Our College Counseling Office, staffed with four full-time college counselors and a coordinator of student-athlete college recruitment, works to ensure all students matriculate to a college or university suited to their personalities and passions.
Ransom Everglades parents received guidance on how to navigate the college financial aid process during a remote meeting hosted by the school's college counseling office on October 14. Chanell Thomas, the Associate Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Vanderbilt University, provided an in-depth remote presentation on the financial aid process, covering topics ranging from sources of aid, applying for aid and schools' varying approaches to financial aid. At the end of the session, she took questions.
Twenty-one RE alumni and three parents conducted mock interviews with members of the Class of 2022 on September 19 to help prepare them for college admission interviews. More than 40 seniors took part. The interviews occurred throughout the upper school, and students received personalized feedback. RE's college counseling office organized the event in partnership with the school's advancement office.
Fifteen Ransom Everglades seniors were named National Merit Semifinalists on September 15, a distinction achieved by less than one percent of high school seniors in the United States, as 20 others were named National Merit Commended Students. Semifinalists Dashiell DeStefano ’22, Rafa Dovarganes ’22, Noah Gold ’22, Isa Goyanes ’22, Amanda Harris ’22, Blythe Heller ’22, Nathan Knight ’22, Nikhil Kumar ’22, Gabe Mora ’22, Joseph Moskovitz ’22, Rylan Sadler ’22(not pictured),Gideon Shaked ’22, Sabrina Shipley ’22, Dylan Stone ’22 and Lauren Zanarini ’22 have the opportunity to compete for National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded next spring.
Lew Stivaljoined Ransom Everglades as Director of College Counseling after nearly 25 years as Dean of College Counseling at Blair Academy in New Jersey. During more than three decades at Blair Academy, he cultivated meaningful relationships with admission officers at colleges and universities nationwide and helped Blair keep pace during a dynamic time in the admission process. After starting his career as an English teacher, Mr. Stival moved into the Blair Academy college counseling office as an associate dean in 1990. In 1996, he assumed the college counseling deanship at the boarding school, and for more than a dozen years oversaw the school’s office while working with 55-60 counselees annually. A boys’ varsity tennis coach for more than 25 years, Mr. Stival co-authored a book on athletic recruiting, Understanding Athletic Recruiting: A Comprehensive Guide for the High School Student-Athlete. He also assembled a comprehensive college counseling handbook, and has written a college-visit blog. Prior to his tenure at Blair, Mr. Stival taught English and coached tennis and swimming at Phillipsburg High in Phillipsburg, N.J. He earned an AB in English at Lafayette College and a Master of English Literature at Drew University.
Mr. Roger Caron
Dean of the Senior Class, Coordinator of Student-Athlete College Recruitment, History & Social Scien
Roger Caron joined the college counseling office in July, 2017, in the new position of Coordinator of Student Athlete College Recruitment. He also teaches World Civilizations as a member of the History and Social Sciences Department at the Upper School, and is part of the athletics coaching staff. A Harvard graduate and former offensive lineman for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, Caron coached the Pomona-Pitzer football team for more than two decades, earning Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2016. Before his run at Pomona, he served as an assistant coach at Williams College, helping the team to a 45-9-2 record in seven years, including a 23-game win streak (1988-1991). Mr. Caron co-founded and co-directed the Pomona College Wellness Program, and gained independent school experience during a leave of absence from Pomona during which he taught history and coached at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. Mr. Caron earned his AB in European History at Harvard, and MEd from North Adams State College. He was inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2002, and continues to hold the rank of Professor of Physical Education Emeritus at Pomona.
