Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Meet Courtney Moore

Courtney Moore has an outstanding memory. She remembers playing on a loft at age three in Alpha class at Shorecrest 15 years ago, and Mrs. Bassford’s fifth grade science class. It is this sharp mind and attention to detail that will keep her on the pre-med track the next four years at Boston’s Northeastern University Honors Program.

“During my campus visit, I got to see some classes and meet some professors and everybody was so passionate about what they were learning. It reminded me a lot of Shorecrest, actually, because they have a big focus on experiential learning,” she says.

“Shorecrest is so much a part of who I am today, how I think and how I feel,” Courtney continues. “And it’s because of experiences that I’ve had at Shorecrest that I am the way that I am and like certain types of learning over other types of learning. It was in Mr. Collins’ class (seventh grade life science) I really found a love for biology and now I’m going into college as a biochem major. So, it’s kind of thanks to him for introducing that to me and making me love life science. I know he knows that I loved his class. I would study super hard for everything. I had 100% in his class because I loved it so much. Our first real dissections were in that class.”

Northeastern also allows for undergraduate research, a goal Courtney has set for herself. “I want to get involved in research next year. As a freshman it’s an ambitious goal, definitely, but I’m lucky enough to be going to a school that fosters that environment and works with freshmen to help them do that. I love biology and genetics and things like that, so I hope to either just help out a professor on some of their research or come up with an idea for my own.”

Courtney got a taste for that at a 2-week summer program at Boston University a few years ago. “It was my first introduction to what college is like. We took two classes, a morning class and an afternoon class, but other than that we had free time.”

Courtney chose to take classes in Abnormal psychology and infectious diseases. She says, “Those were some really interesting classes and definitely allowed me to further explore my interests in humans and biology. We would do research projects on tuberculosis, influenza, anxiety and all different disorders and present them to the class. It was fun and I made friends there, one of them will be at Northeastern.”
“Northeastern also wants you to get out in the community and do service. And I can’t wait,” she excitedly says. No stranger to service, Courtney Moore stopped tracking her high school service hours at 225, but clearly surpassed that number. She organized the 2017 Service Week program to New Orleans along with classmate Chisom Nwokedi, volunteered at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, and assisted every year with Relay For Life until finally Co-Chairing the event her senior year with classmate Jordan Jacobson. It’s no surprise that she was the female recipient of the Senior Service Award and the Outstanding Citizen Award in 2017.

When reflecting on service, her sharp memory comes in handy again. “I started a Relay For Life team with my friend when I was in Middle School. We had Cupcakes for a Cure with my Girl Scout troop.”

Her work with Relay continued to ramp up through each year of Upper School, “[Freshman year] I did fundraising and organized pre-Relay events, and that taught me how to organize things.” She had the idea to bring the Shorecrest community together for a Movie under the Stars as a Relay fundraiser, and brought that event to fruition with another classmate. “It took a year to get off the ground. Later I was the Mission Committee Co-chair with Jordan, who I Co-Chaired the event with this year.”

But organizing service and cultural opportunities for a group of over 20 people in a different state brought on a whole new skill set. Courtney was first approached by Chisom Nwokedi about organizing a Service Week trip to New Orleans early on in their junior year. Chisom used to live there, and her family joined the Shorecrest community when they fled Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“We had worked together before in SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions, an Upper School club at Shorecrest) and on class projects. We knew we worked well together. I knew it would be a lot of work. We went to Mr. Duran-Medina (Director of Service Learning) for help, and he had worked at HandsOn New Orleans. It kind of built itself up from there.”

Upper School History Teacher Daniel Asad was one of the adult chaperones on the trip. “Our last night at dinner I sat across from Miss Moore,” he said. “That’s when I finally had the opportunity to tell her what an impact she made on the group. I told her that humans remember the highs and lows of their lives and basically forget everything else, and this was a high-mark event on their lives. She gave them great memories they'll have for life about a new city and culture they got to experience and help rebuild.”
When asked what she will miss most about Shorecrest, Courtney immediately says, “The community. I love the Class of 2017 dearly. I’ve known 29 of them forever, and at least 13 since Alpha. For fun I hang out with my friends; five of us tend to clump together. It’s so nice to have them there, that support system to kind of bring the de-stressing we all need when you’re very busy with life and in the middle of hectic crazy things. Erin Phares was my biggest support system. She has saved me and kept me sane through a lot of life’s hectic moments, especially this year.”

“There are some people like Ben Pearson, Zack Savitsky or Clay DiGiorgio who are so smart and they tend to see things differently than I do. It’s like two completely different mindsets working toward the same goal. Every interaction I’ve had with them has given me another way to look at things. And Sophie Wiltshire has set a great personal example. I think of all that she’s been through and where she’s come to now, and she’s such an amazing person and she’s so nice to everyone. She always has a positive outlook and tries to make the world a better place. And then she was top scholar this year! It’s inspiring just to know her and have her as a classmate.”

Courtney continues, “Over the summer, I read the book “Every Day” by David Levithan along with a group of Upper School students. It opened me up to so many more perspectives.” In the young adult novel, the teen protagonist wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. “The book throws you into the life of someone who has depression or someone who is facing prejudice. It gave me such a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone else. How on the surface life might seem the same for everybody, but it’s actually so different. It was just amazing and I definitely came back from summer with a new appreciation for everyone’s differences and what makes a person a person.”

And this is what makes Courtney the person she is. She takes an opportunity - even a simple summer reading assignment or a Movie Under the Stars - and makes it a learning experience from which she will grow and improve.
    • Miss Moore's early exposure to science in second grade at Shorecrest

Shorecrest Preparatory School

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.