Meet Northeast Guilford High’s first African-American valedictorian



GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Sabree Flood, 18, is getting ready for one of the biggest days of her life.

“It’s a very overwhelming feeling,” Flood said.

She graduates from Northeast Guilford High School on Saturday not only as valedictorian but as the first African-American valedictorian in the school’s history.

“I was just shocked,” Flood said. “I didn’t know what to say.”

She says, at first, she didn’t realize how much of a big deal that was.

“My family had to tell me it was a serious moment,” she said. “This is a step in history.”

“This is history,” said her father Waseem Abdul-Haqq. “This is not the average thing.”

Northeast Guilford High School opened in 1962.

Principal Fabby Williams says, back then, the school was mostly white.

He says Flood becoming valedictorian shows how far things have come.

“To have the first African-American student as the valedictorian is just really awesome for the school but I think for the community as well,” Williams said. “It gives that sense of pride in all of our students.”

Flood has a 4.69 GPA, is fluent in Spanish and is a member of the National Honor Society.

“I found a joy in school,” Flood said. “It was something that I was excited to do. I wanted to learn more.”

The teen also ran track for USA Track and Field Junior Olympics, even starting her own fitness club at school.

“I wanted people to be active and fit while still having fun,” Flood said.

As far as her making history, she sums it best in the last few lines of her graduation speech.

“Let us always remember to be the best that we can be, stay true to ourselves,” Flood said reading her speech.

Flood will attend East Carolina University this fall where she will double major in foreign language and education.

She hopes to be a Spanish professor or work as an interpreter for the government.

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