Welcome to Ransom Everglades School, a school that has blended tradition and progressive ideas for more than 115 years.
Throughout our history, students have developed the experiences, skills and knowledge to guide them through meaningful lives in a changing world. Since the beginning, Ransom Everglades has sought to instill an appreciation for the environment, global perspectives, empathy, cultural competencies and the ability to persevere. A curriculum that includes sailing on Biscayne Bay, a student body with students from around the Americas and world, and a well-traveled faculty have been hallmarks at Ransom Everglades.
Three decades before Harkness tables arrived at Exeter, Paul Ransom instructed students in the Pagoda through the close readings of texts and, in 1955, Marie and Ed Swenson opened the Everglades School to students of all backgrounds. Student-centered, discussion-based learning built on a pedagogy of inquiry still characterizes Ransom Everglades, whether around tables where literature and historical texts are analyzed or in computer and physics labs where students define problems and create solutions.
Message from Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez to the RE community on Jan. 20, 2023:
It is my great pleasure to announce the unveiling of a reimagined college counseling office at Ransom Everglades, a goal of Executive Director of College Counseling Jason Locke since he arrived to RE this past summer. With the support of Ransom Everglades’ dedicated board of trustees, we have appointed seven new college counselors and an essay writing specialist, moves that not only will more than double the size of our current office to 12 counselors, but also will transform the services and opportunities we provide to our families to ensure that we elevate RE students in the college process.
In partnership with the Board of Trustees, as the Interim Head of School, I have the responsibility to carry out the school’s mission to train leaders that give more back to the community than they take from it. I have the honor of working with a leadership team that oversees the various components of Ransom Everglades School. Together we work to see that each student, family and community member has an unparalleled academic, athletic and artistic experience as each student grows and learns ways to carry out and live the school’s mission. After working in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 15 years as a teacher, English Department Chair, Exceptional Education Department Co-Chair and Educational Specialist, I joined Ransom Everglades School in 2005. I served as the Assistant Director of the Middle School for two years, and Head of the Middle School for 14 years. I worked as an education consultant during the 2021-22 school year, before returning to Ransom Everglades as the Interim Head of School for the 2022-23 school year. I earned a Bachelor of Science from Florida International University and a Master of Science from Nova Southeastern University. In 2018, I completed a Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Professional Education. My husband, Jose, and I have two sons, Christopher ’10, and Alec ’14 and a very large dog named Jack. Outside of Ransom Everglades, I enjoy yoga, Pilates, hiking and traveling.
John King Jr.
Associate Head of School, History & Social Sciences Teacher
Emory University - B.A. Emory University - M.A. Vanderbilt University - Ph.D.
I am Associate Head of School and in my 24th year at Ransom Everglades. Prior to RE, I was a history professor at Belmont University. At RE, I have taught history and social sciences courses, coached several sports, conducted music ensembles, done college counseling, served as director of studies, and, as the senior class dean and sponsor, created the annual class retreat to the Circle F Dude Ranch. I oversee the Bowden Fellowships in the Humanities and direct the Holzman Center of Applied Ethics. I was the founding curator for TEDxCoconutGrove, a community event hosted for six years at RE. I published several scholarly pieces, most notably as lead author of The President's Position: The Cold War Presidents. For two decades I was a reader, table leader, and exam leader at the College Board's AP US History Reading, and I created the teacher's materials for Eric Foner's leading AP US History textbook, Give Me Liberty! I taught courses at Barry University, FIU, and John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. I also enjoy playing several musical instruments, scuba diving, hiking and camping, and supporting South Florida's professional sports teams, particularly the Miami Dolphins.
Geoffrey "Geoff" Bennett
Chief Financial Officer
Kenyon College - B.A. Thunderbird School of Global Management - M.B.A.
I assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer at Ransom Everglades after arriving from the San Francisco Waldorf School, where I served as Director of Finance and Operations after beginning my tenure at the school as a member of the board of trustees and chair of the finance committee. Before shifting to independent schools, I spent 30 years in investment banking, predominantly in Asia, where I lived for more than five years. A graduate of Deerfield Academy, an independent school in Massachusetts, I earned a BA in English from Kenyon College in Ohio, and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. My wife Cindy and I have four children and two Labrador Retrievers.
