Ransom Everglades' new RE Vocal Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra made a triumphant debut at a monumental Dec. 1 concert that included voice, strings, brass, percussion and woodwinds. The event at the Lewis Family Auditorium showcased three conductors – faculty members Laura Montes (vocal), Scott O’Donnell (strings) and Jon Hamm (band and orchestra) – eight ensembles, two solos and 19 pieces of well-known music.
RE's middle school Interactive Design in Virtual Reality class met with professors and graduate students at the University of Miami to learn more about immersive technology, including virtual, augmented and mixed reality. RE faculty members Jessica Merrick and Pedro Silva led the Nov. 16 trip to UM's School of Communications in Coral Gables, which allowed students to experience student research projects and UM-led real-world initiatives.
Students in RE's Marine Field Research classes tagged and tested six sharks during a pair of research trips out on Biscayne Bay in November. Under the direction of shark expert and RE faculty member Kristine Stump and scientists from the Field School, RE students traveling on a 55-foot research vessel assisted with full-scale scientific work-ups of each shark while also helping to place tags that would allow the creatures to be tracked.
Ransom Everglades' annual Thanksgiving drives helped provide Thanksgiving meals for families in Coconut Grove and Miami. Upper schoolers collected 423 bags of groceries, 14 turkeys, three hams, $640 in cash and checks, and $865 in gift cards for Miami Rescue Mission's annual "pack the pantry" drive, as middle school students filled 42 large containers with Thanksgiving food and grocery gift cards for Coconut Grove families connected with the Frankie Shannon Rolle Community Resource Center.
Dozens of students – actors, set designers, tech crew – helped bring A Christmas Carol to life at Lewis Family Auditorium under the direction of faculty member Laura Montes. The holiday classic play featured Tager Lehr '25 as Ebenezer Scrooge as other student stars managed quick costume changes to play multiple roles. The play included dramatic sound and lighting and a delightful set that allowed the story to travel seamlessly from the past to the present and future.
Three RE musicians – Simone Carrasco '27, Christine Keedy Brown '24 and Leah Maduro '23 – were selected to perform with prestigious all-state music ensembles at the annual Florida Music Education Association convention in January in Tampa. Meanwhile more than three dozen RE middle and upper school students excelled during the Florida Bandmasters Association District 20 Solo/Ensemble Music Performance Assessment Nov. 4-5, and soloists Andrew Gedde '25 and Sifia Rakhimi '25 qualified for the FBA State Solo and Ensemble, which will take place this spring.
Lily Kingdon '29 correctly spelled Sikhism and thurible to win the Middle School Spelling Bee Nov. 14 and advance to the 83rd annual Miami Herald Spelling Bee in March 2023. Lucas Antia '29 finished second, stumbling on urad, as the two sixth graders excelled in an event that started with 33 students.
Ransom Everglades' Middle School History Team A – Parker Jelke '27, Zach Corbin Cheah '27, Lucas Gonzalez '27 and Jaz Puri '28 – claimed first place in the South Florida History Bowl and Bee Nov. 12 at Archimedean Academy. The team accrued a 6-0 record in the middle school bowl competition on its way to the title.
Strong performances by every sailor helped Ransom Everglades score a second place in the Atlantic Coast Championship Nov. 12-13 in Annapolis. The Raiders capitalized on excellence from both its A and B teams in the field of 18 schools from five districts around the nation.
Ransom Everglades students recognized Veterans Day with a flag-raising ceremony on the Miller Quad on Nov. 11 and a special assembly featuring former former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Chris Pearson '79 on Nov. 10. Honor Our Heroes Club President Victor Perez '23 introduced both events.
RE's middle school celebrated Diwali, the Festival of Lights, with an exuberant and colorful festival on Nov. 3 that included dozens of student performers in traditional clothing and stretched from the gymnasium to the dining hall. The event opened with Indian music and dance, a fashion show, the lighting of diyas (oil lamps) and student presentations that explained Diwali's traditions and history. Photo Gallery
Four Ransom Everglades students won recognition in the 2022 La Plume Young Writers’ Contest, a competition open to students throughout Miami-Dade County. Patrick Keedy Brown ’26 earned a first place in the middle school division (entries were submitted last school year); Lucia Rose Dahn ’23 and Sophia Romanov-Imber ’24 earned second place in the high school competition; and Garrett Fox ’26 received an honorary award from the middle school division.
RE STEM Department Chair Doug Heller '80 and Dean of the 11th Grade Brandon King received University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Awards for 2022, the school announced Oct. 21. The annual awards, which have been given for three decades, recognize teachers who are exceptional in their fields and role models for students.
RE's middle schoolers acted out the frightening stories told around a campfire in Creepy Campfire Tales, from the tale of the giant teddy bear that gobbled up mean girls to the yarn about the haunted blanket that terrorized babysitters. The stories shared on a scary night with lost summer camper, Maryam Astorga '28, were as funny as they were creepy, and the play concluded with a surprising twist at Swenson Hall Oct. 26-28. Photo Gallery
For the second straight year, sophomores traveled by boat to islands off the coast of Ransom Everglades where they read poetry, observed nature and crafted their own poetic works. The class-by-class journeys organized by 10th-grade English teachers prompted reflection and connection to the natural world while inspiring students' creativity.
Ransom Everglades rowers finished in 10th place overall and fourth among high schools in the Women's Youth Four at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta, the largest crew regatta in the world. Florine Lijesen '23, Kathryn Serra '23, Ysatis Jadotte '23, Ines Menoyo Kossick '26 and coxswain Alexa Geller '23, who train under RE coach Richie Fredericks, were the only entrants from RE.
Ransom Everglades boys' golf team posted the lowest team score in school history at a district championship, winning its fifth district title in six years at the Florida High School Athletic Association 1A District 16 Championship Oct. 25 at Normandy Shores Golf Course. RE posted five of the top six scores on the day, led by Kobe Lopez '23, who shot a 1-over par 72. He finished second individually.
The RE boys' swimming team won a district championship and a pair of sophomores earned individual titles at the Florida High School Athletic Association 1A District 12 Championships at the Ansin Aquatic Center. Kiera Rampersad '25 won the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke, helping the girls' team to second place overall at the Oct. 25 event, and Ethan Sullivan '25 topped the field in the 200 freestyle. Both also earned relay medals.
Middle school band and strings students performed in various venues on the Everglades Campus for the inaugural Middle School Band and Strings Festival Concert on Oct. 19, which allowed concert goers to move from room to room, taking in a variety of music – much of which was Halloween-themed. Those in attendance received up-close looks at the student performers and also enjoyed class insights from performing arts instructors Cathi Leibinger and Scott O'Donnell. Photo Gallery
More than four dozen juniors and seniors visited classrooms of ninth-grade students on Oct. 20 to share the first unit of an extensive health and wellness curriculum that covers topics ranging from anxiety to substance use. The students wore white T-shirts emblazoned with HIP – Health Information Project – as they launched the peer-to-peer program, in its seventh year at Ransom Everglades.
