Ransom Everglades’ seventh class of Dan Leslie Bowden Fellows in the Humanities shared their summer research projects during the Bowden Fellows Gallery Night on Dec. 4, presenting summaries of their work at the Lewis Family Auditorium before heading to the Solomon Art Gallery for more interactive and in-depth presentations. The evening represented the culmination of educational journeys that began last summer, when the fellows – Christine Keedy Brown '24, Emma Dvorkin '24, Daniela Gardiner '24, Trinity Haish '24, Camille Lugo '24, Skye McPhillips '24, Elisa Sotero '24, Julia Torto '24, Jude Yeo '24 and Mike Zoi '24 –used the support from their Dan Leslie Bowden Fellowships to explore various topics. Photo Gallery
Ten Ransom Everglades speech and debate students posted top-10 finishes at an international debate tournament in Weston in December and nearly two dozen earned finalist recognition at a local tournament in Fort Lauderdale in November. The Raiders were led by Claudia Colina ’25 (first place, dramatic interpretation), Gustavo Do Valle ’26 (first place, humorous interpretation), Danny Mendelson ’25 and Max Salomon ’25 (second place, public forum), Isabella Copetti ’27 (third place, original oratory), Jack McCarron ’26 (third, humorous interpretation) at the 8th Annual International Tradition Tournament at Cypress Bay High Dec. 2-3; all also earned prestigious bids to the end-of-season Tournament of Champions event.
Six Ransom Everglades students attended the National Association of Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference as six professional staff participated in the parallel People of Color Conference in St. Louis Dec. 1-4. The students – Jamora Arroyo-Jefferson '24, Kaige Brown '25, Isabel Chong '24, Ron "R.J." Donaldson '25, Tyira Jackson '24 and Anuradha "Anu" Tewari '25 – met with peers from around the nation, attended workshops and heard from accomplished speakers as they explored the theme, “Gateways to Freedom: A Conference of truth, joy, knowledge and power.”
Upper school musicians and vocalists had members of the audience tapping their feet to Broadway showtunes, swaying to a lively hoedown and reveling in well-known classics by Handel, Bach and Strauss. The Winter Concert Dec. 1 at the upper school showed off the depth and breadth of the student performers' talents and skills under Director of String Ensembles Scott O'Donnell, Choral Director Laura Montes and Conductor and Musical Director of the Symphony Orchestra Jon Hamm.
Ransom Everglades welcomed more than 250 guests to the Young Alumni Reception the week of Thanksgiving. Young alumni gathered at La Brisa Nov. 22 for this annual tradition and many participated in the alumni soccer and basketball games on Nov. 25. View the photo album here. Collegiate alumni from the Classes of 2020-2023 are invited to save the date for the Collegiate Alumni Luncheon at the upper school on Jan. 11, 2024.
Ben Brandrick-Morris '29 successfully spelled "merfolk" to win the 2023 Ransom Everglades Middle School Spelling Bee and advance to the 84th Annual Miami Herald Spelling Bee in March 2024. Rohan Harihara '30 finished second, and Radha Willig '28 finished third among the 16 finalists in a competition that extended for 27 rounds and offered challenging words including anthropomorphic, philtrum and calcitonin.
David "Chuli" Serra '24 won the cross country state championship on Nov. 17, topping the second-place finisher from the Bolles School in Jacksonville by just over two seconds. Serra's finish in the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A boys' 5,000 meters in 15 minutes and 19.5 seconds gave him his third individual state championship in the last six months – he also claimed track and field state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 last May. Serra headlined a great performance in Tallahassee by the Raiders' boys' and girls' teams, both of which earned sixth place.
Ransom Everglades' annual Thanksgiving food drives inspired generosity and participation and provided food for neighbors in Coconut Grove and Miami. Upper school students donated more than 400 bags of groceries to Miami Rescue Mission and middle school students filled baskets for 42 families connected to the Frankie Shannon Rolle Community Resource Center. Students on both campuses helped pack the goods for distribution on Nov. 17, the last day of school before Thanksgiving break.
Ransom Everglades celebrated Diwali, the Festival of Lights, on both campuses with events that showcased traditional Indian dance, clothing, storytelling, food and arts and crafts. A visit by children’s author Mitali Banerjee Ruths kicked off the festivities at the middle school, which culminated in a sprawling carnival on Nov. 10 featuring a lighting of diyas, a fashion show, a video presentation, street food and dancing. At the upper school, dozens of students joined an impromptu Bollywood dance tutorial on the Lewis Family Auditorium stage before participating in a range of arts and crafts organized by the Asian Students Association in the Ansin Breezeway.