John "Eric" Boberg
Head of the Middle School
University of North Florida - B.A. Harvard Graduate School of Education - M.Ed. Neeley School of Business - M.B.A. University of Texas - Arlington - Ph.D.
My undergraduate studies took me across a broad range of educational landscapes from New College to the University of Florida and finally the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, my home town. Uncertain about finances and my preferred career, I took a detour into teaching, directing speech and debate, and coaching basketball and volleyball for a few years. Thirty years later, I am still trying to figure that permanent career path out. Along the way, however, I have racked up some invaluable experiences. Initially completing a double major in political science and philosophy with a minor in mathematics, I later completed my MEd at Harvard University while on hiatus between my first teaching job and a similar role at Fort Worth Country Day School. Delayed by the Great Recession, I took an opportunity to complete an MBA at TCU’s Neeley School of Business and a PhD in Educational Leadership at the University of Texas in Arlington before I accepted a new role as Chief Academic Officer at the Episcopal School of Dallas. More importantly, I had taken on quite a few new roles within the K12 setting and began teaching middle school students, whose playfulness and zest for learning rekindled my own commitment to teaching. When the position for a new Middle School Head opened up at Ransom Everglades, I jumped at the opportunity to combine a return to Florida with an exciting new challenge focusing more intently on the development of middle school students and their community. Thankfully, I soon discovered that the school I had visited over two decades earlier – for debate and basketball competitions – had positioned itself to surge into the future with a new vision firmly grounded in its legacy. I am excited to be part of that commitment.
David Clark 86
Chief Operating Officer and Interim Head of the Upper School
Dartmouth College - B.A. Florida Atlantic University - M.Ed.
As a Florida native, I was very fortunate to attend Ransom Everglades for my final two years of high school. As a public-school student, I was a consumer of information; as a private school student, I became the architect of my education. I believe my intellect, talents and skills grew in the supportive, challenging and innovative environment at RE. I went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics modified with Engineering from Dartmouth College and had the opportunity to play in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. I returned to RE to work in the mathematics and computer science department, later taking on the roles of dean of students and head football coach. In this same environment, I experienced further growth and development as an educator and administrator. In 1999, I left RE for another independent school that fit the needs of my children. There I served as dean of students, assistant upper school head, interim upper school head and then head of school (Boca campus). During this time, I earned my master’s in educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University. I rejoined the RE community in June 2022, as the Chief Operating Officer and Interim Head of the Upper School. My primary responsibilities are to lead the upper school while working closely with the advancement, admission, athletics and the business offices.
My wife, Nicole, and I have three daughters, Amber, Autumn and Ashleigh. I strongly believe in the importance of family and serving the community. In my leisure time I enjoy traveling with my family. Cruises are our favorite getaway. I am an avid bowler. I also devote time serving on the board of trustees at the Fuller Center in Palm Beach and volunteering across South Florida in a variety of capacities.
Director of Arts
University of Miami - B.M. DePaul University - M.M.
Wendell Graham 74
Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement
Columbia University - B.A. University of Miami - J.D.
As Director of Inclusion and Community Outreach, I am responsible for our efforts to maintain a welcoming environment where every member of the school community can live, study and work at their highest level of creativity and productivity. I practiced law for 38 years, serving as a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, arbitrator, mediator and county court judge. I graduated from Ransom School in 1974, received my BA from Columbia University, and JD from the University of Miami School of Law. I love music, fishing, and the outdoors. My wife runs a non-profit for children aging out of foster care. We have one child in college, and the others are adults working in the armed services, arts and retail, and education.
Director of Advancement
Hollins College - B.A. University of Pennsylvania - M.S.
As Director of Advancement at Ransom Everglades School, I oversee the school's fundraising efforts as well as alumni and parent engagement. I previously served as the Assistant Head of School and Director of External Affairs at Vermont Academy for two years and, for 13 years, worked as Director of Institutional Advancement at The Pingry School, a K-12 day school in New Jersey. I began my fundraising career at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. I attended Hollins College in Roanoke, Va., where I received my BA in Art History and German, and I received my master's degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania. My husband, Arthur, and I have two sons, William and Nicholas '27, and live in Coconut Grove.
