Founders’ Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the Community

2009 - Alison Deutsch Schonwald '87
2008 - Captain Curtis DeLoach '81
2007 - Beverly Knight Olson '68
2006 - Dr. Ken Broad '84
2005 - Laurinda Spear '68
2004 - John Flickinger '74 & Doug Weiser '74
2003 - Harry H. Anderson, Jr.'38


2010 Founder's Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the Community

André Williams '85

André L. Williams is a real estate attorney and has practiced law in South Florida since 1993.  He has a full-service real estate law firm that represents real estate developers, businesses and non-profit organizations.

André was elected Councilman in the City of Miami Gardens in 2006. Miami Gardens is the largest predominantly African American city in Florida with a population of over 110,000 and the third largest city in Miami- Dade County. He is a hometown guy – returning to the community where he grew up after his graduation from law school.

André has been featured in TIME magazine for leading the City of Miami Garden’s efforts to help its residents through the foreclosure crisis and in the Huffington Post, the Miami Herald and on NPR. He is also the principal of Pendragon Investment Group, Inc., and owns a Liberty Tax franchise in Miami Gardens.

André has been by the South Florida Business Journal and the Daily Business Review. He participated in the Miami Fellows Initiative, sponsored by the Kellogg Foundation, which develops emerging leaders in Miami-Dade County. André has appeared as South Florida's Most Influential in Who's Who in Black South Florida's Inaugural Edition and in Success South Florida magazine.

André was a panelist on the panel discussion, "Standing Together: Support for Israel in the African American Community," at the AIPAC Policy Conference in 2007 and 2008 where he discussed ways to deepen ties between the pro-Israel movement and the black community. André also joined other African American leaders on trip to Israel in 2007 sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation. While in Israel, he met with leading policymakers, analysts, business leaders, journalists and non-profits and developed a much broader understanding of Israeli culture and society and the Middle Eastern conflict.

He is a member of Mt. Hermon AME Church in Miami Gardens. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. André received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature from Harvard University and his law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law. While at Ransom Everglades, André was a member of the Key Club and Varsity Wrestling team.

André is currently a candidate for U.S. Congress, 17th Congressional District, which represents South Broward and North Miami Dade County.


2010 Head of School's Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the Community

Henry Stavinsky '85

 The following is Henry's introduction by Head of School Ellen Moceri:

This brilliant alum has a BS in Math from MIT; an MS in Computer Science from MIT; an MS in Industrial Education from Stanford, and he did his Doctoral Studies in Quantitative Metrology at Berkley.

With all of that brilliance, he chose to teach at Ransom Everglades. Since 1999 Henry Stavisky has taught at RE. Almost every year I get a letter from MIT saying that one of his students has chosen him as the most influential and inspirational teacher they had in high school. And Henry teaches everyone - - from Algebra 1 students to BC Calculus and beyond. He even wrote the Algebra 11 book that we use. Jean Duty, Chair of the Math Department, says, "I am not sure what the Math Department would do without him." I’m not sure what any of us would do without Henry. Students who have had him end up teaching math to their friends in college. Because of Henry they really understand calculus; their friends do not.

 What separates Henry from the pack is his dual passion for mathematics and for his students. In 2007, Henry won the Inaugural MIT Alumni Association Award for the most inspiring teacher. I would like to read to you what the student who nominated him had to say about him.

 "I would like to thank you for the impact you have had on my life. As I prepare for my graduation from MIT, I can see how far in life the love of math and science and in striving for my best will take me. This joy in working hard and appreciating the wonderful intricacies in math and science is something you showed me everyday and by doing so, instilled in your students their great admiration for you. I would never have made it to MIT without you, and now, I can’t imagine being as happy as I am if I had not gone to MIT. There are not enough words to express the enormous gratitude and debt I owe to you. I hope you realize how much your students love you and the profound impact you have on their lives."

I can’t think of anyone who deserves this award more than Henry Stavisky.


2009 Founder's Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the Community

Alison Deutsch Schonwald '87

The following is an introduction by Head of School Ellen Moceri for Alison Deutsch Schonwald '87, the 2009 Founder's Award recipient:

The Founders’ Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have helped to fulfill the vision of the founders of the Ransom and Everglades Schools. It is awarded to individuals who have been deeply concerned about their communities and who have demonstrated honor, courage and leadership. Through loyal attitude, inspired spirit and unselfish action, they have fulfilled the mission of the Ransom Everglades School.