David Serra '24 claimed an individual district championship in the 5,000 meters (16 minutes, 5.77 seconds) at the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A District 8 meet on Oct. 18 while leading Ransom Everglades boys' cross country to its first district title since 2018.
Two other Raiders posted top-five finishes at the championships at Larry and Penny Thompson Park: Ethan Sullivan '25 finished third in the boys' race in 18:01.39 and Sophia Linfield '26 earned second in the girls' race in 20:06.83, helping RE's girls to fourth overall.
The Class of 2023 Dan Leslie Bowden Fellows in the Humanities shared highlights of their summer research with their upper school peers on Oct. 18, presenting polished summaries of ambitious and insightful projects, and thoughtful conclusions tying their work back to the goal of exploring what makes us human. The presentations by Ian Barnett '23, Lucia Rose Dahn '23, Olivia Drulard '23, Sofia Gudino Ruffa '23, Jack Harris '23, Kyle Ng '23, Mason Signorello '23 and Liv Steinhardt '23 during assembly at the Lewis Family Auditorium spanned a diverse range of topics and drew ovations from teachers and classmates.
Ransom Everglades honored the 16 seniors in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2023 with induction into the Cum Laude Society during an academic honors assembly Oct. 13 at the Lewis Family Auditorium. School leaders also recognized RE's National Merit honorees, Seal of Biliteracy recipients and newly designated endowed faculty chairs.
Ransom Everglades recognized Hispanic Heritage Month with lively celebrations on both campuses. Middle schoolers sang, danced and enjoyed Latin American crafts, sports, performances and food at a festival that stretched – and resounded – across the Everglades Campus on Oct. 14. At the upper school on Oct. 11, the Latin American Student Association (LASA) led fellow students on a journey through Hispanic art during an assembly that included live music by Ecuadorian guitarist Homero Gallardo.
More than 80 volunteers assembled to launch The Fund for RE on October 11. Alumni, faculty, staff and parents from each grade wrote personal letters to kick off Ransom Everglades' annual campaign, which helps support students and faculty throughout the year. Volunteers enjoyed conversation and snacks as they worked in groups on the first floor of the Fernandez STEM Center, and they received thanks and encouragement from Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez and Chief Operating Officer and Interim Head of the Upper School David Clark '86.
Message from Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez on October 11, 2022
Dear RE Community,
If you attended Homecoming 2022 last Friday, you were surely inspired by the jubilant display of Raider Pride and RE spirit. From the first Dig Pink middle school match to the concluding varsity football game that ended with a last-minute, game-winning score, it was a day of special moments and lasting memories.
Ransom Everglades inducted two-time Olympic gold medalist Ashleigh Johnson '12 into the RE Athletic Hall of Fame along with tennis player John P. Geraghty ’73 and three-sport athlete Lola Arellano Pegg ’93 during a lively dinner and recognition at the Pagoda on Oct. 6, the eve of the school's 2022 Homecoming celebration.
Leading off homecoming activities on both campuses, Breast Cancer Research Foundation Co-chair Kinga Lampert addressed students during assembly, spreading awareness of breast cancer and encouraging everyone to get involved in the fight for a cure. Lampert, an RE trustee and past parent, spoke and answered questions at the Lewis Family Auditorium Oct. 4 and middle school gym Oct. 3.
Brothers Theodore Ma '23 and Derrick Ma '24 earned a remarkable double; each earned a perfect score on his AP Computer Science A exam. The brothers, who took the test a year apart, not only received the highest score of "5," but also Theodore was one of 356 test takers worldwide to earn every possible point (0.48 percent) on the 2021 exam, and Derrick was one of 369 (0.47 percent) to earn perfect marks in 2022, according to the College Board. The brothers took the course under RE STEM faculty member Eric Lefebvre.
Ransom Everglades students raised $4,621 for those on Florida's west coast devastated by Hurricane Ian in a short-notice, one-day fundraising effort on Sept. 30. The drive, intended to get immediate aid to those who need it, was organized by the Student Government Association. The money collected was sent to the All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota. RE continued to receive donations after the deadline, allowing the school to donate a total of $5,974.85 by the end of October.
Will Charouhis '24, addressed world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York Sept. 19 weeks after being awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress bestows upon youth civilians in the United States. Charouhis, a climate activist who founded the non-profit We are Forces of Nature in his youth, urged international leaders to educate children to equip them to help solve the climate crisis during his UN address. Read the Miami Herald story here.
Twenty RE alumni volunteered on Sept. 10 at the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Coconut Grove, where they sorted, bagged and distributed food and other items to more than 300 Grove families. Headed by Carolina Hommen ’24, students, alumni and their families joined together with Joshua’s Heart Foundation for a second year of giving back to the community. The successful nonprofit was started by Joshua Williams ’18 and is on a mission to stomp out world hunger and break the cycle of poverty.
STEM Department faculty member Luis Felipe introduced Advanced Machine Learning to the RE curriculum to give students interested in artificial intelligence and data science a cutting-edge, master's level class designed to serve as a next-level offering after Applied Data Science.
Internet safety expert Richard Guerry addressed the "promise and pitfalls" of social media, gaming and other online activity during a fast-paced and informative seminar for sixth-grade students and parents on Sept. 20. The event, a component of the school's health and wellness curriculum, touched on cyber cruelty, privacy and other topics as Guerry advised students on how to use technology responsibly.
Middle school families enjoyed a host of activities on the Everglades Campus while getting to know one another better at the annual Middle School Picnic, which was interrupted by lightning warnings but still drew a crowd and offered indoor and outdoor entertainment. The Sept. 18 event organized by the Ransom Everglades Parents' Association offered games on the field and in the gymnasium; arts and crafts in classrooms; a uniform REpurpose shop in the library; and food and beverages.
Ransom Everglades earned its fourth-straight victory in the annual Battle for the Oar game against Palmer Trinity on Sept. 15, retaining the coveted oar in a tradition that dates back to 1974. The 21-16 final score was penned on to the oar after the game, which took place on a rainy night at Palmer Trinity and was highlighted by a clinching 60-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter by Ryan Bienstock '24.
Ransom Everglades leaders welcomed parents back to campus as faculty members wowed them in the classroom during the first in-person back-to-school nights in three years. Hundreds attended the Middle School Back-to-School Night Sept. 8 and the Upper School Back-to-School Night on Sept. 15, even though rain pelted both campuses shortly before the events began.
Ten Ransom Everglades students were named National Merit Semifinalists and another 19 were named National Merit Commended Students for their performance on the 2021 PSAT examination. Arjun Badwal '23, Ryan Berkshire '23, Leo Fein '23, Theodore Ma '23, Nico Maynulet '23, Dylan Miner '23, Loren Pearson '23, Adrian Stone Perez '23, Alexis Tie-Shue '23 and Marco Zhao '23 earned semifinalist recognition on Sept. 14 and will contend for $2,500 National Merit Scholarships awarded this spring.
