Graduation coverage sponsored by Big O Tires.
By Grace Usher
The Lake Havasu High School Class of 2018 walked across the stage Thursday evening.
Family, friends and students attended the ceremony at at Havasu 95 Speedway. The traditional location, Lake Havasu High School Lee Barnes Stadium, is currently undergoing extensive renovations.
The ceremony began at 7:30 p.m., with the LHHS Band, directed by Kimberly Schrieber, playing “Pomp and Circumstance.” The students walked in rows of four at the west end of the track, in front of the cheering crowd to their assigned seating.
Representative of the Class of 2018, Raymund Reyes, recited the Pledge of Allegiance. “The National Anthem” was rendered by graduate Daniel Altamirano.
President of the Class of 2018, Kaitlyn Kelso gave the welcome speech and LHHS Principal, Scott Becker, began with Introductions.
Valedictorian of the Class of 2018 was Emily Cunning. Salutatorian of the Class of 2018 was Sidney Ferreira. Cunning gave a speech titled “Aspirations” and Ferreira gave a speech titled “Reflections.”
Graduating student Alyson Chapin sang “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus.
Distinguished Alumni are previous graduates of 2018 who have displayed exemplary ethics and character in the community and are honored at LHHS graduation. This year, two honorees were named: Michael J. Schmoker, Class of 1972 and Douglas L. Schuster, Class of 1988. Schmoker is an education writer, speaker and consultant. Schuster is Mohave County Sheriff.
Schmoker was unable to attend the ceremony; his speech and award was accepted by former LHHS principal and school board member Pat Rooney. The honorary plaque was presented by Assistant Principal Brady Krueger.
There were four students in the Class of 2018 who graduated with an Associate of Arts from Mohave Community College in congruence with their high school diploma.
There were five foreign exchange students who graduated with the Class of 2018: Amelia Bolognini of Italy, Krittaporn Pituckumpol of Thailand, Carolina Clemente of Brazil, Kristina Furbo of Denmark, and Martin MBongoum Mboube of Belgium.
The LHHS Choir gathered to sing, “I’ll Be There For You,” also known as the theme song for the Television series, “Friends.”
The Top Ten Awards were given for the Top Ten student grade point averages. The Top Ten students of the Class of 2018 were: Clarissa Betancourt, Emily Cunning, Sidney Ferreira, Kaitlyn Kelso, Faith Aguirre, Jersey Orias, Alyssa Privett, Adriaan Putman, Cameron Schrotberger and Naomi Sharpnack.
Class Advisor Farewell was performed by Nancy Schweigert.
“Homeward Bound” was played by the LHHS Band and the Class of 2018 was presented by superintendent Diana Asseier.
Finally, students had the moment they had been waiting for. Diplomas to the LHHS Class of 2018 were presented by Eugenia Anderson, Tania Gray and Patrick Barney.
As the students came back to their seats for one last time, the Farewell was given by President of the Senior Student Body Savannah Casey.
Before ceremonies began, we talked to some students to get an idea of their favorite memories and biggest influences:
Favorite Memory: On my last day of senior year, we had a guys night and went to see Deadpool 2.
Biggest Influence: Mrs. Timmons
Favorite Memory: This one time, I was having a really bad week and it was finals week. In my journalism class, we don’t really do finals and this one girls brought in tamales and I cried because it made my week.
Biggest Influence: Mrs. Crystal Norman and Mrs. Stephanie Chase. They really helped steer me in the right direction.
Favorite Memory: This one time I was sitting in upstairs J-Hall and this apple came flying and hit the wall.
Biggest Influence: Ms. Ginger Balboni was really encouraging and a really helpful Knight Time teacher.
Favorite Memory: I had the ability to be a part of concert choir with Mrs. Carmen Domek and it was a very unique experience for me for my first ever recital as I never felt I would be able to do a public event like that before and I was able to do a full-on solo.
Biggest Influence: Samuel Brindis was the one who not only influenced me as a student, I helped him and he helped me. I am eternally grateful for him.
Here are a few highlight photos from Thursday evening’s graduation. Look for another photo gallery to come on Sunday on riverscenemagazine.com. You may also checkout RiverScene’s Facebook lives of students walking across the stage here on our Facebook Page.