Kristy Taylor is ecstatic to be graduating from Blue Springs South High School. The youngest of six children, she is the last to do pretty much everything, including graduating.

Kristy Taylor is ecstatic to be graduating from Blue Springs South High School. The youngest of six children, she is the last to do pretty much everything, including graduating.

“It is a little sad, but I am hyped up,” said Taylor, who plans to attend Northwest Missouri State University to major in physical therapy. “All of my brothers and sisters have gone through this already, so it is exciting to be the last one to do it. I will miss seeing my friends because they are all going elsewhere, but I am ready to graduate.”

Taylor was one of 396 students to graduate from Blue Springs South Sunday during commencement exercises at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. The class of 2011 includes two National Merit finalists, three National Merit commended scholars and 32 Bright Flight scholars. Bright Flight scholars received a score on the ACT that was in the top 3 percent among all Missouri students who took the test.

The class also earned $3.6 million in academic and athletic scholarships.

“I feel excited and anxious about graduation,” said Zack Devick, who plans to attend the University of Central Missouri in the fall to major in music with a minor in medicine. “I am going to miss the memories I made and my friends. Really, all of the experiences that I have made overall I will miss.”

Sarah Bever-Chritton and Tucker Moore were selected to deliver the graduation addresses.

Bever-Chritton described life like a video game. She said there are always some “nasty obstacles” to get through and sometimes it takes a lot of practice to defeat those obstacles. But she said the goals of each student will continue to change and evolve as each “new level” is reached.

“We have been taught the basic strategies needed for successful game play,” she said. “But that has been just a stepping stone into the world as adults. Even though life is more than just a game, remember to always have fun.”

Moore said just because high school is over, life is not. He said high school is one of the best experiences that the class of 2011 will ever have. Just behind the curtain, though, is a world full of opportunities.

“This is your golden opportunity to stand, throw your hands in the air and make the world your own,” he said. “Put your heart and soul into every move you make, and make every move a big one. We are a family, and we have grown up together. No matter what becomes of us, that will always be true.”

Graduate Harrison Whitebread said even though he suffered a “major case of senioritis,” he worked through those challenges and is excited to call himself a high school graduate. He plans to attend Baylor University in Waco, Texas, to major in neuroscience.

“I have always been curious about the way people think, so when I heard about neuroscience, it seemed like a good field to study,” he said. “Be active in school because staying active will lead to a successful journey.”