Dozens of Ransom Everglades students, faculty and parents enjoyed an after-school immersion into Chinese food and culture during the first-ever Mid-Autumn Festival Sept. 14 at the upper school. Event goers sampled sushi rolls and bubble tea and participated in tea-tasting and mooncake-making in the dining hall – which was decked out with strings of red lanterns – before gathering in the Miller Quad for a traditional lion dance.
Five former physics students of Paul Natland '02 gathered this summer to work on a science experiment that will travel to the edge of space on suborbital spacecraft sponsored by NASA. Arjun Badwal '23, Dadly Leon '23, Theodore Ma '23, Sofia Paraoulaki de Miranda '23 and Adrian Stone Perez '23 have several weeks to finish building the experiment, one of 57 from around the nation selected last winter for a rocket ride in the NASA TechRise Student Challenge.
RE faculty member Laura Montes has studied voice in Austria and Italy; she earned a bachelor’s in vocal performance at the University of Miami; and she has sung professionally in operas and musical theater. She considers it a privilege to share her talent and training with the 44 students at Ransom Everglades who joined the school’s inaugural vocal ensembles this year.
Two educational immersion trips this past summer offered RE students opportunities for serious study in their fields of interest. Six upper school students and two members of the Class of 2022 enjoyed a biodiversity field expedition in Nadi, Fiji, in June, and 16 students traveled to Salamanca, Spain, in July for a language and cultural enrichment opportunity.
Nine girls from Ransom Everglades accepted invitations from the University of Miami to join an inaugural "Girls are for STEM" program designed to expose high-performing students to modern abstract math, prepare them for upper-level math courses and allow them opportunities to network with other talented young female students.
Eight rising seniors spent the summer doing research supported by Dan Leslie Bowden Fellowships in the Humanities, and they have begun preparations to present their work to fellow students this fall. Ian Barnett '23, Lucia Rose Dahn '23, Olivia Drulard '23, Sofia Gudino Ruffa '23, Jack Harris '23, Kyle Ng '23, Mason Signorello '23 and Liv Steinhardt '23 examined the question of "what makes us human" through their summer exploration in a variety of fields.
A “House REveal” at the middle school on August 25 showcased Ransom Everglades' newest tradition: houses that draw inspiration from Hogwarts, school history and South Florida wildlife, and bring together students and teachers across grade levels. Sixth graders learned which house they would join during an exuberant celebration on the Stamps Family Field during the first week of school.
Ransom Everglades’ new faculty arrive to RE after career stops in the United Kingdom, India, Egypt, China and throughout the United States. Some come from the higher education realm; many have spent time at independent schools; and many hold master’s degrees or PhDs. All bring great enthusiasm and a love of teaching, and look forward to getting started at Ransom Everglades after a week of team bonding and orientation on both campuses.
Robert E. DePriest ’86, a former FBI Crisis Management Coordinator and Special Agent, has been appointed Director of Security at Ransom Everglades, announced Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez on July 15. DePriest, who most recently served as Senior Director of Security at the Pine Crest School, began work before the start of the classes on August 22.
Six upper school students and two recent RE graduates traveled to Fiji on a biodiversity field expedition June 10-28 that enabled them to conduct research and work alongside world-renowned scientists while attending college-level lectures and enjoying a cultural and natural-world immersion.
Ransom Everglades' speech and debate team was named one of the top 20 programs in the nation at the 2022 National Speech & Debate Tournament in Louisville, Ky., June 12-17 as five just-graduated students earned top-10 finishes in their events: Noah Gold '22 and Zach Marcus '22 finished eighth in Public Forum; Ceci Granda-Scott '22 and Nicole Rodriguez '22 claimed 10th in Public Forum; and Andre Joseph '22 earned 10th speaker of the tournament honors in World Schools Debate.
Frank Hogan, who served as Head of School at Ransom Everglades from 1985 to 1992, passed away June 27. He was 85.
Frank was known for his visionary leadership and deep humility. He directed the largest capital campaign in school history at the time, an $8.7 million effort that brought major improvements to both campuses and “put the school on the map,” according to former RE board chair Eric Buermann ’69 in Honor and Excellence: A Century of Ransom Everglades School.
Ransom Everglades welcomed Mark Paresky and Brett Sundheim, who share extensive experience in the financial industry and on non-profit governing boards, to the school’s 2022-23 board of trustees on July 1, outgoing board chair Jeff Hicks ’84 announced.
At the same time, current trustee Jonathan Fitzpatrick, a longtime corporate decision-maker, took the helm of the board as the incoming chair, and Elana Oberstein-Harris ’93, a medical doctor and highly engaged alumna, moved into the role of vice-chair. Both will serve two-year terms.
Ransom Everglades ended June with a record $4.1 million in gifts to The Fund for RE, the school's annual giving program. Many in the Ransom Everglades community contributed to this extraordinary fundraising year, which included gifts from nearly 250 first-time donors and 12 percent more alumni donors.
Message on June 17, 2022, from Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez and Associate Head of School John King:
Dear Members of the RE Community,
We are thrilled to announce that David Clark ’86, whose deep ties to Ransom Everglades are matched by his extraordinary experience in independent school leadership, is returning to RE in the new position of Chief Operating Officer, and he will also serve as Interim Head of the Upper School.
Parker Jelke '27 finished first in his age group in the National History Bee for the second straight year as he and teammates Zach Corbin Cheah '27, Lucas Gonzalez '27 and Jaz Puri '28 also claimed third place in the National History Bowl in Orlando June 17-20. Their efforts led a host of impressive performances, including a first place in the written exam on cartography by Jacob Aronow '26.
Members of Ransom Everglades School leadership celebrated the naming of the City National Bank Lobby with special guests from the bank on June 21. Located inside the Lewis Family Auditorium, the lobby is the entry point for many important school events such as convocation, student assemblies, plays concerts, special events, speaker series and most notably, commencement.
Eight rising seniors are launching summer research projects as the latest recipients of Dan Leslie Bowden Fellowships in the Humanities at Ransom Everglades. Ian Barnett '23, Lucia Rose Dahn '23, Olivia Drulard '23, Sofia Gudino Ruffa '23, Jack Harris '23, Kyle Ng '23, Mason Signorello '23 and Liv Steinhardt '23 were selected to pursue work in subjects ranging from classical music composition to cryptocurrency.
Daniel Sundheim has always been a numbers guy. He went from college to Wall Street, spent more than a decade overseeing billions in assets, then started his own highly successful global investment firm. Yet when asked to name skills central to his career success, he rattles off core components of a humanities education: writing, critical thinking and public speaking.
