Welcome New Colleagues

by: Raffi Darrow, Ebytes Editor



Anthony McCall, Athletic Director

Anthony McCall and his wife Dolores joined the Shorecrest community after serving for 21 years at Montgomery Academy in Montgomery, AL. Anthony began his career in the banking industry and later joined the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce where he served as the Director of Minority Business Development. In 1997 Mr. McCall was named Dean of Students at Montgomery Academy. He remained in that position for ten years and coached boys basketball and football. In 2007 he was appointed Athletic Director, and during his tenure varsity teams won 33 State Championships and were State Runner-Up 15 times. Mr. McCall holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Auburn University.
Anthony McCall



Laina Bennett, Director of Annual Giving

Shorecrest is pleased to welcome Laina Bennett as its new Director of Annual Giving. Originally from Palm Harbor, Ms. Bennett lived in Minneapolis and Atlanta before returning to the Tampa Bay Area. She has experience working in non-profit arts organizations - most recently The Atlanta Opera - and brings skills in broadcast media and database management. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Olaf College where she majored in music, management, and media studies.
Laina Bennett, Director of Annual Giving

Student Health

Donna Conroy, R.N., School Nurse

Donna Conroy has over twelve years of school nursing experience in both private and public school settings. Recently she worked in Pinellas County Schools as an itinerant nurse, providing nursing support to health services staff in multiple school clinic settings. Ms. Conroy also has experience working on staff at hospitals and as a case manager, mobile unit nurse, and for home health care. Ms. Conroy is a graduate of Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing, MA. She also attended continuing nursing education at Boston College School of Nursing, MA. Ms. Conroy is originally from Massachusetts and has lived in Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina. She is a mother of three adult sons, and a grandmother of seven children.
Donna Conroy school nurse

Experiential School & Lower School

Bob Folwell, Alpha Teaching Assistant

Bob Folwell has over thirty years of experience working in early childhood classrooms. He taught prekindergarten, kindergarten, first-grade, and physical education for grades K-12, and worked as a middle school coach for soccer, baseball, and basketball at Friends Central School in Philadelphia. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Antioch University. Mr. Folwell moved to St. Petersburg from Philadelphia last year. He and his partner, Terry Kessel, who also works at Shorecrest, have three children, Steven, a junior at Duquesne University in Pittsburg, Briana, a recent graduate of Bond University in Australia, and August, who is a senior at Eckerd College. Most recently, Mr. Folwell has worked with Experiential School students attending Shorecrest camp, served as a substitute teacher in all school divisions, and served as a coach. Mr. Folwell joins Alpha as a teaching assistant with Ms. Styke's class.
Bob Folwell, Alpha Teaching assistant

Michele Johnson, Second Grade Teacher

Michele Johnson graduated from Eckerd College with bachelor's degree in environmental studies and minors in both psychology and human development. She then enrolled in Brown University’s Teacher Education Program, graduating with an Master of Arts Teaching in Elementary Education and experience teaching students with language-based learning differences. Ms. Johnson has experience teaching fourth and fifth grades and is pleased to work with our Shorecrest second graders this school year. Born and raised in Vermont, Ms. Johnson is passionate about the environment and sustainability, and looks forward to helping her students learn and grow through inquiry-based projects. She now resides in St. Petersburg with her husband and their two young daughters - future Chargers!
Michele Johnson Second Grade Teacher

Melissa Lotz, Lower School Receptionist

Melissa Lotz is our new Lower School Receptionist. Ms. Lotz is from New York City and has recently relocated to St. Petersburg from New Jersey with her husband and son. Over the past ten years she has taught in schools, worked as a program director for several outdoor education programs, and worked in sales. She hold a bachelor's degree in physical education from SUNY, Brockport, NY. Ms. Lotz intends to help Shorecrest families feel welcome, safe and supported when on campus.
Melissa Lotz

Jackie Roller, Alpha Teaching Assistant

Jackie Roller earned a Bachelor of Science from Montreat College in North Carolina where she majored in psychology and mathematics and completed coursework in child and adolescent development. Ms. Roller has worked with Experiential School students through Extended Care, the Shorecrest camp program, and as a substitute teaching assistant. A native of Largo, Florida, Ms. Roller has lived in Pinellas County all her life. She joins Alpha as a teaching assistant in Mrs. Carson's class.
Jackie Roller preschool teacher

Ginger Thompson, JK Teaching Assistant

Ginger Thompson earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from the University of South Florida and an Associate of Arts from St. Petersburg College. She has enjoyed working in preschool classrooms for the past three years as a teaching assistant at St. Paul’s School and most recently at Ascension Day School. Ms. Thompson has multiple years of experience teaching and assisting in diverse classrooms with students of varying abilities. Ms. Thompson's husband is an alumni of Shorecrest, and their son, Sawyer, is in the third grade at Shorecrest. Ms. Thompson joins Junior Kindergarten as a teaching assistant in Mrs. Markunas' class. A native of Largo, Ms. Thompson lives with her family in Belleair Bluffs.
Ginger Thompson, JK Teaching Assistant
Other Lower School Changes
After 23 years as a teacher in Lower School, Gaye Whitecage has shifted roles and is now working with The Learning Center as a Lower School educational specialist.

