Kelsie Fatino is ready to move on from high school and begin her classes at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla.

Kelsie Fatino is ready to move on from high school and begin her classes at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla.

The 2012 Blue Springs South graduate said that although she is a little nervous about moving so far away, she is ready to meet new friends and take the next step in her life.

“I chose this university because it is one of the only ones that offer my degree of show production. I have done it the past few years for the Blue Springs South productions and loved it,” she said. “I think the biggest thing for underclassmen to remember is to always, always do homework. It can make or break your grade.”

Fatino was one of 433 students participating in the 2012 Blue Springs South commencement exercises Sunday at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. The senior class included two National Merit Finalists, two National Merit Commended Scholars, 22 Missouri Bright Flight Scholars and 38 students who graduated with at least a 4.0 grade point average. The class also received more than $3.4 million in academic and athletic scholarships.

“Jubilous is the only word I can use to describe how I feel about graduating,” graduate Michael Norman said. “I am not really nervous about what is to come next. I don’t get nervous. I just roll with it.”

Rosalie Swingle and Aubree McDonald were selected to address the senior class.

Swingle said 2012 has always been a special year to the class because it marks the end of their high school careers. She said they have completed the K-12 educational system and must now face a new set of adult circumstances that await.

“The idea of a natural disaster destroying the world serves as a natural metaphor for the problems that we will face,” she said. “The challenges will be personal and varying among everyone of us. No matter those challenges, remember, there is more to come.”

McDonald said reflecting back on the last four years, everyone asked themselves the same questions as freshmen – who, what, where, when, why and how. She said as the class of 2012 embarks on the next journey of their lives, they must continue to discover who they are and find their passion.

“Once you discover your passion, it will give you an idea of your destiny. We are all made different and to try to live your lives through the lens of someone else will be a tremendous mistake,” she said. “We must continue to believe in ourselves and remember that the greatest discoveries will happen after the mishaps, stumbles or falls.”

Graduate Michaela Cooper said the idea that she is a high school graduate has not yet sunk in. She plans to attend the Brigham Young University campus in Idaho to study biology and special education.

“We have been working for 13 years to get to this day, and it doesn’t feel real yet,” she said. “I am nervous about going to college, but I am ready to go. It is what I need to do to help myself grow up.”

Graduate Alex Jackson said he is proud to make it through high school. He plans to attend MCC-Blue River to study to become a paramedic.

“I am nervous about what is next because I have never really had to deal with the world before,” he said. “I think what is important to remember is to not get too nervous. As underclassmen, hold that feeling off for a while.”