That belief in the foundational importance of a liberal arts education, which is shared by his wife of 17 years, Brett Sundheim, inspired the couple’s $7.5 million gift for a new humanities building on the upper school campus at Ransom Everglades School.
Loriz Arencibia '23 was selected by her peers to be the next student body president at Ransom Everglades, following 2021-22 Student Government Association president Noah Valdivar '22. Arencibia, who has been involved in student government since her middle school days, will lead a team of senior representatives that include Jackson Pegg '23, vice president; Leticia Crosby '23, director of outreach; and Natasha Rodriguez '23, director of communication.
Ransom Everglades student-athletes Juan Rivera ’22 and Sabrina Shipley ’22 were named 2021-22 Miami-Dade Scholar Athletes of the Year, headlining a host of scholastic athletic recognitions announced the week of June 5. A dozen RE student-athletes – including six water polo players – earned first-team all-county honors for spring sports from the Miami Herald as more than three dozen RE students were recognized.
The Ransom Everglades Anti-Racism Task Force, which was established in the summer of 2020 to provide information, counsel and recommendations to the school's leadership and board of trustees, concluded its work this spring with an end-of-year report. Chairs of the task force were Victoria Beatty ’00, DEI Consultant to Ransom Everglades; Stephanie Dua P’22 24 27, parent and trustee; Wendell Graham '74, Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement; and Brandon King, RE History & Social Sciences faculty member.
Ransom Everglades’ sailing team finished fifth at the Interscholastic Sailing Association Mallory Dinghy National Championships at Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego June 3-5. Competing against 20 teams from around the nation, the Raider sailors overcame their unfamiliarity with the venue to post strong results throughout the weekend, led by Griggs Diemar '25, Boris Bialer '22 skipper Jackson McAliley '23 and team captain Eva Gonzalez-Whitehouse '22. Sailors Stephan Baker '22, Livia Hermann '22, Olivia Drulard '23, Ian Fox '24 and Emery Diemar '24 also contributed.
During an end-of-year celebration in the Lewis Family Auditorium on June 2, Ransom Everglades honored retiring teachers and recognized long-serving faculty and staff, and also announced two appointments to prestigious endowed teaching chairs.
Kathryn Bufkin was awarded the inaugural Dan Leslie Bowden English Endowed Chair; and Mike Becker was named the first Ann Goesel Mathematics Endowed Chair. Their appointments, announced by Associate Head of School John A. King, Jr., elicited standing ovations. King explained that Bufkin and Becker were honored for their “exemplary” service and “distinguished” careers at RE.
Members of the Class of 2026 tangled with the pandemic throughout their years at the middle school, beginning in the spring of their first year at RE. Veterans of mask wearing, remote learning, hybrid learning and social distancing, eighth graders and their families were thrilled to experience the annual Eighth-Grade Send-Up to the upper school in a nearly full Lewis Family Auditorium on May 28.
Ransom Everglades' middle school math team tied for third in the nation in the Noetic Learning Math Contest Spring 2022 in its category, as four students – Robert Li '26, Daniel Li '28, Joshie Khohayting '28 and Alex Tevelow '28 – finished among the top eight performers in Florida and qualified for the National Honor Roll. Robert Li, Daniel Li and Khohayting were also among only three students in Florida to earn perfect scores on the examination.
Three seniors – Levi Gans '22, Kati Ortega '22 and Leah Thorpe '22 – won Honorable Mention at the 64th Annual Silver Knight Awards Ceremony at the James L. Knight Center in Miami on May 26, receiving award plaques and $500 scholarships from the Herald Charities Foundation. Awards are granted to students who demonstrate overall academic excellence and outstanding community service in particular areas.
We write today to inform you that after eight years of incredible service and dedication to Ransom Everglades, Penny Townsend has decided to take a well-deserved sabbatical and step down as Head of School, effective immediately. It is Penny’s intention upon return to serve as a special advisor to the chair of the board. Consequently, the board will be commencing a search for a permanent head of school.
After a virtual graduation in 2020 and a socially distanced one at the University of Miami in 2021, Ransom Everglades returned to the upper school for the 119th commencement on May 20, 2022. Members of the Class of 2022 enjoyed one final morning together in the place they had attended weekly assemblies for the previous four years, and crossed the stage at the Lewis Family Auditorium to receive their diplomas. Photo Gallery
Ransom Everglades honored parent Nickelle Crowley as the 2021-22 Volunteer of the Year during a celebratory breakfast that recognized the dozens of parents who shared their time and talents with the school throughout the year, fund-raising, putting on events, honoring RE faculty and more. Photo Gallery
The four Ransom Everglades students who pushed for the installation of a huge solar array on the school’s gymnasium roof squeezed into the gym’s control room on May 17 and flipped a large red switch, officially starting the flow of solar energy.
Moments later, a solar meter projected on a large screen in the gymnasium displayed some great news: in the mid-day sun, the panels were collecting nearly twice as much energy as the building could use at that moment.
Felipe de Cardenas ’22 and Kathryn Serra ’23 were named Ransom Everglades’ Overall Outstanding Athletes for 2021-22 and 12 other student-athletes received major awards at the Upper School Sports Celebration on May 16. The school also celebrated 15 seniors planning to pursue sports in college and recognized every upper school sports team and senior student-athlete at the event that drew several hundred athletes and guests to the Lewis Family Auditorium.
Ransom Everglades seniors began a week of revelry with a Baccalaureate/Senior Send-Off on May 15 that included a series of celebratory events that stretched across campus. The festivities for seniors and their parents opened in the Lewis Family Auditorium with speeches and a senior video, continued into the Miller Quad for the traditional senior brick laying, and concluded in the Anderson gymnasium with a buffet dinner.
The Middle School Raider Band honored various members of the Ransom Everglades community during a spring performance filled with lively pieces and fun surprises. The band's final concert of the school year, "Songs of 'Honor and Excellence'" on May 12 began with a slideshow recognizing staff and faculty, and it included guest appearances by a sixth-grade rock band and two-person faculty rock band that performed with ... actual rocks. Photo Gallery
Ransom Everglades seniors participated in two required health and wellness seminars designed to prepare them for college in the fall. The seminars, which took place late in the second semester, addressed sexual consent and hazing.
Nikhil Kumar '22, Rylan Sadler '22 and Sabrina Shipley '22 were among 2,500 seniors nationwide named 2022 National Merit Scholars on May 11 as part of the 67th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The students were selected from some 15,000 finalists and will receive $2,500 scholarships.
Students selected for this award were judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.