Daniel Creasy brought 20 years of experience in college admission offices to RE, where he serves as Senior Associate Director of College Counseling since July 2019. Mr. Creasy most recently worked as Associate Dean of Admission and Director of Admission Communication at Hamilton College where he was responsible for the first review of some 400 applications annually. He also worked in admissions at Emory University, Johns Hopkins University and American University. During his career, Mr. Creasy has presented at myriad conferences with the National Association of College Admission Counselors and regional college counseling associations. He graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Aleny Garcia joined RE in July 2019 as Associate Director of College Counseling after serving as director of counseling and guidance at Cardinal Gibbons High in Fort Lauderdale, where she introduced and fine-tuned relevant and compelling programming for parents and students. She arrived with more than a decade of experience advising students on the college process, including as a Network Master Counselor for Chicago’s public schools; as a Counselor Department Manager for a Chicago-based high school; and in the counseling office of Nova High in Broward County. She has presented at the annual conference of the Southern Association of College Admission Counselors (SACAC), serves as the SACAC Communications Liaison for Florida, and has read for and served as an interviewer for the Gates Scholarship and regional scholarships. Ms. Garcia is an Honors College graduate of Florida International University where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her Master of Science degree in School Counseling at Nova Southeastern University.
Senior Associate Director of College Counseling Claudia Jolivert rejoined Ransom Everglades the summer of 2018. Mrs. Jolivert served as senior associate director of college counseling at Palmer Trinity for two years after an eight-year tenure at RE. Prior to her time at Ransom Everglades, she worked in admissions at Georgetown University. While at Palmer Trinity, Mrs. Jolivert was named board chair-elect of the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools. She was also elected to the board of the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling; appointed to Lynn University’s Advisory Council; and selected for the annual summer summit of the Deans and Directors of the Southern Consortium of Colleges and Universities. Mrs. Jolivert earned her bachelor’s in business administration at Georgetown University and master’s in international affairs at Columbia University. She has served as assistant director of admissions at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton.
The annual and highly anticipated College Admissions Symposium in January offers our students and their families insights on the college process from a panel of admissions deans and directors. The event follows the release of college counselor assignments and acts as a kickoff to individualized college counseling for juniors.
Annually, through class meetings and evening sessions, college counselors provide students and parents with tools to best prepare for taking the SAT and/or ACT. All juniors sit for the PSAT in October. RE provides a test prep program free of charge for all students.
Admission representatives from various colleges and universities guide Ransom Everglades parents and students through a mock college admission process in April, taking them behind the curtain to help them prepare for their own forays into the college process.
RE's college counseling team leads a series of senior workshops and bootcamps from May through December, offering sessions on college applications and application writing (personal statements, supplemental essays) as well as detailed suggestions for how students can organize their time to reduce college-application stress during the senior year. An application submit-a-thon is offered at the end of October to aid students with final details before they click submit.
Student athletes and families looking to navigate the college athletics landscape are provided resources through the college counseling office including individual appointments with a coordinator of student-athletic recruitment.
This special session on financial aid and college costs offers students and parents a comprehensive primer on financial aid, FAFSA, the CSS Profile and much more.
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Freshmen & Sophomores
Beginning in the ninth grade, a series of class meetings for students and evening programs for parents is offered to inform families about the college search and application processes.
Freshmen students and parents attend “The Road Ahead” program during the spring semester where college planning resources are introduced laying the foundation for a successful college admissions journey. During sophomore year, multiple “Nuts & Bolts” programs educate families on a variety of topics designed to jumpstart their college search including an introduction to Naviance, our college planning technical tool.
The College Counseling Office is open to underclassmen on an as-needed basis. Common questions concern standardized testing, summer programs and course scheduling. Through partnerships with advisory, college counselors are available to all underclassmen to answer any and all questions during the first two years of high school.
Individual college counseling assignments occur during the fall semester of junior year. The kickoff event, our College Admissions Symposium, provides juniors and their parents in-depth insights into the admission process. The 18-month process will include frequent meetings between counselors, students and parents, along with continued class meetings, workshops and evening programs.
Juniors are provided the opportunity to meet with college admissions representatives during fall visits to RE and in the spring at the AIMS College Fair, where over 250 colleges gather.
The College Counseling Office holds a series of senior workshops aiding students in all aspects of the college application process including composing effective personal statements and supplemental essays, completing the Common Application and applying for financial aid and scholarships. Mock alumni interviews and an application submit-a-thon are also signature events held during the fall semester.
Throughout September and October, RE welcomes more than 100 admissions officers to campus, allowing students to learn about colleges in an intimate setting.
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.