At this time, it gives me great pleasure to announce to you the winner of the Founders’ Alumni Award which is given each year to an alum, who through service and commitment to the community, has made a positive impact at a national level.

At this time it gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of the Founders’ Alumni Award which is given each year to an individual who through service and commitment to the community has made a positive impact at the national level. The award is given at this ceremony in honor of the mission of our school—t o train a leadership class that will give more to the community than they take from it. And this year’s winner, Alison Deutsch Schonwald, who graduated in 1987 from Ransom Everglades School, has had such an important national impact because of her scientific research, her community activism, her teaching and practice of medicine in the area of developmental and behavioral pediatrics aimed at developing a psychopharmacology for children with developmental issues, that she would also be the perfect Commencement speaker.

It is an incredibly daunting task to glean some highlights from Dr. Schonwald’s 19 page resume by way of introducing her to you. After graduating Valedictorian from Ransom Everglades School, she graduated cum laude from Yale University and received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, she is the Assistant in Medicine at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, the Medical Director of Advocating for Successful Kids at Children’s Hospital and the attending physician to the Developmental Medicine Center at Children’s Hospital. And in her spare time, she is an assistant professor in pediatrics with a specialty in developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

The list of awards she’s won is a mile long but let’s just name a few: The Mel Levine Award for Developmental Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Boston, the Distinguished Service Award in Eastern Massachusetts from the Association for Retarded Citizens, The John Butler Award for the community service division of general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, and has been listed twice among the top doctors in pediatrics in Boston Magazine.

Among her many accomplishments are the following: She has led many groups to help parents with behavioral issues especially in the areas of autism and ADHD. Her special areas of focus for research, teaching, and clinical contributions have been aimed at improving developmental services in primary care settings, especially to further the goal of early identification of children with developmental needs. Psychopharmacology for children with development disabilities is her super specialty. And finally, the ASK Program, advocating successful ways to help under served children - - by that we mean those without emotional and financial resources - - access developmental services of all kinds. This program connects children with school problems, living in the urban Boston area, with afterschool mental help, educational and mentoring services vital to their social and emotional development.

Alison you have certainly been a leader in using your many talents to give far more to your community than you take from it. I applaud you.

Head of School's Award for Distinguished Service to the School


2009 - Debby Bussel '79
2008 - Matthew Greer '96
2007 - Ray Zemon '66
2006 - Debi Braman Wechsler '78
2005 - William Holly '86
2004 - Eric Buermann '69
2003 - Hal Kendall '54


2009 Head of School's Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the School

Debby Bussel '79

The following is an introduction by Head of School Ellen Moceri for Debbby Bussel '79, the 2009 Head of School Award recipient:

The Head of School’s Alumni Award recognizes distinguished service to the Miami community that exemplifies Paul Ransom’s mission for Ransom Everglades School - - to train a leadership class that will give more to the community than they take from it.

It is my pleasure to nominate Debby Bussel ’79 for the 2009 Ransom Everglades Distinguished Alumni Head of School Award. Debby’s leadership skills and dedication to service nurtured first at the Everglades School and later, at Ransom Everglades, have had an enormous impact on countless individuals and the community as a whole. Debby’s professional life and volunteer work in the South Florida community have spanned causes ranging from social justice, to teen pregnancy prevention, to disaster response. Her international work has taken her to places like Haiti and Israel and the Palestinian territories. After a number of years of working at non-profit institutions, Debby established her own business, Bussel Philanthropy Associates, to help guide foundations, individuals and affinity groups in their philanthropy and to conduct philanthropic research.

Debby’s community volunteer work includes: Board Member of Planned Giving Council of Miami-Dade County, The New Israel Fund, Jewish Funds for Justice, Ransom Everglades School; Director of the Shepard Broad Foundation, Ruth K. Broad Biomedical Research Foundation; Mentor at the Yale School of Management Entrepreneurship Program. Debby has been the recipient of various awards and honors including: Professional Advisor of the Year to Leave a Legacy –a project of the Miami-Dade County Planned Giving Council; Fellow of New Ventures in Philanthropy; “Person Making a Difference” from the American Social Health Association; Excellence Award for Medicine and Hurricane Relief—given by Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Excellence Award for Serving Teens—given by Planned Parenthood Federation of America. We congratulate Debby for her many contributions to the Miami community.