A trio of alumni put the hammer down (in a boat fittingly named "Hammer Down") at the Tenth Annual Ransom Everglades Epic Fishing (REEF) tournament on May 7, dominating in the team fishing event that is the centerpiece of the annual fishing fundraiser. Jose Arguelles '96, Peter Mekras '97, Louis Moll '97, John Mekras and Danny Ramos caught three dolphin that weighed in at 38.2 pounds, surpassing the 20.2 pound haul brought in by the second-place team that included Chris Malek '02. Photo Gallery
The sixth annual Ransom Everglades Climate Symposium brought hundreds to the upper school for a festival of research and learning focused on climate solutions. The April 13 environmental extravaganza was highlighted by nearly 300 student projects and a keynote address by University of Miami professor and environmentally focused artist Xavier Cortada. It also featured an Eco Fair of sustainable businesses and a zero-waste, plastic-free, all-vegetarian food court.
For nearly a decade, Meg Daly ’78 has put her heart and soul into the creation of a 10-mile linear park and trails on the underutilized swath of land underneath Miami’s Metrorail system, working to transform it into a lush space for gathering, recreation and art.
Ransom Everglades seniors planted colorful mini flags to mark their college destinations on a map posted in the Ansin Breezeway on May 2, lighting up locations around the nation and globe. With a few of RE’s 156 seniors still deciding, the Class of 2022 is heading to 81 colleges or universities in five countries and 24 states and the District of Columbia.
Ransom Everglades presented 50 end-of-year awards at the Upper School Awards Ceremony on April 28 and announced the Class of 2022 valedictorian, Victoria Porto ’22, and salutatorian, Nikhil Kumar ’22. The event at the Lewis Family Auditorium, held in person for the first time in three years, honored the entire upper school student body while conferring special awards in various academic disciplines, for service and leadership, and in honor of departed members of the RE community.
Ransom Everglades marked the successful conclusion of its Reinventing Excellence campaign – which raised $82.3 million in six years – with a long-awaited open house that showcased the upper school’s glistening centerpiece, the Constance and Miguel Fernandez STEM Center, and recognized the people whose gifts brought the center to life.
Ransom Everglades dancers performed nearly 70 dances over two nights at the Spring Dance Showcase at Swenson Hall, showing off their skills in a range of dance styles: modern, hip hop, jazz and ballet. Under the direction of dance teacher Desiree Masucci, eighth graders and high school students performed on April 28 and sixth and seventh graders on April 29. Photo Galleries
Steve Sawitz ’75, the fourth generation in his family to run Miami’s iconic Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant, received the Head of School’s Award during an April 23 lunch that served as a centerpiece of an exciting and jam-packed 2022 Alumni Weekend, the first on-campus reunion event in three years. Head of School Penny Townsend presented the award, lauding Sawitz for his commitment to tradition and innovation and noting the parallels between the 109-year-old restaurant and Ransom Everglades, which she called “two pillars in our magical city.”
RE’s varsity and JV academic teams won third place in the National History Bowl in their respective divisions, and Javier Kumar ’22 won first place in the U.S. History Bee, leading Ransom Everglades at the International Academic Competitions National Championships April 21-24 in Arlington, Va.
Former National Football League coach Marc Trestman offered Ransom Everglades students advice on ethical leadership during an April 26 visit that was part of the school’s Holzman Center of Applied Ethics Distinguished Speaker Series. The longtime coach who now teaches about leadership at the University of Miami School of Law urged students to focus on process rather than outcomes, and people’s needs rather than their adulation.
Ransom Everglades boys’ track and field team won its first team district championship in 25 years on April 22 as four boys – David “Chuli” Serra ’24, Luca Campiani ’22, Caleb Carlson ’22 and Aidan Rothstein ’22 – claimed individual titles and seven earned top-three finishes at the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A District 16 championships at Tropical Park in Miami.
Ransom Everglades welcomed a former runner, swimmer, baseball player and softball pitcher into the Ransom Everglades Athletic Hall of Fame on April 21, celebrating the induction of Bert Irigoyen '12, Kevin Grossfeld '95, Jonathan "Joner" Strauss '00 and Carrie Walpole '96 with a lively evening at the Pagoda that included friends, RE administrators and former teachers, coaches and hall of fame members. Photo Gallery
RE band director Jon Hamm recognized graduating band members and presented two major end-of-year music awards during a lively and fun concert at the Lewis Family Auditorium April 20. Flutist Lena Zide '23 received the Bill Pender Distinguished Service Award and French horn player Leah Maduro '23 earned the Leonard Bernstein Musicianship Award as the symphonic band, jazz combos and guitar ensemble performed for the last time in 2021-22 at the RE Band SJG Spring Concert.
Art collections from upper school ceramics, architecture, painting and photography classes filled the Solomon Art Gallery, adorned the walls of the Visual Arts Building and populated the Bowden library with the opening of the spring visual arts exhibition on April 20, showcasing extraordinary student works from 2021-22 under the direction of RE visual arts faculty Astrid Dalins, Jorge Guzman and Matt Stock.
Ten Ransom Everglades seniors reflected on their years at Ransom Everglades and offered advice to RE parents during the first in-person Senior Panel in three years. The event at the Posner Lecture Hall in the Fernandez STEM Center featured Luca Campiani ’22, Nicolas Falero ’22, Chrissy Francis ’22, Ella di Gasbarro ’22, Nikhil Kumar ’22, Victoria Porto ’22, Isabella Virtue ’22, Jessica Weinstein ’22, Kerryn Xu ’22 and Lauren Zanarini ’22.
Ransom Everglades' girls junior quad of Ana Cecilia Gonzalez '23, Kathryn Serra '23, Ysa Jadotte '23 and Isa Leiser '23 won a state championship at the Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Sculling Championships in Sarasota on April 9-10 as Thomas Segrera '23 claimed runner-up honors in the boys varsity single event. The two teams also advanced to the Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championship Regatta in Camden, N.J., May 27-28
Ransom Everglades' AP Psychology students explored various current events from the lens of social psychology, presenting in-depth posters at the 2022 Social Psychology Symposium in the Solomon Art Gallery at the upper school on April 9. Upper school students and teachers stopped by throughout the mid-day break to query the students about their work on topics ranging from cancel culture to trans athletes in competitive sports
Ransom Everglades' math team scored the Blue Ribbon Award at the Florida math state championships, a trophy bestowed on the highest-scoring small school at the April 8-9 event in Orlando. Under the direction of coach Karen Key, RE's team of 12 – including nine freshmen and sophomores – finished second overall in the trivia competition and scored a number of top 10 finishes at the 2022 Florida Association of Mu Alpha Theta State Convention.
College admissions officers from ten colleges and universities came to Ransom Everglades on April 11 to lead the College Counseling Case Study Night, an annual event that takes RE families behind the scenes in a simulated college admission selection committee process. More than 200 people attended the April 11 event at the upper school, working in small groups with representatives from Case Western Reserve University, Colorado College, Denison University, Florida State University, Fordham University, Johns Hopkins University, Purdue University, University of Miami, University of Richmond and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Two Ransom Everglades teams qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championships in Dallas on May 4-8: The Squad team of Lucia Rose Dahn '23, Diego de Lope '23, Victor Perez '23, Pablo Rodriguez-Russowsky '23 and Luca Trebotich ’23; and the Dark Matter team of Dashiell DeStefano '22, Emma G '23, Sofia Paraoulaki de Miranda '23, Max Vallone '22 and Alex Van Lidth ’22. All of RE's robotics teams train under STEM Department faculty member Bob DuBard.
