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

Looking for Mr. Dickcissel and Other Unexpected Beauties

by Mike Murphy, Headmaster
Recently I showed up at the Ranger’s House at Fort De Soto, and before getting out of my car, I knew something special had happened. When more than 10 birders are gathered in the same place, they are either on a field trip with a group, or there has been the sighting of an unusual bird. In this instance, someone had seen a Dickcissel, a bird not commonly seen at Fort De Soto. Some migrate through Florida when heading from South America to the central states to breed. Despite all my years as a birder, I had never seen one, and I did not see one that day.

The same day, one of our new colleagues at Shorecrest who had recently seen “Cinderella,” commented that he had never seen such a high quality school production. “Stick around and you will see more like that,” was my reply. Upon reflection, I wonder how many individuals and families do not realize the talent of the students and directors at our school. I am sure many people were amazed at the depth of talent showcased during “Cinderella.” No wonder the show recently received seven nominations for the 2018-19 Broadway Star of the Future Awards. For many new members of our community, Shorecrest theatre is an unexpected joy.

A week earlier, two of our track athletes, Trevor Bernstein ‘19 and Andrea Romero ‘20, while competing in the District Track and Field Meet broke school records in Pole Vault. Trevor, who had never been higher than 12’ 9.5” broke the school record with a jump of 13’ 10”. Andrea broke the school record with a jump of 10’ 2”. Both are flying right up their with the migrating dickcissels.

Anyone who has taken the time to listen to our Middle School Robotics Team members - Ava P, Alexis V, Lili S, Alexander W, Luca D, Adam R, Noah J, Ryan M, Patrick M, and Carson G - describe their entry for innovation awards, is in for a jaw-dropping experience. The team focused on the following question: How can we improve the movement or flow of lymphatic fluids for the human body during long space exploration to support an astronaut’s immune system? Our students may be on to an idea that could improve the health and comfort of future astronauts. Years ago, this kind of thinking was limited to space agencies and private research firms. Today, at Shorecrest, teachers like Dr. Anna Baralt and Christine Scoby are providing opportunities for our students to do the totally unexpected! Maybe in years to come our expectations will change and innovation and discovery at a high level will be the norm at school. That would be fabulous. But for now, this achievement is amazing to everyone who hears the story.

Hopefully, readers of ebytes (sent every Friday to parents), the Head’s Emails (sent every Monday to parents) and others have learned that our State Champion swimmer, Caleb Kravitz ‘20 is a finalist in the TeenDrive365 Video Challenge. Even more importantly, I hope you voted for him in the People’s Choice category. Caleb’s stop-motion film on distracted driving is nothing less than awesome. His teachers knew he was on to a great idea. They knew he was putting in an enormous amount of time to perfect his idea and film. Wow! Who would have known this was happening at Shorecrest? Now we do.

This is the tip of the proverbial iceberg of amazing opportunities that our students and their teachers engage in every day. Clearly, some people make extraordinary efforts to create the beauty and unexpectedly exemplary projects we see. Hopefully, the successes of this generation of Chargers will inspire those who are younger to strive for excellence, and in doing so share with others the moments of awe a star performance, a record breaking achievement, a revolutionary innovation, a nationally recognized video, a rare bird and other unexpected beauties can bring to our lives.

Cheers!

Mike

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.