Lake Havasu High School’s Class of 2017 celebrated endings and new beginnings with back flips, music and bravado on Thursday evening during the school’s graduation ceremony at Lee Barnes Stadium.

Kaycee Olsen speaks at the 2017 LHHS Graduation. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

“It was tough, but I’m so grateful it was,” said Kaycee Olsen, who is the Class of 2017 Salutatorian, “If we wouldn’t have learned to fail, we would have failed to learn.”

In all, 402 students earned their diplomas, and 398 participated in Thursday’s ceremony, school administrators said.

Distinguished alumni included Richard S. Lynch, LHHS Class of 1978, and Joseph M. Peterson, LHHS Class of 1994. Both speakers encouraged students to be who they are, stay humble, and help others as they advance into their futures.

Students line up at their chairs before the graduation ceremony. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

“This is it – our time to shine,” said Gowtham Anche, Class of 2017 Valedictorian, as he addressed his classmates.

Gusty winds wreaked slight havoc during the ceremony affecting caps, gowns, sashes and large display screens of the graduates meant for spectators who were packed in the stands, or who set up lawn chairs on the field’s edge. At one point, a display screen was compromised and therefore tipped by event staff in order to gain control of it. The measure was met with cheers from the crowd.

River Scene Magazine’s Live Feed of the event includes a reading of all the names of the graduates who participated Thursday. The feed was sponsored by local auto sales group Anderson Toyota, Anderson Nissan, and Anderson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

Families and friends gather at Lee Barnes Stadium for graduation 2017. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

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graduation 2017 lake havasu

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

graduation 2017

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Principal Scott Becker speaks to the students and their families Thursday evening. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Gowtham Anche speaks to the Class of 2017 Thursday evening. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

The Top 10 awards are announced Thursday evening. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

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Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Ryan Henderson closes out the 2017 Graduation. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

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