MIDLOTHIAN — With summer approaching the graduation season is upon us and one Midlothian family can boast three graduates spanning two generations stepping up to receive honors.

Kristi Scharringhausen of Midlothian graduated magna cum laude May 14 with an associate’s degree in applied science through the nursing program at Navarro College. Her youngest son, Jeremiah, graduated from kindergarten at Advantage Academy in Waxahachie on May 20, and her oldest son, Jordan Hook, will graduate from Midlothian High School on June 3.

The family has lived in Midlothian for the past four years. She said it is a coincidence everything came together for all three of them to graduate at the same time.

“In a four-week period we will have three graduates in the household,” she said.

Jeremiah will continue at Advantage Academy next year for first grade and Jordan will attend Texas Tech University on a partial theater arts scholarship. As for Kristi, she has gone from stay-at-home mom to college student and realized her dream to finish school. She is headed into the workplace and said she is leaning toward working with dialysis patients.

Kristi said she has had nursing on her mind since she graduated high school and although she would occasionally think about it, she never expected it would happen for her. Then, a few years ago, a high school friend who was finishing up her last semester in a nursing program, caught up with her on Facebook.

“When I heard she did it, I decided it wasn’t too late,” she said. “I hope someone else will be encouraged and realize it is never too late to return to school.”

She encountered students of all ages in her nursing classes, ranging from their 20s into their 60s.

“Some people in the class were grandmothers and some were straight out of high school – so I was in the middle,” she said. “I thought I would be the oldest one going back to school.”

After graduating high school in 1991, she said she completed a year of college classes. To her surprise, those classes still counted for credit when she started back to school.

“The older you get, it’s not easy. I had to reread information to get it to stick,” Kristi said, crediting her success to her determination and the support of her family.

Her husband Louis works in computer forensics and has the ability to work from home and adjust his schedule to help out with the family.

“He made it so I didn’t have to work while going to school. He had to help out and play both mom and dad,” she said. “His company worked with him to coordinate his work schedule. We all had to be flexible. It was really a family affair.”

Kristi’s middle son, Kamron Hook, is in the ninth grade at Midlothian High School.

“He’s varsity in wrestling, power lifting, cross country and track. He’s the all around sports guy,” she said. “He’s the one who wanted to be in every sport and I tried to be there (for his events).”

For Kristi, the example she was setting for her kids was important. But she admits it has been a challenge to juggle family priorities with studying, class time and clinical hours, and keeping her grades up.

“You can’t quit – the kids are watching. I wanted to balance being a good mom and good wife – but sometimes school had to come first,” she said, saying the family worked together. “This was a personal goal and once I started, the kids looked up to me. I had to be successful at it – to show them it could be done.”

She said in addition to teaching her sons that learning continues through a lifetime, she hopes to send a message to others that it doesn’t matter where you are in your life, you can achieve your goals.

“If someone is thinking about going back and sees that a person with three kids did it – it can be done,” she said. “It was a dream that I didn’t see happening. But I finally achieved my goal and I will be able to help other people. I’m so excited to be a nurse.”

As far as what lies ahead for the family, Kristi has her certification exam to look forward to and said she will likely move ahead with completing her bachelor’s degree. Jordan hopes to find his way to Broadway one day or become a director, but is also thinking about becoming an EMT. Jeremiah shares his brother’s interest in theater and acting.

Contact Rebecca at rebecca.hertz@wninews.com or call 469-517-1451.