Eight students are among this year's Top Scholars for the Class of 2018 at Grove High School.
The Top Scholars are students who achieved a cumulative grade point average of 4.0 or greater during their time at Grove High School. Beyond academics, these students excel in extracurricular, community and volunteer activities.
Here’s a look at the students, what they plan to major in, and who inspired them through their time as students in the Grove Public School system.
Meet the top two
Andrew Wallace - Son of Charlie and Kristi Wallace and Angela Wallace. He plans to purse a degree in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University.
Wallace, who took a rigorous AP class load to become valedictorian is also a National Merit finalist.
He said some of the teachers who inspired him the most, during his high school career include Jeanne Smith, Matt Fracek and Trishia Materson. Each, he said, had a "profound impact" on his high school career and have each found ways to make learning in advanced classes fun.
Travis Linn - son of Mark and Tammy Linn, Linn is also this year's salutatorian. He plans to study political science, with pre-law emphasis, at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.
In addition to his numerous AP classes, Linn has served as president of the Class of 2018. He was also captain of the Academic Team which competed at the state tournament for the first time in more than a decade. He was also a member of State Superintendent Joy Hoffmeister's Student Advisory Council.
"Although all of my teachers have impacted me in some ways, the teachers who have impacted me the most are Valerie Epperson, Jeanne. Smith, and Matt Fracek," Linn said. "I always thought that I had a brain for English and history, but Mrs. Smith helped me to get my confidence up in math, and now it is one of my highest scoring subjects."
Other Top Scholars
Ben Cloud - son of Randy and Marcia Cloud, he plans to major in finance at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
He maintained a 4.0 GPA with a rigorous load of AP classes, along with concurrent college classes. A National Merit finalist, he is also a three-year All State Jazz guitar player, and a top three finalist for the Charles Mingus National High School Jazz Contest in New York for two years in a row with the T-Town Jazz Sound, a Tulsa area youth jazz band.
He said Matt Fracek, along with his instructors at the pre-engineering program at Northeast Tech in Afton, have made the biggest impact on his life.
"They have helped me discover new academic interests that i plan on pursuing in college," Cloud said, adding his parents have always pushed him to achieve his fullest potential, supporting his passion for music as well as academics.
Riley DuBois - daughter of Rick and Gayle DuBois, she plans to major in interior design at either Vanderbilt University or Oklahoma State University.
Along with numerous AP classes, she is a four-time state speech qualifier and has been inducted into the Delaware County 4-H Hall of Fame.
She said Vera Yirsa and Jeffrey Haynes made an impact on her life.
"They have not only encouraged me to do my best in speech, but in all aspects of my life and education," DuBois said. "Terri Guthridge and Jeanne Smith also, because they both make learning fun and seem to really care about my education."
Tessa DuBois - daughter of Bruce and Lu Ann DuBois, she plans to pursue a double major in entomology and ag communication, while attending the honors college at Oklahoma State University.
DuBois not only maintained an AP course load, but also took part in the Lady Ridgerunner Tournament for #1 doubles, earning her way to state in both 2017 and 2018. She was also inducted into the Delaware County 4-H Hall of FAme, and was selected for the OSU President's Leadership Council for 2018-19.
"I struggled in early elementary, but with [Mrs. Green and Mrs. Franklin's] patience and encouragement, I learned that I could be successful in school," DuBois said. "Before I even had her as a teacher, Mrs. Green took an interest in me, encouraging me to do my eye therapy with my mom after school. She is still my biggest cheerleader."
Ian Patrick-Vandall - son of Ray and Cindy Pruitt, he plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, majoring in biology, with plans to pursue a career in medicine.
Patrick-Vandall not only maintained a heavy AP course load, he also took the Pre-Engineering courses at Northeast Tech in Afton. He was also awarded the rank of Eagle Scout earlier this year.
He said Jeanne Smith has made one of the biggest impacts on his educational career to date.
"[She] has been instrumental to helping me find my passion. She recommended engineering to me, and gave me lots of great college advice," he said. "Terri Guthridge has always been there for her students and does a great job with the Interact Club."
Serah Reyes - daughter of Eduardo and Edna Reyes. She plans to attend Oklahoma State University and major in global studies.
In addition to taking numerous AP courses at the high school, Reyes was named a rotary student of the month and placed third in Poetry in Champs in Miami - which allowed her to compete in the state speech tournament.
Reyes said Melissa Sadler and Vera Yirsa were among those who made an impact on her life.
She said Sadler, made a difference because "without knowing it, she became my reason to pursue a teaching career. Her character and passion have influenced me to be a foreign language teacher just like her.
"Mrs. Yirsa has never once told me I couldn't do something. Because of her, I've done more than I ever thought I could.
Megan Tramel - daughter of Bryan and Gara Tramel. She plans to attend Missouri Southern State University in Joplin and major in biology with a pre-medicine emphasis.
In addition to her rigorous pre-AP and AP classes, and taking classes concurrently at NEO A&M, Tramel is the first woman in the state of Oklahoma to take first place in the state pole vaulting competition for four consecutive years.
She said three teachers, Jeanne Smith, Alisha Smith and Michael Sadler have each challenged her in their own particular manner and promoted her growth as a student by always allowing her to ask questions.
She was also inspired by her mother, who after 15 years of serving as a registered nurse, she decided to become a nurse practitioner "proving that hard work, good grades and persistence pays off."