A Family Affair: father and daughters graduate together - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A Family Affair: father and daughters graduate together


This weekend, thousands of Eastern Iowans will mark an important milestone -- college graduation. For one family, the day holds a particular significance. A father is graduating from the University of Northern Iowa on the same day as two of his daughters.

"When I found out we'd all be graduating at the same time, I was kind of shocked because I knew that didn't happen very often," said the youngest daughter, Megan Horn.

She's right -- it sure doesn't. This weekend, Megan will graduate from UNI with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing. But first, she'll watch her father receive his Doctorate Degree in Education, and her older sister Shannon Erb will accept a Master's Degree in Communication Studies.

"I think it's going to be a long day, but it's going to be fun for us," Roark noted.

The monumental day for this tight-knit trio is also a happy accident. Roark would have finished up in December, but a new job as administrator for AEA 267 pushed back his graduation date.

Shannon opted to go to school full time to complete her degree one year early. So it wasn't until last fall that they realized they could walk as a family.

"If we all got our butts in gear we could all graduate together!" Shannon joked.

Getting motivated wasn't a problem in this education-based family. Roark has held administrative positions in schools for years, and his wife Jean is a teacher. So it's no shock the girls love learning as well -- but maybe not as much as winning.

"They've always wanted to do better than each other, so that's their motivator," Roark said.

"We're a very competitive family with awards and degrees and everything," Megan added. "I don't think we've had anyone come out a clear winner yet. I think we're going to call it a tie in the end."

Roark said the family is also incredibly proud of their son, James. He graduated from Army Basic Training in September -- that's one they couldn't line up on the same day as the rest of the family.

Megan and Shannon are both planning to return to school for their Master's and Doctorate degrees. But first, they're going to take some time away from studying to work in the Cedar Valley.

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