Juan Vidal knows he is ready for high school to be over, but that does not stop him from feeling just a little nervous.

Juan Vidal knows he is ready for high school to be over, but that does not stop him from feeling just a little nervous.

“I feel great, but of course you can’t help but feel nervous,” said the William Chrisman High School graduate. “I am going to miss my friends, teachers and all the sports I was involved in. Of course, I will also miss the fond memories I made at William Chrisman. Remember, school is the first and most important thing.”

Family and friends watched as 277 graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas Sunday at the Community of Christ Auditorium.

Thirty-one wore academic honor cords. Bethany Bayne, Samuel Bryner and Kati Littleton received the Independence Board of Education Scholarship Award.

The award is given to students in the top 1 percent of the senior class.

In total, the class of 2010 received more than $1.4 million in scholarships.

“Through hardwork and dedication, you have carried on the William Chrisman High School tradition of excellence,” said Mike Becker, principal at William Chrisman. “Each of your identities is now linked to the history of William Chrisman.”

Ashton Phillips, one of the commencement speakers, said members of the class do not know exactly what lies ahead, but she said she knows that no matter what the situation is, each and every person in her graduating class will do their best.

“No matter what possibilities lie ahead, we have to make sure that we are truly happy in order to be successful,” she said. “High school was a time to be free and have fun with our friends, but it also helped to build us into who we are today.”

Littleton urged her fellow graduates to maintain their own individuality because it is significant to what “makes us, us.”

“Our opinions and beliefs do reflect our own personalities. Never sacrifice your identities for the sake of the group,” she said. “It is crucial not to lose ourselves. Together as individuals we can achieve change in the world.”

Graduate Justin O’Dell said he is relieved that high school is finally over. He will be going to welding school in Nevada, Mo.

“I am excited, but will miss being able to spend time with my friends,” he said. “Just make sure to do all your work on time and turn it in. That way you won’t have to worry about it at the last minute.”