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A moving upper school awards night

On a night Ransom Everglades announced its 2021 valedictorian and salutatorian and presented a host of major upper school awards, the moment that got everyone a bit misty-eyed came when outgoing student body president Georgia Crosby ’21 presented the Student Government Association Faculty Award. Crosby explained how students struggled to settle on just one deserving teacher.
 
So they gave the award to the entire RE faculty.
“Faced with some of the biggest challenges any educator could endure, [RE teachers] rose to the occasion,” Crosby said at the virtual 2021 Upper School Awards Ceremony on April 29. “You gave and you gave and you gave of your time. Regardless of your busy lives, your door stayed open and you made RE a more joyful and meaningful place during a global crisis …
 
“From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the student body, thank you … Thank you for opening your hearts. Thank you for inspiring.”
 
The virtual awards event brought other great moments: Head of the Upper School Patricia C.A. Sasser announced Erik Medina ’21 as the 2021 valedictorian and Maya Rosen ’21, the salutatorian. Both will give addresses at this year’s commencement. Medina also received the Excellence in Chemistry, M.I.T. Excellence in Math, and Excellence in Physics awards, and Rosen was recognized for Outstanding Achievement in World Languages and earned the Beverley B. Jones Science Award.
 
Head of School Penny Townsend emphasized at the start of the event that the night wasn’t just about awards, and it wasn’t intended to honor merely a few. “This is a night of gratitude, as well as night of recognizing some outstanding achievement,“ the head of school said. “We sincerely hope that, by honoring some of you, we are in turn honoring all of you.”
 
Noted Sasser: “Tonight is a community celebration. All of our students have worked so hard this year. It’s a year they have stretched and grown. They have shown up every day ready to learn. They have reflected on what’s important, and what really matters, and they have demonstrated their care and concern for their community, and for each other.”
 
The inaugural Antonio Tsialas ’19 Leadership Award was among a number of awards designed to honor that care and concern: Flavia Tomasello and John Tsialas tuned in to present the first-time award to Andre Joseph ’22. Sebastian Mateu ’21 won the Elliot Kayton ’96 Award, presented by Pamela Kayton Posner ’92. Yuhan Liu ’21 received the Robert Segall ’82 Leadership Award, presented by Howard Srebnick ’82; and Crosby earned the Ronni Weksler Bermont Service Award from William Bermont II ’93.

Daniella Sanchez ’21 claimed the Arthur Moses Student Award, and Clara Villalba ’22 earned the Princeton Service Award.
 
Associate Head of School John A. King, Jr., recognized retiring faculty members Tom Dughi, an English teacher and tennis coach who has been at RE for 25 years, and Ginny Onorati, a math teacher and middle school math team coach who has been at Ransom Everglades for 47 years, sharing emotional comments from a number of their peers. Both will join Ransom Everglades faculty emeriti at the end of this school year.
 
“None of us will forget the skill, dedication and friendship that Tom and Ginny have offered so many colleagues and students over the years,” King said. “I’m grateful for the time I have spent with both and I’m proud to have this honor of inducting Tom and Ginny into the ranks of faculty emeritus … I thank Tom and Ginny for everything they have given to Ransom Everglades, and wish both well in retirement.”

Department leaders and class deans recognized top students with a variety of department-specific awards: Jorge Guzman presented awards in visual arts; Jon Hamm, performing arts; Jen Nero, English and social sciences; James Monk, world languages; and Doug Heller, math, computer science and science. Dean of the Freshman Class Karen Thompson presented the freshman awards; Dean of the Sophomore Class Mandira Bose-Nyberg presented the sophomore awards; Dean of the Junior Class Tom Dughi presented the Junior Book Awards; and Dean of the Senior Class Greg Cooper presented a number of service-related awards.
 
Here’s a complete list of the 2021 Upper School Award Ceremony honorees:
 
Special Awards
Princeton Service Award: Clara Villalba ’22          
Elliot Kayton ’96 Award:  Sebastian Mateu ’21                  
Robert Segall ’82 Leadership Award: Yuhan Liu ’21          
Ronni Weksler Bermont Service Award: Georgia Crosby ’21         
Arthur Moses Student Award: Daniella Sanchez ’21
Antonio Tsialas ’19 Leadership Award: Andre Joseph ’22
 
Visual Arts
Studio Art: Isabelle Bremer ’21                                    
Photography: Emma Rosenthal ’21                       
Ceramics: Claire Holzman ’21
 
Performing Arts
John Philip Sousa Band Award: Leah Maduro ’23                
Louis Armstrong Jazz Award: Max Swietelsky ’21
Best Thespian: Jamie Lockhart ’21
Jane Kleinman Technical Theater Award: Felipe Clavijo ’21 & Magnus Oberg ’21
Lewis Family Award: Andres Soto ’21           
 
English
Dan Leslie Bowden Award: Mae Signorello ’23
Brown University: Lauren Heller ’22                      
Eleanor Crawford Backman English Award: Viviana Vela ’21                
Creative Writing: Felipe Campano ’21
Sheila Natasha Simrod Friedman Award (English and Fine Arts): Yuhan Liu ’21
 
