There were 497 graduates, the largest in Blue Springs High School history, to graduate Sunday at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. The class not only featured one National Merit Finalist and two National Merit Commended Scholars, but graduate Kaitlin July was only the second student in school history to earn a 36 on the ACT exam, a perfect score.

 

Kimberly Gordanier cannot believe that high school is over and that this time next year, she will be embarking on another exciting journey.


“I am going to go to school in the Lake of the Ozarks to study law enforcement,” said the 2009 Blue Springs High School graduate. “I want to be a cop so that I can help people. It is what I have always wanted to do.”


Gordanier was one of 497 graduates, the largest in Blue Springs High School history, to graduate Sunday at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. The class not only featured one National Merit Finalist and two National Merit Commended Scholars, but graduate Kaitlin July was only the second student in school history to earn a 36 on the ACT exam, a perfect score. As a class, graduates earned $4.3 million in academic and athletic scholarships.


July and Ryan Garner were selected by staff to speak at the commencement exercise.


July said the class of 2009 has finally reached the end of their 12-year journey, which started in kindergarten. She said that although there have been times during the last four years that have been difficult, she said one door always opens as another closes.


“Many of us have experienced moments of defeat and disappointment when we have had doors slammed in our faces. We wouldn’t be here without those experiences,” she said. “Just remember the time when someone encouraged you through an act of kindness. These acts of kindness have definitely helped us to be successful people. We all have the ability to be successful if we work hard, stay true to ourselves and to show a little kindness along the way.”


Garner said it is important to remember that graduation is not a reflection of the past, but a rite of passage into the next journey in life. He said now is the time to take a giant step from adolescence into adulthood.


“Up until this point, adolescence is all we have known. It is the only memories that we have,” he said. “Now we are at a place that we can do anything. Pursue whatever you perceive to be the real dream to you. When we toss our caps into the air, we are at the end and become free, free to do anything we want. So go forth and be free to do anything. Do not let a single soul tell you otherwise.”


Graduate Ashley Monroe said graduating from high school is exciting because she is one of the few in her family to complete her education. In addition, after battling a learning disability, she said she feels proud and accomplished of what she has done.


“It has been a hard journey, but I have worked through it to graduate,” said Monroe, who is entering the United States Air Force this summer. “I am going to miss my friends and teachers who have helped me get here, but am looking forward to the next step.”