Ransom Everglades guitar and band students showed their promise and progress at the first Jazz and Guitar Concert of the year on Nov. 14 at the Lewis Family Auditorium. Culminating in four pieces by the RE Combo, the concert highlighted guitar students from three levels of classes and jazz musicians in the school’s three jazz combos and RE Jazz Band. Director of Arts Shawn Costantino and Band Director Jon Hamm directed the event. Photo Gallery
Middle school drama students performed with dazzling skill and comic timing beyond their years, offering a hilarious take on Robin Hood by James W. Moore during three performances at Swenson Hall Nov. 8-10. The dashing Robin Hood, played by Stefano Kruger '28, and his Merry Band (Vivi Pasos '28, Aleko Katsoufis '28, Diego Andrade '28, Pace Caplow '30, Christian Bell '30) took on a host of bad guys (Cohen McDaniel '28, Sawyer Nelson Montet '28, Sasha Estefan-Coppola '30, William Stockman '28) in the fast-paced, fast-talking comedy adventure directed by Elizabeth Harper '28 and faculty member Gina Montet.
The middle school celebrated Native American Heritage Month by learning about the Seminole Tribe of Florida during a special assembly in the gymnasium on Nov. 14. Van V. Samuels, the Outreach Coordinator at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in Clewiston, Fla., shared stories and information about the history, language, culture and traditions of the Seminole tribe, which he noted was one of more than 565 tribes in North America.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Markenzy Lapointe described the ethical decisions he faced during his growing-up years after arriving to Miami from Haiti as a teenager who spoke no English. He loved the hard-working families in his new hometown, and admired the grit of his single mother, who raised five children despite never making more than $16,000 per year. But the challenges were significant.
Sophia Romanov Imber '24 won the grand prize among high school entries in the 2023 La Plume Young Writers' Contest for her piece "Investigative Journalism is Dead," leading the seven Ransom Everglades students who earned recognition in the Miami-Dade County competition. Jordan James '25 earned first place for "City of Mirages," Patrick Keedy Brown '26 scored second place for "What I Would Say to the Ammonite Shell," and Cecile Etzbach '29, Carlos del Canal Fernandez '25 and Garrett Fox '26 each earned Honorary Awards as Henry Berler '25 claimed an Encouragement Award.
Fourteen students from Nîmes, France, visited Ransom Everglades and stayed with RE host families to complete a cultural exchange that began this past summer. The students from Lycée Alphonse-Daudet arrived to Miami on Oct. 29 and attended a breakfast with students in RE's French-language classes on Oct. 30. During their 10 days in Miami, they made visits to RE while immersing themselves in the city's culture and enjoying activities throughout South Florida.
A small cast of Ransom Everglades students shared the bumpy journey of family upheaval and self-discovery experienced by a 15-year-old autistic boy, Christopher – played by Alejandro Andrade ’25 – after his discovery of the brutal death of a dog in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. His father, Armando Segrera ’25, and mother, Lael Sanders ’26, were pulled along for an emotional ride Oct. 25-27 at the Lewis Family Auditorium as Lilah Murphy ’27 brought a calm and steady voice as narrator.
Ransom Everglades’ "Raiders" robotics team – officially 4330R – earned top awards at three straight robotics tournaments and moved to No. 18 in the world in the VEX Robotics Competition World Skills Standings as the 2023-24 competitive season got underway. Victoria Paraoulaki de Miranda ’24, Erick Gross ’24, Mateo Heitner ’25, Ivan Rosenfeld ’25 and Gabriel Karsenti ’26 most recently claimed the Excellence Award, Robot Skills Champion and Tournament Champion at the VEX Robotics Competition High School "Over Under" South Florida Regional Qualifier that brought 50 teams to Ransom Everglades on Oct. 22.
The Ransom Everglades boys' golf team won its third straight district title and fifth in seven years with an incredible team effort at the Florida High School Athletic Association 1A District 16 Championships Oct. 23 at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. RE golfers earned the top three finishes individually: Jesse Hellring '25 led the field with a 1-under par 71, Nick Viana '24 (72, even) finished second overall, and Hugo Stenstrom '26 (75, +3) earned third place. Jackson Langer '24 (76, +4) also scored for RE, which posted the second-lowest 18-hole team district total in RE history, and middle schooler Axel Monssoh '30 contributed.
Middle school band students showed off their musical progress during a fall concert that stretched across campus and highlighted student solos while also allowing parents a peek inside the classroom. The Oct. 19 performance event directed by Middle School Performing Arts Coordinator Cathi Leibinger put parents near the center of the action, whether alongside their beginning band students for the opening presentation in Swenson Hall or in the many classrooms around campus that provided venues for solos. Photo Gallery
Ransom Everglades swimmers put their arms around one another and gathered in a huddle in anticipation of the announcement of team champions at the 2023 Florida High School Athletic Association 1A District 12 Championships at the Ansin Aquatic Center on Oct. 19. The swimmers – and their parents – jumped for joy when the announcer confirmed that both teams finished in first place to claim district titles.
