal justice major. And in case you’re wondering, yes, that means that all four McReynolds women were attending at the same time last year.

“We had several professors that had three of us in one class,” said Kayla. “Professor Johnson would read the class roll and just say (she does a Scottish accent) ‘The McReynolds Clan.”

“We get into some great discussions on the way home from school,” said Jacki.

And the McReynolds ladies point out that there are many advantages to going to college with family members.

“We’ve studied together,” Kayla said. “It’s been fun.”

“”I take better notes that they do” said Jacki. “But they have that younger and more recent knowledge of things I might have forgotten.”

Jacki is 43 years old. She says that raising kids and the demands of life kept her away from college for too long. “It feels wonderful. I feel like I really accomplished something. It’s been a goal of mine for some while.”

“I’m really proud to say I’m graduating with my mom,” Kayla said. “I was proud to go to school with her. I’m excited. When they call our names we’ll go up together.”

For Jacki, there is another joy that many parents don’t get to have: seeing her kids speak in class and express ideas. “It’s taught me what type of people they’ve grown to be. That’s the best part for me.”

When mom and daughter graduate in May, the other McReynolds women will be there to cheer them on. And the family graduation party will have many reasons to be a celebration. But don’t think that when Courtney graduates that will be it for the McReynolds family at Vol State.

“My son Kyle is coming here next year,” said Jacki.

Vol State graduation will be held on Saturday, May 10.

Pictured: The McReynolds women on the Vol State campus. Left to right: Christina, Kayla, Jacki and Courtney.