With period-perfect costumes, an elaborate set, spooky sound effects and an extraordinary cast, Ransom Everglades drama executed the madcap mystery Clue: On Stage! with skill and hilarity in front of large crowds April 7-8 at the Lewis Family Auditorium. Leads Nicolas Maynulet ’23, Natasha do Valle ’23, Alejandro Andrade ’25, Tager Lehr ’25, Celeste Viana ’22, Armando Segrera ’25, Zoe Holzman ’22, Natasha Rodriguez ’23, Jaerla Sajous ’25 and Matthew Zide ’22 traded one-liners and shared the spotlight, making the performances under director Laura Montes a team effort.
Ransom Everglades brought the newest members of its school community to its campuses in early April, welcoming students newly enrolled for 2022-23 with greetings from enthusiastic faculty, administration and current students. The school also shared RE swag bags, “Class of” t-shirts and informative presentations.
At a trio of new-student events that were part-celebration and part-orientation, the incoming Raiders mingled with future classmates and teachers, and explored the grounds that will soon feel like home.
Ransom Everglades sophomores and juniors assembled personal hygiene bags for families in Coconut Grove at the same time that freshmen and seniors put together Easter Baskets for students in Project Thrive, a program run by ARC of South Florida that helps children with intellectual or developmental delays. The campus-wide service project took place during a break in the school day on April 7.
Sixteen students in the upper school's Advanced Chamber Ensemble under the direction of faculty member Scott O'Donnell earned straight superior rankings at the Florida Orchestra Association District 16 Musical Performance Assessment that took place at Coral Reef Senior High School on March 11.
Five Ransom Everglades' soccer players – including four from the state runner-up boys' team – earned first-team, all-county honors from the Miami Herald for high school winter sports as more than 20 Raiders were recognized in the April 4 announcement. Jasper Broad ’22, Mather Davidson ’23, David Pulido ’22, Juan Rivera ’22 and Christian Sosa ’22 will be invited to an end-of-year banquet to celebrate first-team selections from 2021-22 and announce a player of the year for each Florida High School Athletic Association sport.
Ransom Everglades students planned, produced and expertly executed the second TEDxRansomEverglades at Swenson Hall on April 2, using the theme of “emerge” to build and showcase a program of engaging talks and presentations related to art, linguistics and technology.
Daniel Figueroa ’24, Annika Gelber ’23, Andre Joseph ’22, Ella Lombardo ’24, Max Vallone ’22, Kira Oglesby ’22 and faculty member Scott O’Donnell each took the stage to deliver, in the tradition of TEDx, “ideas worth spreading.” Lead organizer Diya Tekriwal ’22 served as emcee, sharing the duties with fellow event organizers Mark Mateo ’22, Victoria Porto ’22 and Francisco Gomez Rivas-Vazquez ’24.
A record number of faculty, staff, parents and alumni came decked out in toga chic attire for a night of dancing, bidding and socializing at the 39th Annual RE Party & Auction on April 2. What an incredible evening celebrating our Ransom Everglades community! Carpe Diem: REimagine the Classics was spectacular in every way!
The Ransom Everglades girls' water polo team won its 16th straight district championship with an 18-8 defeat of MAST Academy at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School on March 31. Later that evening, the boys' finished second in the district, falling to Belen Jesuit by a 15-8 margin. In the girls' game, Sarah Velazco '23 led the Raiders with seven goals, Sabrina Shipley '22 added four goals and three steals, and goalie Eleonora Cavallini '23 blocked seven shots.
Ransom Everglades recognized 11 seniors for their excellence in community service and academic achievement, nominating them for the 64th Annual Silver Knight Awards. The nominees – Amelia Fox '22, Levi Gans '22, Eva Gonzalez-Whitehouse '22, Dina Kaplan '22, Zach Marcus '22, Juliana Murray '22, Kati Ortega '22, Leah Thorpe '22, Celeste Viana '22, Izzy Virtue '22 and Mary Logan Woolsey '22 – in May will learn the outcome of the prestigious high school competition held by the Miami Herald.
Israel Garcia ’28 won the RE middle school's annual pi recitation contest, correctly rattling off the first 115 digits of π on March 17 (the event was originally scheduled for March 14 – the actual pi day). Aarav Jindal ’26 came in second, achieving 99 correct digits; Charlotte Mark ’26 finished third, reciting 80 digits; and SawyerNelson-Montet ’28 finished fourth by correctly reciting 60 digits. The contestants received chocolate chip pies and the audience enjoyed chocolate-chip cookies. Middle school math teachers Greg Siegler, Alina Mendoza and Grace Gonzalez organized the event.
The Middle School Raider Band members shared their talents and showed their progress during an evening concert on March 17 that featured famous marches, offered a play on the March Madness basketball tournament, and celebrated St. Patrick's Day. The "March Mayhem" event at Swenson Hall featured the Beginning Band, the Raider Band and the Combined Band under the direction of middle school band coordinator Cathi Leibinger. Photo Gallery
The middle school math team finished 10th in the state in the 2022 Florida State Mathcounts Competition on March 16 in Jacksonville, standing out among more than 100 middle school teams from around the state. Daniel Li ’28, Robert Li ’26, Aarav Jindal ’26, Gabe Karsenti ’26, Joshie Khohayting ’28 and Alex Tevelow ’28 contributed to the finish under coach and middle school math coordinator Jessica Merrick.
RE middle school strings students transported the audience at Swenson Hall to a night at the movies, performing a host of popular movie theme songs during the Middle School Strings Concert on March 15. As they played technically challenging movie music from Mission Impossible, Star Wars, SpongeBob SquarePants and others, students showed their progress well into the second semester at Ransom Everglades. At the end of the evening, several students received awards from middle school strings director Jessica Carrasquillo. Photo Gallery
Pablo Rodríguez-Russowsky '23, Dashiell DeStefano ‘22 and Max Vallone '22 won first place in the Ninth Annual Ransom Everglades Business Challenge with their proposal for DIMS, a color-matching dental implant system. Their proposal wowed the RE alumni judging panel and earned them a bid to the Innovate South Florida business plan competition among South Florida independent schools on April 13.
As weight was applied to the bridge of Maxwell Wiesenfeld ’23, his name climbed methodically up the leaderboard projected on a huge screen in the Lewis Family Auditorium. Wiesenfeld, the last competitor in the final round of Ransom Everglades’ annual bridge competition, surpassed student after student, 14 in all. By the time he landed at the top of the day’s rankings – his basswood-stick bridge bearing 56.0 pounds before finally shattering – his fellow students’ murmurs had grown to shouts, and absolutely no one in the auditorium was sitting.
