#ShorecrestValues

A Tribute to Señora Andrés and Dr. Littlefield

by Rebecca Reeder, Shorecrest parent
Shorecrest is saying farewell to two long-standing faculty members at the end of the 2018-19 school year. Señora Teresa Andrés, Upper School Spanish Teacher, has been at Shorecrest since the fall of 1980. Emerson “Doc” Littlefield, Upper School English Teacher, began his Shorecrest tenure in 1984. Both educators are known for building a deep rapport with students, and having a knack for keeping lessons relevant. Their presence on campus will be deeply missed.

To find one teacher in an outstanding faculty who can balance caring relationships with students, and push them to grow both personally and professionally in ways those students never expected, is a gift. To have two leaders at the same time, who can hold that standard builds a community of excellence. Señora Andres and Doc Littlefield have consistently instilled in their students an understanding of their specialized subject matter that lasts a lifetime and influences careers. The experience of being taught by them leaves students feeling cared for in a very personal way.

It is the memories and observations of students, who have experienced the gift of inspiration as it affects their own life that truly honor the work of Señora Andres and Doc Littlefield. Current and former students, as well as colleagues reacted to the announcement of their retirement with remarks of gratitude and stories of how deeply their lives had been touched. Our entire community is better for their dedicated service.

As a former faculty member, I have fond memories of Terri and Emerson! Congrats on a fabulous career. Your legacy lives on in the students that were privileged to have had you as instructors. - Mark Bouziane

Dr. Littlefield taught my daughter several years ago. To this day, she feels that he was one of her best English teachers ever! He set the bar high and expected his students to strive for excellence. He will be missed. I also enjoyed working with Emerson and coming to know him as a friend. - Dave Ballard, Alumni Parent

I had Doc for AP Language & Composition.  I'd go back for rewrites, stay after. He helped me grow tremendously as a writer. It doesn't matter what program you create or device you develop. If you cannot communicate your ideas to people, success is much harder to achieve.  - Juliette Shelton ‘18

Congrats to you both on such a long and committed career to the Students of Shorecrest. I appreciate what you gave me to take on the world as a Dad and in my professional career. Cheers! - Scott Bruce ‘87

The lessons these remarkable educators pass along to their students are gifts that can be realized at unexpected times. Often, the impressions Señora and Doc have made come into stark relief long after daily assignments, and striving for grades is forgotten.

I wanted to send a note of congratulations on a wonderful career.  She taught me Spanish during high school all the way to AP Spanish. I am now fluent and use Spanish every day in my practice  here in Miami. In my line of work we say "time is brain" for stroke patients. Every second counts to get patients the treatment they need.  The majority of my patients only speak Spanish. I can communicate with my patients and do not need an interpreter saving critical time. Indirectly, she has helped save countless lives. For this, I, along with all my Spanish-speaking patients  will be eternally grateful. I wish her all the best in retirement. - Keith G. DeSousa M.D. ‘02, Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Division of Vascular Neurology, Department of Neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Director Stroke Division/Interventional Neurology-Jackson South Medical Center

I remember writing out long hand an essay on The Odyssey. THREE TIMES. With edits and rewrites. And had to get it right. Each time I thought I had it right, but Dr. Littlefield didn’t think so. His class served me well and I still remember it as I grade papers as a college professor! - Lillian Nave ‘91

Blessed to have been taught by both of these tremendous educators! Twenty-four years into my own teacher career, I have nothing but gratitude and respect for you both. Thank you for instilling the gift of perseverance and the love of life-long learning in me. Congratulations on your retirement! - Taylor Munro ‘88

There are many facets to developing motivated and altruistic students. Shorecrest faculty are committed to giving students opportunities to become well rounded citizens. For a week in the spring, Shorecrest encourages its students to spend a week in the service of their community, locally, across the country and around the world. A quick look at the offerings for Service Week 2019, and the commitment shown by these beloved teachers is in evidence. Señora Andrés took a group to Great Explorations to work with preschoolers and find service opportunities teaching younger community members. Doc linked a group of students to Habitat for Humanity Pinellas County helping them understand that meeting the daily, basic needs of our entire community improves life for us all.
 
Señora and Doc have also recently integrated new aspects of technology into their classrooms. Just this semester Doc was keeping books that have been read for hundreds of years relevant in the age of social media, and Señora could be found giving her students a virtual reality tour of Buenos Aires, Argentina. “In preparation for our upcoming movie and lesson about Argentina’s history and foreign influences in the development of its capital, Buenos Aires, I thought how wonderful it would be for my students if they could use the new VR technology for that experience,” said Sra. Andrés. “I wanted my students to fall in love with the city, the sights, and the culture so that they would want to travel there someday!”

