Blue Springs South High School now has an all-time record of the number of seniors graduating with a 3.5 grade point average or higher: 204 students.

The school’s Senior Academic Awards Banquet was held Thursday, where students and their families crowded the commons area to have dinner and later be congratulated by both Superintendent Paul Kinder and the Blue Springs school board for their academic achievement.

“We have to brag a little bit,” said Kinder, at his last Senior Academic Awards Banquet at BSSHS. “For the first time, our district has nine committed National Merit Scholars.”

He added that more than 80 percent of high school students in the district take the ACT exam, and that the average ACT score is 23.8. He also said the district leads the state in MAP test scores, and it cannot advance any further in that rank for the next 10 years due to “so much gains.”

“This couldn’t be done without the help of parents, community and staff.”

BSSHS teacher Ashleigh Bertrand told her school’s scholars that being 18 is an age when they will make decisions that could impact their entire lives.

“Choosing a major (in college) has major implications. Decisions made at 18 carry more significance than at 14. Y.O.L.O., but plan for your future.”

She ended her speech by saying seniors should expand their horizons while preparing for the real world.

Guest parent speaker, Vince Davenport, said working with others is crucial for a successful future, “Very few objectives can be achieved on your own. Companies call collaboration networking, organizations call it teambuilding and in life it is your families, friends and communities. Value those relationships.”

Nearly half of BSSHS’s graduating class of 2014 will graduate with a 3.5 GPA or higher: 204 out of 461 students.