Shorecrest Prep Experience

The following is our (my family) experience with Shorecrest Preparatory in St. Petersburg, FL. I share this because selecting a school for your child is important and private school is expensive, especially Shorecrest. So you want to be sure your child is getting a great education, quality experience and you are getting an ROI on the  investment.


Overall, our experience with Shorecrest was dismal. I would NOT recommend to anyone.. However, I would say that the Shorecrest could be a fit for you IF the following are key attributes you seek:


- NO GOD in the school

- You think the US is a bad country (you are part  of the Woke and Cancel Culture)

- You prefer to live your life in fear


Else, there are many options. We found the teachers were irrationally biased and unwilling to accept alternative viewpoints for discussion, the protocols over the last year were inconsistent and draconian and the athletics lacked serious support. 


Below is my letter to the Head Master after she requested an "exit interview" since my son was leaving the school.  The irony is she was unwilling to even talk to me in the earlier part of the year when I requested it.


Selecting a school is difficult.....each school has challenges...however, LEADERSHIP allows the best to truly rise to the top.



Email response: 040921


Ms. Spencer (Head of School),


Thank you for the offer to meet for feedback about Jackson not returning to Shorecrest next year. At this point, I find your request interesting and perplexing, especially considering a primary driver of the change for Jackson was instigated by your unwillingness to have a discussion with me in the fall regarding your reasons for not allowing attendees to an outside football game.


At that time, I was requesting a sound reason for such a draconian protocol that was NOT aligned with the peer schools in our region. Instead of discussing, you referred me to a silent committee that ignored my request for the data to support the decision.


This spawned a critical view of the school, philosophy, and leadership, and we concluded:


  • Lack the leadership
    • As a CEO, I appreciate the challenges of leadership, however, being willing to have the hard conversations with unhappy customers is part of it.  You were unwilling to stand behind your decision and wanted to subvert your role to a committee. From that point, all decisions on protocols were assessed with a skewed view of true practicality versus “design by committee” to create sub-optimal solutions.
    • The President (Headmaster) is paid to make the final decisions and live with the consequences...
  • Lack of Athletic Support from the top (You)
    • There are numerous examples of the lack of support, including the initial protocol of no attendance to a football game TO a 2-person limit. 
    • Then we transitioned to basketball...where my son practiced every day and did NOT play a single game. This occurred while all peer schools continued executing their schedules for real games.  Unfortunately, this outcome was predicted, and we specifically asked the head coach BEFORE the season if they would play, and he took offense to the question and declared it a bad rumor.  Most games were canceled last minute, which added to the frustration.
    • And the finale was a last-minute removal of Jackson from the last track meet team that he had practiced diligently for all week (and expected to break a school record).  All of these situations were without adequate communication as to the WHY nor backed by credible information. We have rumors of a brother of an 8th grader had Covid, of which Jackson had no interaction.  AND track meets are a sparsely populated, outside event. If being outside is that dangerous, then no kid should be in school.

      A leader has to pick a side…it’s either a real danger or not….it can’t be a perceived danger when convenient.
  • Lack of commitment of a reasonable environment for our kids.  We all get the past year was unique, however, we all have to make decisions based on data and sound reasoning. Your approach was a compromise of hypocrisy and fearmongering. If the dangers were so great, then close the school. If the risks were acceptable, then make the environment the same for all kids (having some in school vs those at home was unfair and unbalanced…again the rumor mill overflows with at-home kids cheating).  Prudence is required, but this was an opportunity to allow the kids to grow though the controversy, instead of being beat down by it (verbal abuse by a teacher because a kid’s mask has dropped down is ridiculous).  The inability to play outside, sit together, and being berated for their mask usage was weak and hypocritical....again, a function of leadership.


Again, interesting that you suddenly care, while it was common knowledge by the Athletics department since February that Jackson was leaving the school. My perspective is that you are just executing your “check list” for closing the year, sending the request, rationalizing your decisions, and hoping the future is easier. Perhaps it will be, but realize that your decisions have a ripple effect on the future of the school. You have lost a student, athlete, donor, customer, and equally important, a promoter of the school…actually your leadership has created a demoter and I have shared these views with a few other parents.


Good luck with Shorecrest. Use this information and the last year as an opportunity to truly assess your leadership, identify areas of improvement and get a positive outcome of growth from it. 


Surely this will suffice as a valuable exit interview without the fluff.


Ron Hollis

Father of Jackson Hollis







From: Nancy Spencer <>
Sent: Friday, April 2, 2021 2:53 PM
To: Melanie Hollis <>
Cc: Julie Meyer <>
Subject: Shorecrest Exit Interview


Dear Dr. and Mrs. Hollis


I understand from the Admissions department that Jackson will not be returning to Shorecrest next year.  I am sorry that your child will be moving on from the Shorecrest community and I wanted to invite you to meet with me for an exit interview. My goal for this conversation is to learn from your perspective, to discover what went well for your family at Shorecrest, and also gather feedback about where the School has opportunity for growth.


If you are interested in speaking with me, please contact my assistant Julie Meyer, whom I am cc’ing, to set up a time for us to talk. Many thanks for considering this request. 


All the best,



Nancy Spencer
Head of School

Shorecrest Preparatory School

Shorecrest Preparatory School

5101 First Street Northeast | St. Petersburg, FL 33703

727-522-2111 x 102 | phone
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