Federal judge Rudy Ruiz ’98 returned to his high school alma mater to address judicial and legal ethics as the opening speaker in the 2023-24 Holzman Center of Applied Ethics Speaker Series at the Lewis Family Auditorium on Oct. 19. Ruiz, in his fifth year as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, discussed a range of legal topics, emphasizing to students that despite the current political climate, the virtues of respect, humility, and civility remain integral for society and institutions to flourish.
Writing retreats to nearby Island C and the shoreline of The Barnacle Historic State Park helped bring to life the study of poetry and transcendentalism for Ransom Everglades' 10th-grade English students. Inspired by the poems of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson and the transcendental texts of Emerson and Thoreau, the sophomore students traveled by foot or boat to find quiet spaces to read, reflect and compose their own poetry.
Ransom Everglades welcomed track and field coach Mike Becker, former soccer star Shereena Chang '98 and three-sport legend David de Montmollin '92 as the newest inductees to the Ransom Everglades Athletic Hall of Fame during an Oct. 12 ceremony at the Pagoda filled with storytelling, laughter, handshakes, hugs and a few tears.
More than 50 Ransom Everglades juniors and seniors opened a series of peer-to-peer meetings with RE ninth graders on Oct. 5, fanning out to classrooms on the upper school campus to deliver important information on health and wellness. The student leaders, known as Peer Health Educators, trained for the leadership roles under the direction of the Health Information Project (HIP), a Miami-based health education organization founded in 2009 by Risa Berrin '98 that is in its eighth year at RE.
Claudia Colina '25 finished in first place in dramatic interpretation at the 2023 Yale Invitational, leading an impressive performance for RE Speech and Debate at the prestigious national event Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in New Haven, Conn. Daniela Garcia '26 and Miranda Silva '26 earned fifth place in Duo Interpretation as Andrew Gedde '25 finished sixth in Informative Speaking. The students competed against hundreds of students from around the nation under RE faculty member and coach Kate Hamm.
Ransom Everglades' teams won two first places and one second place in the Independent Schools of South Florida Middle School and High School Geography Bees in October at the Women's Club of Coral Gables. Iker Fierro '28, Jaz Puri '28, Jack Akselrad '28, Noah Veras '29 and Ciaran Clingan '29 posted a 6-0 record to win the Oct. 10 middle school bee under the direction of coach Joe Mauro. Daniel Figueroa '24, Erick Gross '24, Benny Fishman '26 and Liam Forand '24 won the Oct. 24 high school bee under coaches Abby Berler and Branly Fontaine.
Communication from Head of School Rachel Rodriguez to the RE community:
Precisely four years ago today, The Today Show aired an interview with nine of our middle school students for a segment on “kindness.” A few weeks ago, we emailed those students, now seniors and juniors, asking them to join us for a kindness reunion photo opp. When they arrived at a classroom on the third floor of our former math-science building during the mid-day break, we turned on video cameras. We gave them no advance notice. We did not prep them. Chief Operating Officer and Interim Head of the Upper School David Clark ’86 and I invited them into a conversation on our mission and core values – The RE Way – with the cameras rolling.
Ransom Everglades students and faculty learned about the traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival, the second-largest traditional Chinese festival, with a colorful and spirited celebration at the middle school on Sept. 29. The event featured student and professional performances, mooncake-making, calligraphy, tea ceremonies, lantern-making, a chess tournament, delicious Chinese food and the contributions of RE's Chinese Parent Committee.
Seven national academic honor societies are welcoming more than 450 inductees from Ransom Everglades during morning or mid-day ceremonies at the upper school from late September through early October. Department heads and faculty advisors admitted new members to honor societies for science, French, Spanish-Portuguese and Chinese as well as Cum Laude, which recognizes seniors in the top 10 percent of the class. Inductees will be welcomed to the math honor society, Mu Alpha Theta, and a new music society, Tri-M, in early October. Inductees must meet a variety of academic, service and civic requirements.
Four RE alumni – Terron Ferguson '04, Oliver Moore '02, Alex Moskovitz '93 and Annie Stamps '03 – addressed RE students and fielded their questions during a College Interview Workshop held by the college counseling office on Oct. 1. The alumni brought their experience from a range of top undergraduate institutions; Ferguson attended Morehouse College; Moore is a U.S. Military Academy grad; Moskovitz attended MIT; and Stamps, the University of Pennsylvania. College Counselor China Hutchins moderated the alumni panel in the Posner Lecture Hall, and also shared guidance on preparing for college interviews.
