Alice Darrow was the 2015 Shorecrest Prom Queen, and it's no surprise that the warm-hearted young woman was chosen. She is kind, thoughtful, encouraging, and has a smile that lights up a room. And this Prom Queen isn't just a pretty face, she is a dedicated young scholar, an inspired playwright, and a meticulous editor.
A Shorecrest "lifer" who has proudly been a Charger since she was a preschooler, Alice describes her time in the Lower School as very formative years for her—a time when teachers really helped her along and challenged her to do her best. Ironically, it was a teacher who she was frustrated with who made the biggest impact - her fourth grade teacher, Mr. Lee. "Mr. Lee didn't put me in honors math and I was so mad. So the next year I just did all the honors math work anyway, even though I wasn't supposed to. I worked really hard and the following year, I was finally in honors math! It was Mr. Lee who inspired me to work hard for something I really wanted."
Math and science are two subjects that have really sparked a passion for Alice. She now attends the University of Florida Honors Program, and she's very excited to pursue computer science and engineering while there. But it's not just STEM subjects that captured her interests—Alice also discovered a gift for writing while at Shorecrest.
Despite her part time job at a pottery painting studio, Alice proclaims that she is not an artsy type, so she signed up for Bill Leavengood's playwriting class to fulfill her art credit. "I showed up the first year and wrote a really terrible play about twin brothers who make furniture," says Alice. But after three years of dedication writing monologues and working through some inspired ideas, this year Alice finished her second play—and it went on to win the Florida Critics' Choice award, the state's highest honor for young playwrights. What's more, her play was produced at the American Stage student festival and again through the Young Dramatists Project. "Playwriting is something I never would have dabbled in without Shorecrest," says Alice.
Her passion for writing goes beyond plays to include journalism. For the past two years she has served as the Editor of the high school newspaper
, and in her senior year she also served as Editor of the literary magazine. As such, she’s been in charge of everything from story selection to layout. Jim Henderson, her journalism teacher and paper advisor, has never once regretted the decision to put her in charge. Henderson says, "She has been one of the best, if not the
best, editor I've had in my 13 years as The Chronicle
Alice ran for the Chargers Cross Country and Track teams for five years, and was looking forward to Junior Year as an opportunity to be viewed by college scouts. Unfortunately, she spent most of the season injured. She could be crying about this, but instead she volunteered at track events and tried her first air-conditioned sport - Varsity Bowling - to keep a team atmosphere in her afternoons and spend time with her younger brother before leaving for college.
Dave Hyink, her AP biology teacher sums it up, "I'm not sure what Alice will be doing in ten years, but whatever it is I imagine it will be something that helps make the world a better place. And I'll be proud to say ‘I knew her when...’"