Nicholas Busciglio ’21
On February 19, the Guidance Office announced the Class of 2021 Valedictorian as Elizabeth Dubov, and the Salutatorian as Raima Islam.
Both were ecstatic to learn that they had been named Valedictorian and Salutatorian of their class. ”When I heard Mrs. Shue make the announcement, I had the biggest smile on my face. I had accomplished one of my goals for high school, which was to graduate at the top of my class,” explained Dubov.
Islam had a similar reaction, “Part of it came as a shock, but part of it didn’t because we get our rankings each year,” stated Islam. “However, being officially named Salutatorian really is an honor that I am grateful to have received.”
Achieving this title was no easy task, both students worked tremendously hard for their positions. “It takes a ton of perseverance (and the occasional sacrifice of sleep) to balance everything,” said Islam. “I remind myself that hard work gets rewarded in one way or another.”
Reaching such academic heights takes more than sheer knowledge, it requires discipline and developing productive
habits. “Time management and productivity is key,” said Dubov. “When I need to get something done, I put on headphones, put my phone away, and just focus on my tasks at hand.”
Dubov’s and Islam’s teachers are very proud of them and their academic success. “The first word that comes to mind when I think of Elizabeth Dubov is consistent,” said Mrs. Jamie Picarelli. “From day one in AP Language, her work ethic, inquisitive mind, and thoughtful responses were strong and consistent. The same now goes for her performance in AP Literature. But even more important than Elizabeth’s strengths as a student, she is a kind, deeply caring, and a motivated human being. She exemplifies what we hope for the future and I am so unbelievably proud of her.”
Dr. Susanne Iobst also commented on how proud and excited she is to hear what Islam has achieved, “Raima is not only an outstanding student, but she is a person that, through her examples of hard work, humility and excellence, makes everyone around her better. I know that Raima is going to be extremely successful no matter what her future holds, but equally important she will touch the lives of everyone she meets in a positive manner.”
Both are involved in a lot of activities and extracurriculars within the PV community. Dubov has participated in volleyball, track, cross country, Academic Team, Interact Club, Junior State of America, Italian Club, Peer Mentoring, Writing Lab tutoring, math tutoring, Science League, and Math League. Dubov loves getting involved and challenging herself with trying new things.
Islam also loves getting involved at PV. “I try to get as active as I can within the PV community, whether that is in clubs or other activities,” Islam said. Islam is involved in Junior State of America, Future Medical Professionals, Peer Mentoring and tutoring. Both are very happy to help PV and its community, just like it has helped them reach their goals.
Fittingly, Valedictorian and Salutatorian were announced prior to Women’s History Month. Announcing that the top two students in the Class of 2021 are women was a perfect way to kick off this year’s observance. “It’s something I’ve noticed and am very happy to see. Looking back at previous years, I don’t believe the top two students being female has happened many times, seeing this happen this year is so cool to me! The inner feminist in me is pretty proud of myself and Elizabeth,” Islam said.
“I love that the top three in our class are girls! Over the past years, we have always supported each other, and I wish them nothing but the best in the future,” Dubov said.
Islam and Dubov are both very excited for the next academic phase in their lives. “I’ve honestly debated about what I’d want to do after leaving PV,” explained Islam. “As of now, I would love becoming a professor, however I always remind myself that there are more options and everything is subject to change.”
“I would love to do something in quantitative finance as a career,” said Dubov. “For fun, I would like to travel more internationally.”