Social Sciences
Art History: Samantha Miller ’21
Craighill Burks Prize for American History: Loriz Arencibia ’23      
Excellence in History: Victoria Davis ’21               
Excellence in Social Sciences: Matthew Edelstein ’21                                          
Mike Stokes Award for Excellence in Pursuit of Social Justice: Emma Rosenthal ’21
Speech and Debate: Joan Joseph ’21
                                                         
World Languages
Excellence in Chinese: Erik Medina ’21
Pierre Cameron Award for French: Zara Shapiro ’21        
American Association of Teachers of French Award: Brooke Scott ’21        
Excellence in Spanish Literature: Nina Mazariegos ’21
Excellence in Spanish Language: Luca Campiani ’22         
Outstanding Achievement in World Languages Maya Rosen ’21 & Zara Shapiro ’21
 
Math & Computer Science
Lois B. Styles Award for Math: Alex Van Lidth ’22                           
M.I.T. Excellence in Math: Erik Medina ’21                         
Computer Science: Yuhan Liu ’21
 
Science
Beverley B. Jones Science Award: Maya Rosen ’21                                                      
Barbara Lester Environmental Science Award: Kelli Miller ’21                    
Excellence in Chemistry: Nikhil Seshadri ’21                      
Excellence in Physics: Erik Medina ’21
 
SGA Faculty Award
The entire RE faculty
 
Freshman Awards
Ann Goesel Everglades School Award: Stephanie Wallen ’24        
 
Damien Kaminski ’89 Award: Francisco Gomez Rivas-Vazquez ’24             
 
Sophomore Award        
Honor and Excellence: Loriz Arencibia ’23
                              
Junior Book Awards      
Brandeis University: Andre Joseph ’22   
Columbia University: Kerryn Xu ’22                       
Dartmouth College: Lauren Heller ’22
Harvard University: Nikhil Kumar ’22       
Johns Hopkins University: Clara Villalba ’22
Mount Holyoke College: Dominique Smith ’22
University of Pennsylvania: Victoria Porto ’22
University of Virginia: Sabrina Shipley ’22
Williams College: Mather Davidson ’22
 
Seal of Biliteracy Recognition
 
Platinum
Maya Rosen ’21
Zara Shapiro ’21
Gold
Martina Awad ’21
Georgia Crosby ’21
Isabella Henriquez ’21
Cameron Lindsey ’21
Daniel Mendoza ’21
Gabriel Pulido ’21
Viviana Vela ’21
Silver
Isabel Almada-Sabate ‘21
Emma Arnhols ’23
Madeleine Bagnall ’21
Mia Balestra ’21
Ian Barnett ’23
Christopher Basile ’21
Ryan Berkshire ’23
Tatiana Botero ’23
Adriana Bussel-Alonso ’23
Felipe Campano ’21
Luca Campiani ’22
Sophia Capote ’22
Lucas Carvalho ’23
Adam Chopp ’22
Phillip Craft ’22
Leticia Crosby ’23
Sol Cuello Robert ’22
Victoria Davis ’21
Diego de Lope ’23
Angela Dula ’23
Eleanor Dyke ’21
Daniel Fisher ’21
Lucia Font ’22
Matthew Gallagher ’21
Ana Gonzalez ’23
Verena Gonzalez ’23
Rebecca Gotterer ’22
Lindsay Gould ’21
Dante Guzzi ’21
Helen Hannan ’21
Amanda Harris ’22
Blythe Heller ’22
Alexandra Henriquez ’22
Livia Hermann ’22
Javier Kumar ’22
Isabella Leiser ’23
Dadly Leon ’23
Samuel Lindemann ’21
Alexandra Lugo ’22
Theodore Ma ’23
Mark Mateo ’22
Nicolas Maynulet ’23
Nina Mazariegos ’21
Jackson McAlilely ’23
Frank McPhillips ’21
Dylan Miner ’23
Joseph Moskovitz ’22
Rogelio Munoz-Franco ’23
Georgia Murphy ’21
Jules Murray ’22
Sofia Paraoulaki de Miranda ’23
Victor Perez ’23
Jonathan Pollak ’23
Alexandra Prio-Touzet ’21
Carmela Ribadeneira ’21
Juan Rivera ’21
Nicole Rodriguez ’22
Shuli Rosenfeld ’21
Emma Rosenthal ’21
Ella Rubell ’21
Rylan Sadler ’22
Sophia Salgueiro ’22
Daniella Sanchez ’21
Carmen Sanchez-Tembleque Wood ’23
Mason Signorello ’23
Carolina Signoret ’22
George Spillis ’21
Nicolas Stone Perez ’21
Denise Suarez ’23
Ekaterina Sucher ’22
Ricardo Sucre Gil ’23
Laura Teofilo ’23
Malena Tewari ’23
Alexis Tie-Shue ’23
Alba Uriarte Jimenez ’22
Celeste Viana ’22
Clara Villalba ’22
Isabella Virtue ’22
Hilary Weisburd ’21
Justin Wong ’21
Lauren Zanarini ’22
 
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Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Middle School2045 South Bayshore DriveTel: 305-250-6850
Upper School3575 Main HighwayTel: 305-460-8800
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.