Final Thoughts

by: Nancy L. Spencer, Head of School
When I look back to the start of the school year, from the very beginning we identified five guiding principles which I believed would shape our thinking for this 2020-21 school year. 

These essential pillars were:
  • Ensuring the health and safety of the school community
  • Focusing on the financial sustainability of the School
  • Creating continuity of the Shorecrest educational experience
  • Emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion 
  • Supporting the faculty and staff, families and students
Everything we did, every decision that I faced, was put through the lens of our mission and these guiding principles.

As I look back at this year, I feel good about how we approached these issues in times of uncertainty. My rule of thumb has always been what makes sense philosophically and what will work pragmatically. I am constantly asking what is reasonable and what is in the best interest of Shorecrest? And how do we move the School forward while keeping a broad perspective? 

As I said at last Saturday’s Commencement, it has been a year which has wildly exceeded our expectations. Shorecrest has seen success in the realms of college acceptances, academic achievements, artistic performances, athletic competitions and service learning. 

There have been so very many wonderful events that it is difficult to pick out just a few.

Certainly, my weekly story time with Experiential School classes was a highlight; I got to read to the students and develop the relationships that started during our morning carline walks and culminated with my cheering our youngest Chargers along at the Alpha on the Go! event. 

I was a guest at Lower School project shares and learned so much from the first graders about the human body and from the fourth graders about Sustainability. I especially enjoyed watching the Lower Schoolers celebrate the Fall Festival and have fun during Splash Day. 

Middle Schoolers included me in their discoveries in the Native Classroom and welcomed me into their EDI classrooms, explaining their projects and ideas. I was so impressed by the Middle School’s outdoor performance of "Stone Soup" and their third-place finish in the state robotics competition.

This past year, I would find myself wandering around Landy Hall, stopping in to visit classes and say hello. Wednesdays were special days for me, as I shared Chipotle lunches with seniors and got to know the Class of 2021. I was blown away by hearing the sophomores and their “This I Believe” essay presentations. And I had so much fun working with the juniors during their GPS College workshop week, role-playing with them about alumni interviews and offering tips and advice about how to present themselves in an interview setting. Participating in Service Week was a highlight of the year for me as well. 

Some of my favorite moments were watching our athletes compete and our artists perform. Hearing about the many contributions from our seniors and their years of dedication to their athletic programs during Senior Nights is a special memory. And I will never forget the outdoor production of “Our Town.” The quality of acting was outstanding and enhanced by the backlit tree that served as a backdrop for the set, and seemed almost like another character from Grover’s Corners. There was the thrill of finally being back in the Janet Root Theatre for the spring musical “Something Rotten!” and the joy I experienced that night, to watch and listen (and dance in my seat a little bit) as our students shone on stage.  

This year, however, the largest success just might be the fact that we have been open and operating in full for the entire school year. Yes, we have had disruptions, but I believe that we have delivered on Shorecrest’s commitment to our families and our students to provide an outstanding education which offers choice, support, and balance.

As I said in my very first Ebytes, one of my goals for this year was to do everything that we could to make this 2020-21 school year the best one that we can possibly have. I wanted us to be able to look back on this year and reflect with pride on how much we had accomplished. Using all of our tools and talents, infused with flexibility and compassion, an acceptance of uncertainty, and fortified by a sense of humor, I wanted this community to approach the year focused on our values and mission, with positivity and optimism. And as the year concludes, I would say that we accomplished that goal and succeeded with flying colors. 

As I look back at the growth all of us have experienced, the challenges and the successes, I am so very proud of what Shorecrest has achieved this year. I appreciate the support from this community in making my first year at Shorecrest such a worthwhile and outstanding experience. I am excited and optimistic about what the future holds for this school. 

With warm wishes to all, for a healthy, restful and enjoyable summer,

All the best, 
Nancy 

Shorecrest

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191
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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.