Ransom Everglades middle school drama students rallied around a lovable zombie – Gustavo do Valle ’26 – in Zombie Prom, the off-Broadway musical that turned the Swenson Hall stage into Enrico Fermi High. The lively cast welcomed do Valle back from the dead and into the arms of his former crush, Noa Garcia ’27, while they jointly fended off the opposition of the zealous Miss Strict, played by Orli Ressler ’26.
In an annual celebration of reading at the middle school, OBODOS (One Book, One Day, One School) returned to the middle school on March 9 with New York Timesbest-selling author James Ponti and a full day of activities related to the first book in his Framed! mystery series.
Ransom Everglades’ speech and debate team claimed two state titles and a host of top finishes at the Florida Forensic League Varsity State Championships in Orlando on March 5. Noah Gold ’22 and Zach Marcus ’22 topped the field in Public Forum debate as five RE students combined to win the state title in World School Debate: Anya Dua ’22, Dina Kaplan ’22, Luca Campiani ’22, Mather Davidson ’22 and Varun Raju ’24.
Ransom Everglades upper schoolers heard an inspiring talk from Alice Min Soo Chun, an inventor, architect, environmentalist and CEO of Solight Design, who spoke at an assembly in honor of International Women's Day at the Lewis Family Auditorium on March 8. Min Soo Chun explained how she got into the business of fashioning sustainable, solar-powered lights and phone chargers for disaster victims around the world – and she let students know they, too, could use their creativity to make a difference.
Ransom Everglades’ teams swept the team and individual events at the South Florida Regional History Bowl and Bee on March 5 at Ransom Everglades – a total of four RE teams and six individuals earned podium finishes, led by the first-place varsity and junior varsity teams.
The 35-member RE Combined Symphonic Band traveled to South Dade High School on March 4 to perform in the Florida Bandmasters Association District 20 Music Performance Assessment. The band performed for three concert adjudicators and one sight reading adjudicator, earning an overall Superior rating. This performance marks the 25th consecutive year the RE band has performed at the district festival under conductor Jon Hamm.
After a one-year pause because of the pandemic, freshmen returned to the Ten Thousand Islands in the Everglades this winter, resuming the experiential learning tradition at Ransom Everglades that dates more than 30 years. In deference to COVID-19, freshmen traveled in four waves instead of two and each student was required to submit to a rapid COVID-19 test the morning of departure. Photo Gallery
Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge William Thomas put judicial ethics in a personal context for Ransom Everglades upper school students during an assembly March 1 at the Lewis Family Auditorium. Judge Thomas, the third speaker in Ransom Everglades’ Holzman Center of Applied Ethics Distinguished Speaker Series, described his path to the circuit court bench while addressing how he deals with personal biases, campaign contributions and judicial discretion.
Thirty Breakthrough Miami fifth graders teamed up with 30 Ransom Everglades eighth graders on February 12 for the first ever Breakthrough on The Bay, a day to combine forces and learn about mangrove ecosystems, plastic pollution, and the marine ecology of Biscayne Bay.
Ransom Everglades' varsity sailing team finished second in the 2022 South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association South Points No. 5 that took place in beautiful conditions on Biscayne Bay February 26. Eighteen varsity teams and 10 JV teams competed at the event officially held at the Harry Anderson '38 Watersports Center.
Four Ransom Everglades robotics teams qualified for the South Florida Regional State Championship March 13 in Immokalee, Fla., where each team will vie for a bid to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas in May. RE's Dark Matter team of Dashiell DeStefano '22, Emma G '23, Sofia Paraoulaki de Miranda '23, Max Vallone '22 and Alex Van Lidth '22, double-qualified for the event by claiming a tournament championship and Excellence Award at the February 5 VEX Robotics Competition in Fort Myers, Fla.
Ransom Everglades boys' soccer team won a district title and regional championship, posted a 15-game winning streak, outscored its opponents 62-11, and advanced all the way to its first Florida High School Athletic Association state championship game since 2016. Some 250 students and faculty traveled by bus to DeLand, Fla., to support the Raiders in their title quest, but RE fell short against Tampa Prep by a 2-0 margin.
Nearly 500 grandparents enjoyed attending classes with their grandchildren during Grandparents and Special Friends Day at the middle school on February 15 or at upper school on February 16 – or at both events. Grandparents fanned out on both campuses after assembling for a light brunch and remarks from school leaders, heading to classrooms with their grandchildren where they participated in round-table discussions, asked questions, donned lab coats and, in some cases, offered to help teach the material.
Edmond Baudin de la Valette '27 won Superior with Distinction honors as 10 middle school students earned recognition at the Solo Festival Music Performance Assessment (MPA) February 12 at Miami Arts Studio at Zelda Glazer. The solo and ensemble festival offered an opportunity for students around South Florida to perform a selection of their choosing for adjudication. RE's students train under faculty member Jessica Carrasquillo.
Ransom Everglades' Advanced Chamber Ensemble and Advanced String Quartet headlined an exciting night at the Posner Lecture Hall under the direction of Strings Music Director Scott O'Donnell. RE's top strings students performed a range of well-known pieces with impressive precision and expression, delighting the audience at the Upper School Strings Concert on February 15.
RE's calculus team – Alex Van Lidth '22, Nikhil Kumar '22, Maya Shaked '24 and Sabrina Shipley '22 – finished second in a regional math competition in Naples on February 12, led by Van Lidth's fifth-place individual finish among more than 100 competitors from the east and west coasts of Florida. Ransom Everglades' pre-calculus team scored fifth place as the Raiders claimed fifth overall at the Golden Gate Region 5 February Regional 2022.
Florida Senator Shevrin D. Jones visited Ransom Everglades as part of the school's celebration of Black History Month, participating in a lively question-and-answer session with members of the school's Black Student Association on February 14. While seated amid students on the Lewis Family Auditorium stage, Jones touched on his personal journey, experience in state politics and deeply rooted interest in education. Reflecting on his path from AP Chemistry teacher to the Florida state legislature, he explained how his belief in young people has driven him.
The RE Combo earned straight superior ratings and qualified for the state tournament for the 12th straight year at the Florida Bandmasters Association District Jazz Music Performance Assessment in Key West on February 12. The combo led a successful day for Ransom Everglades – it was the first time three RE jazz combos played for ratings at a district event.
Ransom Everglades celebrated five years of Dan Leslie Bowden Fellowships in the Humanities with a gallery night that showcased the Class of 2022 fellows’ projects and attracted dozens of members of the RE community. The February 7 evening event, which filled the Solomon Art Gallery with students, faculty, parents and alumni, illustrated the impact of the students’ fellowship work and the reach and growth of the program. The humanities fellowships have become a signature experiential-learning opportunity at Ransom Everglades since the first fellows set out with the school’s support in the summer of 2017.
