Of Ginny, Mrs. Burke says, “Her strong work ethic, high level of engagement, and willingness to take on academic challenges are all personal qualities that will serve her well in a college environment.”
Along with Mrs. Burke, Dr. Emerson Littlefield, Ginny’s AP Language and Composition teacher, notes her work ethic and positive attitude, “Ginny is an exceptional, multi-talented student, not only a very good English student but a star on our small Shorecrest stage. She is also bright, hardworking, cheerful and prompt with her assignments.”
Ginny raves about her experience in Dr. Littlefield’s class, “Dr. Littlefield did so much to help me become a much better writer, which is so important with college applications.” Even more than just functional applications like college essays, Ginny sees immense value in a liberal arts education, “The liberal arts help us understand the world, people and relationships.”
Unsurprisingly, relationships are at the heart of Ginny’s best Shorecrest memories. “My directors and theatre teachers, Mrs. Lee, Mr. Leavengood, Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Ahlin, they've definitely been the most valuable, influential teachers. They’ve taught me so much.”
There is no question that theatre is where Ginny’s heart lies. “Theatre has always been my happy place, my thing,” she says. The bonds between her and her cast members have proved to be a critical component to her success. Ginny insists, “Being together all the time, rehearsing, in theatre you make such great friends who are all really supportive of what you're doing, everyone wants the show to be good. Having supportive castmates is crucial to growing and learning as an artist.”
Ginny credits her fellow thespians for building her confidence as a performer, “When I was younger I would be afraid, ‘What if people don't think I'm good? What if they judge me?’ But having those supportive castmates just helps you open up and give it your all when you're onstage.”
Ginny’s present stage persona is free from even a shred of that aforementioned self doubt. Outside of Shorecrest she’s won a number of scholarships and awards including the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarship for Vocal Music and the Dolly Van Parys Performance Theatre Memorial Scholarship. Similarly, Ginny won first place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, placed second in the St. Petersburg Opera Guild High School Vocal Competition, and was selected to perform at the 2014 and 2016 Mayor’s Youth Showcase of Achievement.
Her greatest performance moment and most memorable Shorecrest moment are one in the same - “Performing 'Anything Goes' on mainstage [at the 2015 Florida State Thespian Festival] at the Straz Center in front of 2,600 people. It was such an incredible experience. I never imagined we would have an opportunity like that. It really brought our troupe close together.”
Thinking back to the start of her Shorecrest career, Ginny gives this advice to her freshman self, “Don't be afraid to try new things. Don't be afraid to sing in front of other people! Don't be afraid to be brave.” As she enters the next phase of her life, this time as a college freshman, she’s poised to take her own sage advice.