As the final days of high school wraps up, members of the Grove High School Class of 2017 are making preparation for this weekend's graduation ceremony.

The event is set for 3 p.m., Sunday, May 20, at Ridgerunner Stadium, next to the Grove Middle School campus. Seniors are asked to arrive by 2 p.m. at the Upper Elementary Gymnasium for final instructions and pre-ceremony preparation.

During the ceremony, the top two scholars, Valedictorian Andrew Wallace and Salutatorians Travis Linn will address their classmates.

Meet the Top Two

Andrew Wallace – Valedictorian

Andrew Wallace, 18, is the son of Charlie and Kristi Wallace and Angela Wallace.

He plans to pursue an electrical engineering degree at Oklahoma State University, with the possibility of pursuing both his masters and doctorate, so he can eventually teach at the collegiate level.

"I love helping students," Wallace said, adding he has served as a tutor in many of his AP classes. 

A National Merit Finalist, Wallace has been accepted into the CEAT Scholars program, an advanced academic initiative for engineering, architecture and technology students. 

"They work on your soft skills as leaders," Wallace said, adding the program strives to work with the students who have the most potential to own their own business or go into teaching.

Thanks to the National Merit Finalist status, Wallace said he can go to college without worrying about finances. 

Knowing he's one of the top percent of the top students within the country - one of 15,000 students - is also a blessing.

Wallace's college track also includes a chance to do study abroad courses, which Wallace said, he is "very excited about."

"I hope it deepens my understanding of the world, to make sure I'm able to make a difference in the world as needed," Wallace said. 

He would like to travel to Africa, Korea or Vietnam, because those are locations which remain underdeveloped in areas. 

He's already made plans to join OSU's chapter of the Engineers without Borders, knowing that members travel to several locations including Guatemala.

"Engineers without Borders is a huge passion of mine," Wallace said. "I want to help other people. It breaks my heart to see people without the same basic necessities I take for granted.

"Because I was so lucky, I need to give back and do everything I can to help."

Being named the valedictorian is special, he said, because it represents a lot of hours of homework time, late nights and the path he chose by taking the hardest classes possible.

This includes being part of the pre-engineering program at Northeast Tech in Afton, the robotics program through Grand Lake Area Robotics Education, and competitive speech. Being a member of the INTEGRIS Hospital governing board also gave him the tools he needed to determine his future.

He said his favorite moments in high school come during the "eureka moments" in math and physics, when he finally understands key concepts. 

Travis Linn – Salutatorian.

Travis Linn is ready to pursue a degree in politics, with dreams of pursuing a law degree.

The son of Mark and Tammy Linn, Linn plans to enroll this fall at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, with eyes on attending law school to pursue a degree in either constitutional or criminal law after completing his undergraduate.

This year's salutatorian, Linn, 17, has been awarded a presidential scholarship from PSU, allowing him to be part of the honors college.

He said this will allow him to be "integrated with a community of leaders and people who are driven to succeed" from the start of his collegiate career.

Linn said he's pursuing a degree in political science and law, because he has been told "his entire life" by both his family and church family to do everything he could in the service of others.

From helping with the school's blood drives, to serving as the co-children's pastor, Linn said he always looks for ways to be of service.

"I look at politics in a different way," Linn said. "I know right now there's a lot of bickering on the national level, and a lot of distrust.

"But I think it's the gateway to help a mass amount of people at once. Which is what I want to do in life."

Eventually, Linn would like to work either as a district attorney, or within some area of state or federal government. He hopes internships during his undergraduate and graduate studies will help him narrow down his choices.

Linn said one of his favorite moments at Grove High School came when the band won second overall at the Pryor Band Contest earlier this school year.

"That moment, with all of the seniors holding the trophy, we knew we accomplished something," Linn said. "We not only made it to the finals, but we were over all of those larger bands. It was one of the most incredible feelings."

Linn said other times in school come from his participation within the Pride of Grove Ridgerunner Band.

"It's amazing how we've grown together in the last four years," Linn said. 

He said being named the salutatorian is an honor, because he knows he's apart of an amazing class of graduates.

"It's humbling that I have the number two spot," Linn said. "It's a blessing to be part of these amazing accomplishments."

Saving Seats at Ridgerunner Stadium

While it is not a new rule, school officials once again plan to enforce the "no saving" seats at Ridgerunner Stadium.

The move comes after school officials refinished the bleachers during the 2014-15 school year and worry the tape will cause residual damage. 

Inclement Weather Plans

In the event of inclement weather, plans are in place to have the graduation take place inside the Grove Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Grove High School.

