Kirsten Wilson felt like she got the hang of life at Truman High School. Now, she is graduating and moving on to college, forcing her to learn how to work her way through life all over again.

Kirsten Wilson felt like she got the hang of life at Truman High School. Now, she is graduating and moving on to college, forcing her to learn how to work her way through life all over again.

“It doesn’t feel real at all, graduating,” said Wilson, who will be attending the University of Central Missouri this fall. “It feels like yesterday I was a freshman, and now I am graduating.”

Wilson was among 325 graduates celebrating commencement for Truman High School Sunday at the Community of Christ Auditorium. The seniors’ honors include 34 students in the top 10 percent of the class, 64 members of the National Honor Society and 15 Bright Flight Scholars. These students received a score on the ACT that was in the top 3 percent among all Missouri students who took the test.

The Truman High School Concert Choir performed “Fix You,” and the five foreign exchange students who have spent the last year at the Independence high school were honored.

James O’Dell, Amy Soto, Cole Moore and Tylar Pollard received the Independence Board of Education Scholarship Award, which is given to students in the top 1 percent of the senior class and who have completed all four years of high school in the Independence School District.

The 2011 senior class also received more than $2.7 million in scholarships.

“High school can be difficult. You can try your very best and still not be successful,” Truman principal Kristel Barr said. “But I saw when you come together. I have seen you be the light for each other. You have been given great gifts and opportunities. Appreciate them, and use them to change the world.”

Each of the four honor graduates used lessons learned in Walt Disney films – “The Lion King,” “Toy Story,” “Hercules” and “Lilo and Stitch” – to show the graduating class what life will mean in the future.

“As I look into the crowd, I see the friends I made in preschool, the friends I made in high school, and the friends I have made this semester,” O’Dell said. “Many memories have been made the last four years, but those would have never been made without our friends. High school has brought new challenges, but with every challenge we counted on our friends to get us through.”

Soto focused on family as a source of strength in the past and onward now that high school is over.

“For many, family is not just blood relatives, but those that have come into our life and refused to leave,” she said. “Family loves you for who you are and are there to help us become the best person we can be.”

Moore said through hard work and determination the class of 2011 will go the distance to be successful.

“Our determination has allowed us to accomplish the things we have only dreamed of when we were younger,” he said. “We can achieve amazing things that not even the sky can limit. The world is our next adventure. Wherever we go, our achievements will be amazing because our potential is limitless.”

Pollard encouraged her fellow graduates to use what they have learned to be the best they can be.

“We have an opportunity to change the world starting today,” she said. “Challenge yourself. Live it up and give every day all you’ve got. Never forget to enjoy the little things and always, always live life to the fullest.”

Graduate Cevin Platt is “psyched” to be a high school graduate and is excited to study computer science this fall at Missouri State University.

“I am studying computer science because there is a great job market right now,” he said. “I will miss being around all my friends, but college will be fun.”