Ransom Everglades Head of School Penny Townsend announced the appointment of Shawn N. Costantino as the founding Director of Arts at Ransom Everglades.
Costantino currently serves as Performing Arts Department Chair at Harvard-Westlake School and Professor of Jazz Studies at Occidental College. He will join Ransom Everglades on July 1.
The new Director of Arts position is designed to elevate arts education at Ransom Everglades while forging a stronger connection between the school and Miami’s multicultural arts community. Costantino will oversee the performing and visual arts programs at the upper school and middle school, working alongside the school’s academic leaders and department heads.
“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Costantino to this important new post at Ransom Everglades,” Townsend said. “His passion for the arts, performance background, classroom experience and extensive leadership skills make him the perfect fit for this position and our school.”
Costantino has spent the last 15 years as Director of Instrumental Music and the last three as department chair at the Los Angeles-based Harvard-Westlake, which is considered one of the top independent schools in the nation. He has presided over the production of 20-30 events annually, taught a variety of classes and remained active as a professional saxophonist.
Since 2013, he has also overseen the jazz program at Occidental College in Los Angeles, directing the jazz ensemble and combo and teaching jazz theory, improvisation and saxophone lessons.
The move represents something of a homecoming for Costantino, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Music and Jazz with a minor in Music Business at the University of Miami, where he was a full tuition merit scholarship recipient. He worked briefly as Musical Director at Miami-based Royal Caribbean, before heading to DePaul University in Chicago to pursue his master’s in Jazz Pedagogy.
Performance remains a part of his professional life; in addition to his love of teaching, he also has worked as a professional studio musician – playing music for shows including American Idol, The Voice and America’s Got Talent – and is a performing artist for Yamaha Corporation of America.
Born in Boston, Costantino developed his love for music in middle and high school as part of the prestigious Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble, and while attending Boston University Tanglewood Institute and Interlochen Arts Camp. Costantino, his wife Chloe, daughter Nora Grace, and dogs Ella and Brady will be driving east at the end of June, and – Costantino shared – are “absolutely ecstatic to be joining the wonderful community at Ransom Everglades!”
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.