Chief Technology Officer
Louisiana Tech University - B.S. Tulane University - M.S.
As Chief Technology Officer, I develop and implement technical strategies that support a robust multi-campus computing infrastructure and promote best practices for student success, campus safety, business optimization and informed decision-making. Prior to joining the Ransom Everglades community, I was the Director of Technology Development and Chair of Applied Technology at Metairie Park Country Day School. During my early career, I designed data solutions and network infrastructures supporting oil and gas exploration and production. A New Orleans native, I earned a Master of Science in computer science from Tulane University and graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana Tech University with a BS in computer science. My husband, Chris, is a radiologist and we have three children: Jeffrey, a general surgery resident; Gary, a real estate investment banking professional; and Kelsey, a special effects artist.
Executive Director of College Counseling
Alfred University - B.A. The University of Vermont - M.Ed.
After more than two decades in higher education leadership positions, I joined Ransom Everglades School in the inaugural role of Executive Director for College Counseling where I am leading the transformation of the college counseling experience for RE students and families. Before joining the RE community, I served as Director of Undergraduate Admissions and then as Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment at Cornell University. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alfred University, a Master of Education degree at the University of Vermont, and a Postgraduate Certificate from Peking University in Beijing, China. I am currently completing my Doctor of Education degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the years, I have enjoyed participating in the Ithaca Twilight 5K Run, Vinophile Society and Supper Club, and serving as a Friend of the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
After 25 years in journalism, I joined Ransom Everglades in December 2015 as Director of Communications, a position that gives me the privilege of sharing the great work that goes on at RE, and ensuring that the school's community members feel informed and connected. Prior to my arrival at Ransom Everglades, I spent 15 years at The Washington Post, where I covered international sports and the Olympics. I also worked as an investigative reporter at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and the beat writer for the Miami Heat and then-Florida Marlins at the Miami Herald. I received a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University and, surely to the relief of my professors there, I have never worked in that realm. I love serving at Plymouth Congregational Church and am happiest when sipping wine from St. Estephe in Bordeaux. I am the proud mother of Sabrina '22.
As Director of Admission and Enrollment Management, it is my privilege to oversee the admission and financial aid processes of my alma mater. An alumna from the Class of 1993, my middle and high school years at Ransom Everglades provided me not only a great education but also access to an incredible alumni network and — I can't resist mentioning — a state championship in volleyball. I returned to RE in 2002 as an English teacher, admission officer and coach (volleyball, basketball and track). I am proud to have served on the national Board of Directors of the Enrollment Management Association for seven years and remain very involved in this organization. I hold a Bachelor of Arts from Florida State University with a double major in English and Education and a minor in Spanish. When not at RE, I can usually be found enjoying all that our beautiful city has to offer with my husband Eric and our two daughters, Abigail '29 and Ava.
Board of Trustees
Mr. Jonathan Fitzpatrick, Chair
Dr. Elana M. Oberstein-Harris '93, Vice Chair Mr. Andrew L. Ansin '81 Mr. Agustin “Konky” Arellano '90 Mr. Shane Battier Mr. John P. Bolduc Mr. Edgardo Defortuna Ms. Stephanie N. Dua Mr. David Duckenfield Mr. Miguel F. Dueñas '95 Mrs. Constance M. Fernandez Mr. David Gershman Mr. Jeffrey J. Hicks '84 Mrs. Wendy Holman Ms. Melissa E. Krinzman '86 Mrs. Susan M. Lampen '71 Mrs. Kinga Lampert Mr. Jon Madorsky '91 Mr. Eric A. Mendelson Mr. Michael E. Moran Mr. Mark Paresky Mr. Rudy Prio Touzet '76 Mr. Scott A. Srebnick '83 Mr. Richard S. Stokes '94 Mrs. Brett Sundheim Mr. Christopher Torto Mr. James Weaver ’90
Life Trustee: Mr. Eric Buermann ’69
Presidents, Alumni Association Board: Dr. Vanessa Chartouni-de la Serna '90 Mr. Todd Mestepey '91
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 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.