Joanne Minke and Darla Kiernan are pleased to be back in a Kindergarten classroom this year. Brenda Rosas has moved from JK Teaching Assistant to JK Lead Teacher. Takeya Trayer has moved from Alpha Teaching Assistant to Junior Kindergarten Teaching Assistant.

Middle School

Kristine Marquez Grant, Interim Head of Middle School

Kris Grant has played many roles at Shorecrest since joining the community in 2000. Most recently, Mrs. Grant was Eighth Grade Dean and a Middle School Spanish teacher. Mrs. Grant is a native speaker and has demonstrated her ability to initiate new programs and collaborate with teachers as they enhance the Middle School Curriculum. Prior to joining the faculty, Mrs. Grant served as a full-time and part-time substitute Spanish Teacher in Shorecrest Upper School and Middle School. She and her husband, Steve, who served on the Shorecrest Board of Trustees, were active volunteers, especially with the Shorecrest Booster Club while their sons participated in the swimming and football programs. Prior to teaching, Mrs. Grant managed a family law practice. She has been a Member of the Florida Bar since 1994. Mrs. Grant has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from George Washington University and a Juris Doctorate from Stetson College of Law.
Kris Grant Middle School Head

Dr. Elizabeth Angello, Eighth Grade English

Dr. Elizabeth Angello (Lizz) joins Shorecrest as the eighth grade English teacher. Dr. Angello has a doctorate in English from the University of South Florida. She also hold Master of Arts in English from the University of Delaware and a bachelor’s degree in English and Art History where she earned Departmental Honors in English and Art History from Hood College. Dr. Angello has been teaching English Literature and Writing for 17 years; she has taught eighth grade English at St. Johns Episcopal Day School and Corbett Preparatory School, as well as at the college level. In her free time Dr. Angello writes and publishes on medieval and early modern English literature.
Lizz Angello English teacher

Mrs. Kathy Elliott, Fifth Grade English

Mrs. Elliott comes to us from LCC. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Stetson University and a Master of Science in Education, Media Design, and Technology from Full Sail University. Last year she attended Columbia University Teachers College Writing Institute. Before teaching English, Mrs. Elliott had a long career with the Guardian ad Litem Program advocating for children.
Kathy Elliott, Fifth Grade English teacher

Nayka Miller, Middle School Spanish

Nayka Miller is a native-speaking Spanish teacher who brings eight years of teaching experience and a strong background and experience to the Middle School World Language program. Sra. Miller has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Istmo de Panamá. She earned her Master of Education in Applied Linguistics from the Universidad de Jaén, in Andalucia, Spain. She has continued her education by obtaining her certificates in Conversational and Academic Spanish, Cervantes Institute Certified, Madrid, Spain. Sra. Miller comes to us most recently from the Florida Virtual School and Clearwater Central Catholic.
Nayka Miller, Middle School Spanish teacher

Kevin Perez, Middle School Math

Kevin Perez is a math teacher with ten years of Math and Computer Science teaching experience. He joins the the eighth grade team teaching Algebra and Geometry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a minor in math from Arizona State University. He has spent time abroad teaching ACT, SAT and GMAT test prep in Jakarta, Indonesia. Mr. Perez comes to us from Peoria High School in Arizona where he served as a teacher-coach, supporting varsity athletes in football, soccer and track and field.
Kevin Perez, Middle School Math teacher

Upper School


Donald Paige, Head of Upper School

After serving one year as the Assistant Head of Upper School and Academic Dean, Don Paige has moved into the Head of Upper School position. Mr. Paige, his wife, Mandy and two children, Brecken (fifth grade), and Drew (JK), moved to Shorecrest from The Athenian School in Danville, California where he served as Director of Residential Program and history teacher. Prior to teaching at Athenian, Mr. Paige taught at The College Preparatory School in Oakland, California and closer to home at the Bolles School in Jacksonville. He brings 18 years experience and a clear passion for supporting students and families to school each day. Mr. Paige earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Florida. He has a Master of Education from University of Georgia and a second master's degree in U.S. History from the University of North Florida.
Don Paige Upper School Head

