TOP PHOTO:  In the car – Masynn Galyon, with her best friend McKinley Fritts, receive their yard signs celebrating their graduation from Roane State Community College.  Left to right are RSCC La Follette Director Tracy Powers, English Professor Turner Bowling, RSCC President Chris Whaley and Vice President of Academics Diane Ward making the presentation.

McKinley Fritts (left) and Masynn Galyon (right) drove off the Roane State campus on Thursday afternoon to continue chasing their career dreams.

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Best friends drove through the Roane State Community College parking lot one last time on Thursday afternoon in a ceremonial graduation event.  McKinley Fritts and Masynn Galyon, middle college students, picked up Class of 2020 yard signs along with other goodies as the sunshine glared off the windshield of McKinley’s red KIA. Kinley, as she’s known,  plans to become a pediatrician while Masynn is on her way to becoming a funeral director.  The good news for Campbell County is that both plan to return to the area once they graduate.

The friends have known each other since sixth grade even though they went to different middle schools; Kinley to Jacksboro Middle School and Masynn to La Follette Middle School.

McKinley Fritts (behind the wheel) and Masynn Galyon were two of 26 Roane State graduates to drive through campus on Thursday afternoon for their celebration.  That’s RSCC President Chris Whaley, Vice President of Academics Diane Ward and RSCC La Follette Director Tracy Powers making the presentation.

Masynn was gung ho for middle college at RSCC while she had to convince Kinley to join her.  Kinley describes taking on middle college and high school simultaneously as manageable.  Now she’s encouraging others to consider enrolling for middle college.  In fact, the pair is graduating from Roane State before they’ll graduate from Campbell County High School this spring.

“It’s been a weird transition from from in person school to not, and even though it was different, we all benefited by the change in some way,” said Kinley.  The future pediatrician advised, “We need to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing, and that’s good, but at some point, we need to get out and help our immune systems adjust and not be afraid of it (COVID-19).”

Kinley and Masynn checked-in with RSCC Technical Clerk Ann LeJeune and then “drove the line.”

Since middle school, Masynn has wanted to become a mortician.  Her next stop is John A. Gupton College at Nashville where she will study mortuary science. Masynn’s hope is to couple an apprenticeship with her studies at Gupton and graduate in about two years.  She would ultimately like to own her own funeral home.

Masynn (above) and Kinley (below) are home with their signs and ready to set in their yards.

Kinley is headed to the University of Tennessee as she studies pre-med.  After that, the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Though Kinley and Masynn are taking off in different directions, a reunion is ahead for the best friends.  “We’re both definitely coming back home,” said Kinley.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 05/15/2020-6AM)