NASHVILLE -- One Berrien High School senior devised a plan to put himself on top and stuck with it. Four years later, he was named valedictorian.

"I thought if I just kept my grades up, I would have it," said Tyler Martin of Nashville. "I did it." The 18-year-old son of Guy and Jan Martin plans to attend the University of Georgia this fall, where he will study business management.

His ultimate goal is to attend law school.

At Berrien High School, Martin was a member of the Y Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Club, and Who's Who Among American High School Students and was awarded a Georgia Certificate of Merit.

He served his community as vice-chair of the United Banking Company's Junior Board of Directors.

Jason Cook, 18, was named salutatorian. He said the race between himself and the third honor graduate was a close one.

"I kept my eye on that person and made sure I was always one step ahead," said the son of Matthew and Sheila Cooper. "I am pleased with how things turned out."

Like Martin, Cook plans to attend the University of Georgia this fall, where he will study biology. His ultimate goal is to work in the field of medicine.

At Berrien High School, Cook was a member of the Beta Club, Future Farmers of America and band, and was awarded the Georgia Certificate of Merit.

He served his community as chair of the United Banking Company's Junior Board of Directors.

As a senior, Cook participated in the Post Secondary Options Program, taking basic core curriculum courses at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

Martin and Cook will lead their fellow graduates during a commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday at the high school football stadium.



To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call 244-3400, ext. 255.

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