KINGMAN - Members of Kingman High School's senior class shared thoughts on how far they've come and where they are going prior to graduation Thursday night on Lee Williams Field at White Cliffs Middle School.
"What I'll remember are my friends that came up with me through the grades and are here tonight," Tracie Hays said.
"I'm planning a career in law enforcement. I want to be a homicide detective."
Hays said she would begin her post-secondary educational studies at Mohave Community College and work toward a degree in criminal justice.
She added she was nervous prior to commencement because standing in front of a large number of people can be scary.
Sean Bresnahan, on the other hand, was looking forward to walking in front of a large audience to get his diploma.
"I'm confident about the future, although I could have gotten better grades," he said.
Graduation, prom and homecoming all are events he took part in that will make his senior year unforgettable, Bresnahan said.
He is planning a career in the medical field as an X-ray technician.
"I tell people that, and they're surprised because I'm really into music," he said.
Jacob Fangmeyer said he was ready for graduation after four years.
"Oh yes, you have no idea," he said.
"I'm ready for the next step but feel I may be lacking in some areas of preparation. College and the work experience are pretty much your two options after high school."
Fangmeyer hopes to eventually open a martial arts school. He is planning an apprenticeship at a local facility as a step toward his goal.
Cynthia McDaniel said her best memory of high school would be her teachers and friends.
"I'm going to work in a day-care center," McDaniel said. "I want to become a day-care teacher."
Mike Geraci said high school "absolutely" prepared him for the next step, which begins when he enters Northern Arizona University on Aug. 23. He plans to major in criminal justice and psychology, hoping to eventually become a criminologist with the FBI.
"Tonight is the accumulation of four years of effort," Geraci said. "I haven't been anxious for graduation because I've enjoyed high school so much."
A "beginning" was the term used by Amber Leonard-Prestia.
Her fondest memory will be two years of participation in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, sponsored by Kingman Rotary.
"I learned to be a better leader and got to meet foreign exchange students," Leonard-Prestia said.
She plans to enter NAU in the fall and major in post-secondary education to prepare for a teaching career.
Autumn Brough came through the Positive Alternatives for Student Success program to earn her diploma.
"It's finally over, and I made it," Brough said. "I got what I needed and am ready to go to college."
Brough said she would attend Charles of Italy, a beauty school in Lake Havasu City, to prepare for a career as a massage therapist.
Aaron Campa said high school was a good and enjoyable journey during which he made many friends. He and fellow graduate Tom Fancher will attend MCC, where they hope to start a rodeo team.
Campa enjoyed playing baseball at KHS for three years. He plans to major in biological science and become a chiropractor.
Chuck Mogavero stood on the football field with a video camera in one hand. He and his wife, Sharon, were eager to see their daughter, Jenna.
"We've been taking care of Jenna for 18 years," Chuck Mogavero said. "We've guided her and are very proud tonight."
Jenna plans to attend MCC in the fall and take classes that will prepare her for a career as a sign language interpreter, Chuck Mogavero said.
A total of 402 diplomas were awarded at commencement. There were 489 seniors eligible to walk, but some chose not to and others will be summer graduates, KHS Principal Pat Mickelson said.
She was asked if she would like to do it more than once a year.
"Once a year high school graduation is plenty," Mickelson said. "It's gorgeous, and I could not ask for a nicer day."