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

Meet Michael Cañizares, Valedictorian

Class of 2022 Valedictorian, Michael Cañizares, personifies the Mission and Core Values of Shorecrest. A 15-year lifer who began at Shorecrest at 3 years old, Michael upholds the four pillars of the School’s mission as a top scholar, talented musician, dedicated athlete, and committed community leader. He is known for tackling academic challenges, finding connections between subjects, and pursuing his interests with gusto. 

Of Cuban, Costa Rican, and Peruvian descent, Michael feels deeply connected to his family’s heritage and the Spanish Language. When faced with a choice between taking AP Literature or AP Spanish - because students are capped at 10 AP courses - Michael chose to pursue AP Spanish because he was told it would be the more challenging for him of the two. He is a member of the National Art Society, Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society, National Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society.

Faculty and students alike see Michael as someone who sets the standard for everyone else. This is evidenced by his nomination by his teachers and his peers for all four of the Shorecrest Core Value Awards - Responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Knowledge and Compassion, respectively - and by his selection to serve on the Honor Council since ninth grade. 
Michael has been at Shorecrest for the majority of his life. “My earliest Shorecrest memory was in Alpha. Even though this is weirdly specific, I remember making chocolate pudding with oreos and gummy worms and calling it ‘worms in dirt,’” Michael shares. 

Over those 15 years, he appreciates the connections he’s made with his teachers, acknowledging Mrs. [Anne Michelle] Frey as the most influential of the bunch. “Since I moved up a year in math, I’ve had her as a math teacher in 7th grade, 8th grade, 10th grade and as an econ teacher in 12th grade. She was also my advisor in 8th grade, 11th grade, and 12th grade, so I’ve spent more time with her than any other teacher.”

A talented musician, Michael has a passion for music, playing the drums, guitar and piano. He combines his musical prowess with his academic ones, merging his understanding of physics and music theory to build and restore old guitars.

Michael also combines his passion for music with his desire to serve his community. During the COVID shutdown in 2020, Michael converted an attic in his family’s home into a music studio so he would be able to compose and record his own songs. He even created short music videos to send to elderly homes in the Tampa Bay Area. He shares his time volunteering with organizations like Feeding Tampa Bay, The Kind Mouse and Tampa Bay Watch, winning him the  2021 Anne Frank Humanitarian Award, a top community award given to a student who dedicates themselves to service in their community. 

Rounding out his Shorecrest experience, Michael is a committed member of the Chargers Track & Field team and qualified for the State Meet his senior year, setting a personal record in Pole Vaulting of 12’10” and placing 8th in the State. Participating in athletics was a stress reliever and source of balance for Michael. He recalls, “My favorite Shorecrest memory is going to Pole Vault practice after school. I would always be thinking about it during class, and even when I had a bad day, I always had something to look forward to.”

Michael will matriculate to the University of Notre Dame where he intends to study physics. 

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.