Shorecrest Preparatory School Announces Jackson Willis Named U.S. Presidential Scholar

Willis, Shorecrest Class of 2015, to Attend Yale University

St. Petersburg, FL, May 07, 2015 –(– Shorecrest Preparatory School graduating senior Jackson Willis has been selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholar. Of the nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate high school this year, approximately 4,300 were selected as finalists. Of the finalists, Willis is one of only 141 students to be named a 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholar. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored Scholars annually based on their academic success, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

According to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, “Presidential Scholars demonstrate the accomplishments that can be made when students challenge themselves, set the highest standards, and commit themselves to excellence.”

Jackson Willis has attended Shorecrest since junior kindergarten and has a special family legacy at the school. His father, Bob, is an alumnus, and mother, Sally, is a former Shorecrest teacher. An Eagle Scout, Willis has done extensive work with the International Sea Turtle Commission. He is a founding member of the Shorecrest Honor Council and is pursuing the Global Scholars Initiative at Shorecrest. Willis has a passion for art and culture; he’s worked as a special intern to the Director of the Dali Museum and is an accomplished pianist. Willis is the Valedictorian for the Shorecrest Class of 2015 and will attend Yale University in the fall.

According to Shorecrest Head of School Mike Murphy, “Since he was four years old, Jackson Willis has engaged teachers at Shorecrest with his curious mind. He is a scholar, a gentleman and a loyal friend. I’ve seen him in intellectual discussions as well as knee-deep in mud on service trips. Regardless of the environment, Jackson is ready to participate and learn. We at Shorecrest are delighted to celebrate his success.”

Head of Shorecrest Upper School Tom Dillow adds, “Jackson is one of those rare species of learners that one encounters only so often in a career in education. We probably apply the terms “intellectually curious” and “critical thinker” a bit too loosely when describing high-performing students, but they seem to have been created with Jackson in mind. What makes him stand apart is not just his brain, which operates like a supercomputer, but the way he carries himself and treats others.”

This year’s Presidential Scholars award ceremony will take place June 21, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, parents and students can call the U.S. Presidential Scholars Office at 319-688-4345, or email

About Shorecrest:
Founded in 1923, Shorecrest Preparatory School is a PK(3) through 12th grade independent school located in Tampa Bay. By offering its families choice, support, and balance, Shorecrest graduates empathetic, independent thinkers who succeed at the university level, pursue their passions, and lead purposeful lives. Learn more at

Shorecrest Preparatory School
5101 1st St. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33703

Contact: Rachel Martin, Director of Marketing & Communications
Office: (727) 522-2111 ext. 223 or (727) 456-7509
Cell: (912) 667-2016

National Contact: U.S. Education Department Press Office
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Shorecrest Preparatory School
Rachel Martin