Class of 2020 valedictorian headed to Harvard


Class of 2020 valedictorian Sama Kubba poses in her cap and gown

Katie Smith

Achieving the title of valedictorian has always been a goal for senior Sama Kubba. However, she discovered that high school is much more than just working towards a title.

“I’ve always equated that with being academically successful, but I quickly realized that it’s about a lot more than that. I’ve always just been ambitious because why not at least try, so being in the top five has always been a goal of mine throughout high school to keep my college application competitive,” said Kubba, this year’s Princess Anne High valedictorian.

Every year the title of valedictorian is awarded to the student with the highest grade point average in the class, and Kubba is graduating with a four-year cumulative GPA of 5.1253.

Rohan Rathi is this year’s salutatorian with the class’s second-highest GPA.

After four years of taking extra classes along with her already difficult schedule of IB Courses, Kubba says that receiving this title is not her biggest achievement, but rather her progression through academics.

“My personal development through my academics is my greatest accomplishment. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have grown from my time at PA in a positive way,” said Kubba.

Kubba’s success wasn’t just a result of her hard work, but also from the support of her teachers.

“Every single adult at PA that I’ve met has impacted my life in some way,” said Kubba.

“I’ve always thought about doing well out of respect for my teachers. I always think ‘this teacher puts so much time and effort into me, the least I can do is reciprocate that energy,’” said Kubba.

Along with her teachers, Kubba also recognizes her family’s impact on her education.

“They’re always so proud and happy when I accomplish anything academically. My family cares a lot for me and supports me no matter what, so I try my best to succeed academically for them,” said Kubba.

Kubba took numerous Virtual Virginia courses throughout her high school career knowing it would benefit her in the end.

“Virtual Virginia has been a stress reliever for me because I know that getting a B in one class easily balances out with the rest of my coursework, so it was comforting to know my GPA was always safe,” said Kubba.

Kubba also made an impact at Princess Anne outside of the classroom.

As an officer in the National Honor Society as well as beginning the Path of Paper Club, Kubba made an impact as a Cavalier. Kubba enjoyed being able to use these activities because she was able to serve her community by developing creative solutions to problems and developing connections with the people in her community.

“I’ve enjoyed getting to know my teachers, making friends, and being intellectually challenged,” said Kubba.

Kubba will be attending Harvard University next year not only because she is receiving a full scholarship, but also because of the community and new opportunities for her education.

“Never in my life have I just been heard and ‘handed’ opportunities like this,” said Kubba. “I’m even already getting started on social anthropological research under a professor and taking a small Comparative Government and Social Anthropology course load over the summer.”

Many students could view the hours spent studying, and the difficult course load as just not worth the effort, but to Kubba education is a gift.

“I’m an Iraqi refugee. Education is huge in our culture because to us, it’s the stepping stone to a better life for you and your community. An American education means a lot internationally, let alone a great IB education at PA for free,” said Kubba.

Kubba is grateful not only that she achieved her goal of being valedictorian, but also for the opportunity to have this education.

“I am so fortunate and privileged to even be here. I am the first woman, the first person even, in my entire family’s history to be getting an American education, let alone going to Harvard. No sacrifices here,” said Kubba.