Ransom Everglades' speech and debate team qualified eight students to the National Speech and Debate Association national championship this spring and nearly four dozen students to the Florida Forensic League Varsity State Championship that will be held in Orlando in March. The strong results continued a superb season under RE coach Kate Hamm.
Alba Uriarte Jimenez '22, Sabrina Shipley '22 and Alex Van Lidth '22 have been nominated to compete in The United States Presidential Scholars Program, joining some 4,000 high school students nationwide. The three seniors did not apply individually for the program, and were not nominated by Ransom Everglades. Students receive invitations based on academic achievement, their performance on the SAT or ACT or other elements of scholarship.
Inceni Cabrera '22, Lucia Rose Dahn '23, Andrew Gedde '25, Jack He '25 and Rylan Sadler '22 each received a Gold or Silver Key award, or both, in the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Nineteen Ransom Everglades students combined to win four gold keys, four silvers and 24 honorable mentions.
Ransom Everglades girls’ basketball team earned a 65-22 over Florida Christian on February 4 to win the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 3A District 15 championship. Kathryn Serra ’23 dominated on both ends of the court, scoring 26 points, grabbing 14 rebounds, collecting nine steals and dishing out five assists to lead the Raiders' young team.
A professional Chinese dance troupe performed at assembly and upper school students took part in a range of traditional Chinese activities during the mid-day break on February 1 in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The festivities, planned and carried out by the school’s Chinese Culture Club, were designed to be educational, engaging and fun.
In its first competition of the 2021-22 season, RE's math team scored three top-five team finishes as one senior – Alex Van Lidth '22 – claimed a ninth place in the calculus individual competition at the FAU-Davie Campus Regional on January 29.
More than 100 dancers from both campuses performed a long-form dance showcase that used the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to illustrate the journey through the seven stages of grief to acceptance. The opening dance performance of 2021-22 at the Lewis Family Auditorium drew a sell-out crowd and illustrated the growth and maturation of the school's dance program under program director Desiree Masucci.
A local technology entrepreneur spoke to Ransom Everglades upper school students January 25, offering an inside look at the challenges of growing a tech start-up and advice to those interested in following her path. Olivia Ramos, the founder and CEO of Deepblocks, a company that hopes to transform the real-estate industry through the use of artificial intelligence, addressed students at assembly at the Lewis Family Auditorium and in class settings later.
Ransom Everglades swept the 2022 South Florida Winter History Bee and Bowl January 22, winning the varsity and junior varsity bowls and the varsity and JV bees as an RE middle school team finished second in the JV (high school) bowl. Under the direction of RE coaches Joe Mauro, Branly Fontaine and Abby Berler, RE students won a total of seven top-three medals at annual competition at the upper school.
An eighth grader and a freshman were among the three Raiders awarded first-team all-county honors for fall sports by the Miami Herald in the newspaper’s annual rankings, as more than two dozen students earned recognition. Felipe de Cardenas’22 earned first-team honors in cross country, Angela Jiang ’26 in golf, and Julia Lewkowitz ’25 in volleyball.
A rocket will carry an experiment devised by physics students from Ransom Everglades School to the edge of space, NASA and Future Engineers announced on January 21. The students’ project was one of 57 nationwide – and the only from Florida – selected for the special launch, part of the organization’s first-ever NASA TechRise Student Challenge.
Ken Langone, the Home Depot co-founder and philanthropist whose donations helped make New York University Medical School tuition free, addressed students for more than an hour at Ransom Everglades' upper school on January 19. He shared his rags-to-riches personal story and advised students that making ethical decisions and showing respect for others were always good business.
David Lawrence Jr., the former newspaper publisher and current chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida, received a rousing standing ovation and was swarmed by RE upper school students at a book signing after delivering an inspiring talk in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lewis Family Auditorium on January 18.
Dozens of Ransom Everglades' students, faculty and staff celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by joining in service activities on both campuses. Members of the RE community cleaned trash and debris from the mangroves; sewed dresses and shirts for children in Haiti; created plastic yarn to make mats for people who are homeless; packed care packages for a homeless shelter; and collected food for a local church's food bank. All of the activities were voluntary; it was a day off from classes.
Members of RE’s Diversity Council participated in a panel discussion about what they learned at Student Diversity Leadership Conferences (SDLCs) sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools in 2019, 2020 or 2021. During the roundtable on the Lewis Family Auditorium stage on January 11, the student leaders explained how they benefited from affinity group meetings and other sessions and urged their peers to consider applying for RE’s Diversity Council in the spring.
Nearly 40 freshmen departed Ransom Everglades on January 10 for the start of their five-day, four-night Outward Bound adventure in the Ten Thousand Islands, marking a return of the tradition that dates back more than 30 years. In deference to COVID-19, freshmen are traveling in four groups – instead of two – this year, and each student must test negative on a rapid COVID-19 test the morning of departure to participate in the canoeing and camping trip in the Everglades. No students tested positive in the January 10 testing.
RE juniors and their parents assembled at the upper school on January 8 to hear from a panel of experts in the field of college admissions on a range of topics that surround the college search and application process. Representing a variety of school types (a highly-selective, private, liberal-arts school; a highly-selective national university; and a flagship public university), admission directors Chris Gruber from Davidson, Denny Paredes from Tufts and Charles Murphy from the University of Florida, entertained and informed during the school's annual College Admissions Symposium.
More than two dozen Ransom Everglades students earned recognition for their excellence in the visual arts in a number of contest announcements in December and January. Middle and upper school students excelled in the Drexel University national high school photography competition; fall 2021 Celebrating Art Contest; Broward Art Guild Annual Youth Art competition; and Lions International Peace Poster Contest.
More than 150 children from five churches in Coconut Grove received toys, games or other items from the annual Toy Drive at Ransom Everglades Middle School. Students contributed different categories of toys – from sporting goods to engineering kits to toy cars to games and dolls – based on the "house" to which they belong at the middle school. RE delivered the toys on December 17 to Christ Episcopal Church, the host church.
The tradition dates nearly 30 years and has been organized by middle school faculty members Maria Eugenia Abrante and Ramona Miller.
Ransom Everglades faculty and staff gathered a day before students returned from winter break for diversity, equity and inclusion training that focused on the LGBTQ+ community. Jessica Lam, a trainer for Safe Schools South Florida, gave a presentation and led an interactive workshop at the Lewis Family Auditorium on January 4 designed to educate and promote respect, dignity and affirmation.
For the third time this school year, a Ransom Everglades speech and debate team won a national debate event in public forum; this time it was Sophia Rubinstein '22 and Eva Tariko '22 who finished first at the John Edie Holiday Debates hosted by The Blake School in Minneapolis December 17-20.
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.