If the decision is made mid-day Sunday to move the graduation, it will still take place at 3 p.m. Seniors will need to report to the Black Box Theatre at the PAC by 2 p.m.

Each graduate will receive eight tickets for seats within the PAC. Overflow seating for non-ticketed guests will take place in the cafeteria and high school gym.

In both locations, the graduation ceremony will be simulcast as a live feed projected on big screens, and the graduates will process and recess through both areas. School officials assure patrons everyone will see the graduates in person and on a screen.

Watch www.facebook.com/grovesun for any last minute graduation related announcements.

If You Go

The Grove High School Graduation will take place at 3 p.m., Sunday, May 14, at Ridgerunner Stadium, on the middle school campus. 

In the event of inclement weather, plans are in place to have the graduation take place inside the Grove Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Grove High School.

If the decision is made mid-day Sunday to move the graduation, it will still take place at 3 p.m. Each graduate will receive eight tickets for seats within the PAC. Overflow seating for non-ticketed guests will take place in the cafeteria and high school gym.

In both locations, the graduation ceremony will be simulcast as a live feed projected on big screens, and the graduates will process and recess through both areas. School officials assure patrons everyone will see the graduates in person and on a screen.

Watch www.facebook.com/grovesun for breaking updates concerning the location of graduation.

Class Stats

Class Flower: Rosa "Oklahoma"

Class Song: Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond

Class Colors: Red & White

One Thing With Andrew Wallace

One person who inspires you

So many awesome people in my life have inspired me. My parents, Jeanne Smith, Don Malone, Trishia Materson, my instructor at Vo-Tech. they have been some of the most caring people I've had in my career. I've been so fortunate, every single year to have some of the best teachers. 

I've been so lucky to be here, and have the opportunity to take different classes and learn from talented individuals. I'm grateful for the education Grove High School has been able to offer me.

One book that has stuck with you

Tuesdays with Morrie. It's an incredible book, to see all the wisdom and kindness Morrie had as he was passing away. It really inspired me to live a happy life, there's so much value without needing money in the world to be a good person, and make connections.

Even in the sad moments, it really gave me appreciation of the mentors and wonderful people I had in my life.

One thing that might surprise people

I performed in a play - If All The Sky Were Paper. It was a lot of fun. I memorized eighth different parts, working with the Playmakers of Grove.

A lot of people may think that I'm a very analytical person, and not so interested in the deeper parts of life, or the fun side of things.  It was a really powerful performance and I'm glad I took part in it.

One thing you can't live without

My family. They are my best support ask I could ask for. Kristi, especially is one reason I get through things with a smile on my face. 

My grandmother, Connie Jamison has much wisdom to offer and always remind me to keep my eyes on the end goal.

[My family] taught me to appreciate others and be kind, as well as showing me so much wisdom.

One thing you want people to know

I have a mission to help people. I will do everything I can to make  the world a better place - that's my biggest goal in life.

What I really want to do is end child hunger. It's such a huge problem. People don't have the basic necessities. Nobody deserves to be without the things they need to survive. Nobody should worry about where their next meal will come from.

One thing with Travis Linn

One person who inspires you

Every teacher I've had at Grove has inspired me. I wouldn't have done all of the community service I've done, or stayed so involved in Character Counts if it wasn't for (the late) Linda Fracek. Getting the chance to know her, and see all the amazing things she has done has been the biggest blessing in my high school career.

She was an amazing lady. She told us to be scholars and we did it. We went out and became scholars.

One book that has stuck with you

Two books, To Kill a Mockingbird and the Kite Runner.

To Kill a Mockingbird teaches anybody that you are no better than anybody else. Nobody is better than you. It's a testament to equality. 

The Kite Runner teaches you to be thankful for everything you have, which you have simply for being born where you are born. It shows how we take things for granted, that are delicacies or dreams in other parts of the world. 

One thing that might surprise people 

I get nervous speaking in public. I get really anxious but power through.

One thing you can't live without

My faith, family and friends. I wouldn't be who I am without those three things.

My friends have taught me how to have a good time. My family taught me to stay humble and help others. My faith drives all of the above.

One piece of advice you've been given

Gayle DuBois always told me "don't sweat the small stuff, and try not to have a stroke."

Because I didn't realize freshman year, how insignificant and little some of the stuff I was worried about truly was. When the bigger stuff came along, the small stuff melted away. 

One thing you want people to know

I'm extremely thankful for the amazing community that has raised me, for the school that taught me, and all of the cool people I met along the way.