Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, Jan. 28

Kingman High School seniors prepare for graduation

Kingman High School seniors have much to reflect on as they prepare for graduation Thursday night.

Three members of the Class of 2002 will be with them in spirit only and will receive honorary diplomas during commencement set for 7 p.m.

at Lee Williams Field on the south campus of KHS.

Jason Whaley and Christina Burcham died in traffic accidents, and illness claimed the life of Daniel Burgess.

In addition, the graduates enter a world that has changed since the terrorist attacks of Sept.


"I think many of the seniors recognize the world has changed," said Pat Mickelson, KHS North principal.

"Many have made commitments to military service or have a greater awareness of the need for community service.

Just because they've grown up in Kingman, they know it's not necessarily a safe world."

As of Tuesday, the number of graduates expected to take part in the ceremony stood at 487.

In order to expedite commencement, two platforms will be set up for the graduates to cross and receive their diplomas from governing board members, Mickelson said.

The Kingman Unified School District has 10 governing board members, and they will be joined by Marie Leavitt of Chloride in passing out diplomas.

Leavitt is a governing board member with the Chloride School District, which formally merges with the KUSD on July 1.

Two students from Mount Tipton School in Dolan Springs completed high school there.

Ben Leavitt and Melinda Culbertson will graduate Thursday night.

"Scott Cumberledge, who is principal at Mount Tipton, will join us, along with Marie Leavitt of their governing board, so that's going to be really special," Mickelson said.

The program will begin with the fanfare and processional led by Gino Hernandez, concert band director at KHS.

Some graduates will then move to the microphone.

Jonathon Gariffo will lead the singing of the national anthem, Christopher Mathews will lead the pledge of allegiance and Brandon Scroggins will give the invocation.

Mike Mabry will direct the senior chorus as it sings "Dare to Dream," the theme from the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Jessica Hicks is scheduled to present a gift from the senior class to the district: new sound equipment for the football field on the south campus, estimated to be worth $3,000, Mickelson said.

Faculty members Tom Jennings, Bret Sanders and Joe Russo will honor a request to sing and play a song they wrote, "Class of 2002." The trio plays guitars and a harmonica, Mickelson said.

Ten members of the student council will address the audience, as will graduate Ann Stagner, who was chosen to speak by senior class officers.

The senior class song "Drive" by Incubus will be played, and assistant principal John Venenga will recognize five foreign exchange students among the graduates.

Superintendent Mike Ford will present the senior class.

Kelly Hammond is scheduled to deliver the benediction, Melissa White will thank the audience for attending commencement, and Misty Fogg will announce the traditional tassel turn.

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