Mark Brown, History

Mark Brown has been teaching a variety of history courses in Jacksonville for over six years. He comes to Shorecrest from the Bolles School, where he also served as an assistant track and field coach. He relocated to the Tampa Bay Area with his wife, who works as a nurse practitioner at All Children’s Hospital, and their two-year-old son, Danny. Mr. Brown received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Florida State University, where he also competed on the FSU track and field team.
Mark Brown history teacher

Courtney Ellis '02, US Counselor / AP Psychology Teacher

After working in private practice for nine years, Ms. Ellis will return to Shorecrest to serve as the Upper School Counselor. Ms. Ellis graduated from Shorecrest in 2002 where she took the AP Psychology course that she will now teach! Ms. Ellis received her Bachelor of Science in Family, Youth, and Community Services from the University of Florida, and her master's degree in Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Courtney Ellis counselor Upper School

Melissa Estremera, Computer Sciences / STEAM

Melissa Estremera relocated from the Baton Rouge area, where she was a science and technology teacher since 2015. During that time she has coached robotics, taught AP Computer Science Principles, and directed the Supervised Science Research program at the Episcopal School of Baton Rouge. Before Baton Rouge, she worked as a computer education teacher and IT manager at the Saint James Episcopal School in Warrenton, VA for five years. Ms. Estremera received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and her Master of Education in School Administration from Regent University.
Melissa Estremera, Computer Sciences teacher

Anne Michelle Frey '02, Math Department Chair

Anne Michelle Frey transitions to the Shorecrest Upper School after seven years working as a math teacher in the Shorecrest Middle School. Beyond teaching middle school math, she has also served the school in a host of ways including creating a character education curriculum, leading new faculty orientation, and co-leading the school’s accreditation process. Ms. Frey, a Shorecrest alumna, received her bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame. She also has earned two master’s degrees; a Master of Education from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Non-Profit Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
Anne Michelle Frey math chair

Dolores Gende, Physics

Dolores Gende comes to us with 35 years teaching experience from a variety of schools, both national and international. Most recently, she was teaching at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, FL. She has experience teaching all levels of physics, and has served as a presenter at a plethora of conferences that train AP Physics teachers. She is also a column editor for the American Association of Physics Teachers, a group that awarded her a Fellowship in 2017. Ms. Gende received her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Iberoamerican University, and a specialized graduate degree in environmental studies from Michigan State University.
Dolores Gende, Physics teacher

Steven Gende, English

Steven Gende brings 41 years of teaching experience from a variety of schools, both national and international. Most recently, he was teaching at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, FL. Beyond teaching a host of different English classes (including IB and AP levels), he has also taught Speech, Finance, Debate, and Theater. He has also served a variety of administrative functions at previous schools including Director of Development and Communications and Interim Upper School Principal. Mr. Gende has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Speech Communication from the University of Illinois. He also has two master’s degrees: a Master of Arts in English and Rhetoric from New Mexico State University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University.
Steven Gende, English teacher

Dr. Ashley Grimaldi, Chemistry / Biology

Dr. Ashley Grimaldi moved to the Tampa Bay Area last summer and spent the year serving as a Shorecrest tutor and a life sciences teacher at the Academy of Holy Names. Prior to that, she taught biology, environmental science, and study skills at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando. Dr. Grimaldi received her bachelor's degree in biology from University of Colorado at Boulder, and holds a doctorate in cell and developmental biology from Vanderbilt University.
Ashley Grimaldi science teacher

Casey McDonough, 3D Arts and Design / Yearbook

Casey McDonough has been a practicing artist for over 15 years, and an art teacher since serving as an Instructor of Record at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. He has shown his work at over 25 exhibitions in the last decade, many of which were located in the vibrant St. Petersburg Ceramics community. Mr. McDonough received his bachelor's degree in marine science and studio art from Eckerd College. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Mr. McDonough has an art exhibition currently on display at HCC in Tampa. View some art and learn more at: https://www.hccfl.edu/dm/gallery-221/current.aspx.
Casey McDonough art teacher
Other Upper School updates:
Erich Schneider, Science Department Chair, has assumed the added role of Assistant Head of the Upper School, Academic Dean. He will serve a myriad of functions at the Upper School including supervising faculty development and coordinating curriculum planning. Erich brings 25 years of independent school teaching experience, as well as 11 years of experience serving as the Associate Dean of the Phillips Exeter summer program.

Ron Heller, History Teacher, has assumed the new role of Upper School Research and Student Support Teacher. Mr. Heller will provide writing, citation, and other general research support to students. He will also serve as the school’s liaison with the College Board and the ACT for students submitting paperwork to receive accommodations on national standardized tests. Lastly, he will supervise a quiet study and testing area for students.

Retirees who will not be returning to Upper School this year include: Richard Beaton, Jim Henderson, and Tony Napodano.


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.