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Berryhill, Farrell share valedictorian spot
Alex Berryhill and Megan Farrell both worked very hard and refused to settle for complacency during their years together at Central Valley High School. So together on Friday - after both achieving a GPA of 4.28 - they share the honor of being class valedictorian.

The two are tag-teaming for a single valedictorian address on "The Four F's." The four F's they will speak of are Friends, Facebook, Finally becoming seniors and Future.

Not far behind Berryhill and Farrell are seven seniors who earned grade point averages of 4.0 or higher: Clarissa Ibarra, Kristian Olsen, Scott Myatt, Shanice Stine, Savannah Vershay, Nathaniel Villegas and Brittany Yeager. They all share in salutatorian honors.

Berryhill, 17, is off to U.C. Berkeley where she plans to major in English and minor in media studies. Eventually she wants to work a career in public relations, preferably attend graduate school in New York City. From a political family - she is the daughter of state Assemblyman Bill and Triana Berryhill - Alex can't see herself running for office but could see herself working as a publicist for a candidate.

A former Westport Elementary and Blaker Kinser Junior High student, Alex said she may "get picketed" if classmates at the liberal university find out her dad is a conservative lawmaker.

"They have one of the top English departments in the country," explained Berryhill in willing to risk political hazards of being a conservative in Berkeley.

Megan, the 18-year-old daughter of Mike and Edie Farrell who attended Don Pedro Elementary and Blaker Kinser Junior High schools has chosen to attend University of California at Santa Barbara.

"I like that it's close to the beach," said Megan, "and it's a big research school and I want to major in psychology and they have a psychology program."

She said landing a top spot in the class was due to "a lot of hard work and convincing myself not to procrastinate, which was really easy to do. I just kept in mind what I want to do after high school. I'd really like to see something else beyond Ceres."

Farrell said her parents inspired her but never expected her to be the best, only "be happy."

"I've always just liked school and learning," Megan offered.

Ambition drove Alex to stay at the head of the class.

"I've never had a 'B' in my life and I was a very moody child trying to get there but I'd rather stay up until 2 o'clock to write a report than get a 'B.' That would be one big tantrum."

While at CVHS, Berryhill served as editor of the school newspaper, the CV Chronicle, and was involved in the Interact club, CSF, NHS, dance team and leadership class. She also served as the student representative on the Ceres School Board.

Berryhill also lists Rutishauser as a favorite since English is her favorite subject.

"He's always been very helpful when it comes to that department," said Berryhill.

Journalism teacher Tamara Gresham was another favorite since she was "really encouraging."

Farrell said she will long remember favorite teachers in Paul Rutishauser, who teaches AP European history and AP literature; and Michael Frederickson, the AP psychology teacher who "really made me realize that I am interested in psychology."

At the end of her life, Megan wants to look back and say that she "always did my best and I was always happy and loved what I did."

Alex said she wants her life to "make a difference" in the world and "to have made some kind of impact .... and let my voice be known."

Megan, who was involved in FFA, Skills USA and Interact clubs, ELD Club and swimming, said she will miss all her friends that she's made in Ceres over the years.

Alex said the transition to college means seeing an end to close relationships with peers and adults in Ceres.

"I'm not coming back," promised Alex.