Recent graduate Holly Morris ‘17 remembers Doc this way:

Doc is one of those people you immediately look up to even if you don’t know him because of how intelligent he is. I knew who he was before I even entered high school from hearing my siblings and their friends talk about how great his class is. You hear from upperclassmen how amazing of a teacher he is, so naturally, I was so excited when I finally was able to have him as a teacher my junior year for AP Lang, and again the following year for AP Lit. I looked forward to going to his class everyday because discussions were always interesting, and he always maintained an exciting and fun classroom environment. I’m sure I am not alone when I say that I attribute my success in writing to Doc Littlefield’s teaching. In fact, Doc is the whole reason I decided to major in English. Doc was able to show me that writing is not only something that I succeeded in, but something I actually have fun doing. Thank you, Doc, for your unconditional dedication to your students, for everything you did day in and day out to keep class fun, and for letting us have class outside!!

When the observations of current students attest to the fact that these teachers keep their subjects fun and relevant, and reflect the sentiments of former students, it’s not hard to imagine how the examples of consistency and dedication set by Doc and Señora will endure.

I feel fortunate that I was able to have Doc as a teacher for 2 years as I learned so much about writing from him! In Doc’s class, his passion for the books and poems was clear, and I could always tell that he truly loved what he taught. I remember always being entertained in his class because of the voices he would do when reading passages and poems. For example, in AP Literature we read the Time Traveler by HG Wells and there was a confusing scene with some of the characters. Doc simplified it by using funny voices to get the message across and I’ll never forget that. I was also lucky enough to have Doc as my advisor senior year and he was a supportive and helpful force throughout the college process and just a really nice person to talk to. - Sarah Miller ‘19

Señora Andrés es un poco loca. That is, she is crazy for her students. Señora is incredibly compassionate and understanding. She watches over her students as if we are one large family. She is one to laugh along with her students, to celebrate with her students when they succeed, and even to share a tear with her students. Coming to the end of my senior year at Shorecrest, after class one day, Senora shed tears of joyful sadness with me as we reflected over the wonderful experiences we’ve had here, how they must come to an end, and what we have to look forward to. It’s rare to find someone so passionate about what they do that it occasionally brings them to tears. I know I will miss her and others will as well. Thank you for everything Señora. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be your student. - Christopher Canizares ‘19

More than the lessons, more than students still fluent in a second language, or professionals who are more successful because they are fantastic writers, what stands out most when we reflect on these legacies are the relationships that both Doc and Señora nurtured with their students.

I was fortunate to spend two years being taught by Señora Andrés--during my sophomore and juniors years. In that time, I was able to forge a bond with her that I didn't think was possible between a teacher and a teenage student. I am forever grateful for her, as I am now fluent in Spanish and was thus able to be accepted and attend medical school in Puerto Rico. Señora Andrés and I were so close in high school that I was able to confide in her and have private conversations (not pertaining to school material) with her at any moment. She pushed us as students, which wasn't the most pleasant at the time, but in retrospect, truly made a difference. A true barometer of one's legacy is longevity. Señora Andrés not only taught my sister and I but also my mother and her two brothers. Shorecrest should be honored to have had such a wonderful Spanish teacher for the past 4 decades. Te amo, señora :). Thank you. - Jacob S. Alexander ‘14

I remember vividly Josh Bernstone and I bringing in our guitars and amps one day after school and Dr. Littlefield was gracious enough to let us 'jam' in his classroom after school.. as long as he could hang out and listen. And I'll never forget the look on his face when we played something and he asked "what's that?" I think it was some ZZ Top song that we told him it was all I remember was his deadpan.. "No, it's not."  Just a taste of how he always challenged us to do better, spend more time on our craft - whether it was Shakespeare or Van Halen. He gave me a rock solid literature foundation and a friendship later on that I'll always cherish. - Mark Wilson ‘87

Sra. Andres was truly my mentor and my mother at school, watching out for me and giving me the support she knew I needed (which I didn't know I needed!). - Nancy Bagot ‘85

Sra. Andrés was so good to me during my Shorecrest years. She was an excellent Spanish teacher and mentor... I remember exchanging letters during my freshman year of college when I was a bit homesick. I wish you all the best in retirement! - Debra Bankston Weeks ‘83

Honoring a remarkable educator today unavoidably omits the influence and inspiration they will pass along tomorrow. It is difficult to imagine who but Señora Andres could greet students with a smile, and be the touchpoint for people in the future to receive life-saving medical care. Without Doc Littlefield to understand his students as individuals, how will future classes learn to understand each other? We will have to rely on the examples Doc and Señora have set, and the current and future professionals they’ve helped to develop to continue their legacy beyond retirement.

Señora and Doc, all of us at Shorecrest will do our best to work hard with smiles on our faces, while we keep our sense of humor, and make you both very proud!

Related video: Hear some remarks about Señora and Doc made by Head of Upper School, Don Paige, in a recent assembly.

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St Petersburg, FL 33703
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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.