Six band members from the upper school and five from the middle school were named to the 2023-24 District 20 Honor Band and will perform Oct. 13-14 at Westminster Christian School. The students were recommended by RE Director of Instrumental Music Jon Hamm and Middle School Performing Arts Department Coordinator Cathi Leibinger. The upper school honorees will rehearse and perform under noted music teacher and conductor Joe Luechauer from Broward County.
A standing-room only crowd at Robert E. Walker Field cheered on the Raiders as they defeated Palmer Trinity 34-26 in the 49th annual battle-for-the-oar game, retaining the oar for the fifth straight year. In a game that honored the special teachers selected by each player, the Raiders were led on offense by Ryan Bienstock '24 and Neimann Lawrence '28 as the defense saved the day with a late goal-line stand.
Middle school students enjoyed the food, music and culture of Hispanic and Latino countries during a campus-wide Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month celebration on Sept. 15. The festival spread over the middle school courtyard offering stations for cuisine, performances and activities. Students enjoyed colorful arts and crafts, an interactive world map, a chocolate-tasting course, a soccer competition, Samba dancers, street-fair-style food, paletas and traditional music.
Ransom Everglades student leaders addressed their peers on the issues of academic integrity and ethical decision-making during an upper school assembly on Sept. 19 at the Lewis Family Auditorium. Members of the RE Honor and Disciplinary Committee and Holzman Center of Applied Ethics Advisory Council explained the school's Honor Code and recent changes to the Student Handbook, advising their fellow students to know the rules and lean on peers, faculty members and advisors when they need help making sound ethical decisions.
Ransom Everglades students participated in a school-wide hygiene drive, contributing to an annual food and toiletries distribution in Coconut Grove in early September that benefitted hundreds of local families. In partnership with the school's Volunteer Service Council, RE alumni and the Joshua's Heart Foundation, students on both campuses donated dozens of items – toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, detergent, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, deodorant and dish soap. The items were packaged into more than 120 bags and distributed by some 20 RE students, parents and alumni at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church on Sept. 9.
Sixteen Ransom Everglades students were named National Merit Semifinalists, advancing in the 68th annual competition for National Merit Scholarships. Chloe Alfonso '24, Christine Keedy Brown '24, Siona Dua '24, Nicolas Fayad '24, Ian Fox '24, Elliot Gross '24, Erick Gross '24, Alexander Jones '24, Derrick Ma '24, Takeo Owens '24, Victoria Paraoulaki de Miranda '24, Martin Piedrahita '24, Lauren Scott '24, Margaret Seabrook '24, Nolan Wu '24 and Eve Zhou '24were among some 16,000 students from around the nation invited on Sept. 13 to contend for $2,500 scholarships.
Ransom Everglades recognized the seniors in the top 10 percent of the graduating Class of 2024 with admission into the Cum Laude Society. The seniors – Chloe Alfonso '24, Mackenzie Buckner '24, William Charouhis '24, Siona Dua '24, Ian Fox '24, Elliot Gross '24, Erick Gross '24, Nathan Kaplan '24, Derrick Ma '24, Skye McPhillips '24, Victoria Paraoulaki de Miranda '24, Nicolas Poliak '24, Lauren Scott '24, Maya Shaked '24, Alexander Tong '24 and Nolan Wu '24 – exhibit the "qualities of integrity ... and a sincere dedication to learning," Assistant Head of the Upper School Adriana Sanchez said during a Sept. 5 upper school assembly.
Seventeen RE upper school students explored the history, reefs and wildlife of South Africa and conducted extensive scientific surveys in Somkhanda Game Reserve during a multi-faceted, three-and-a-half week visit centered on conservation and climate research in June and July.
Twelve Ransom Everglades School students participated in a student exchange in June with the Lycée Alphonse Daudet, a school in Nîmes, France. The exchange matches Ransom Everglades School students with French students based on their shared interests, and each RE student resides in the French student’s home during the exchange, speaking French, learning about French life and experiencing the country’s traditions and culture.
RE Head of School Rachel Rodriguez and COO and Interim Head of the Upper School David Clark '86 welcome the entire community back to Ransom Everglades for the 2023-24 school year and unveil The RE Way, the school's new mission and core values. Enjoy by clicking here.
More than 50 student-run clubs, councils or teams advertised the opportunities they offer students during the Upper School Activities Fair on August 29. Sharing posters and props, students lined the Mendelson Family Plaza and Steps and the Touzet Quadrangle to explain their clubs' work and recruit peers. The organizations ranged from A.C.E. (Advanced Chemical Experiments) under STEM faculty member Jay Salon to the History of RE Club under archivist Katrina Patchett to the SCUBA Club under STEM faculty Kelly Jackson.
Ransom Everglades' newest tradition – "houses" a la Harry Potter – continues to evolve and thrive on both campuses. A jubilant House REveal at the middle school invited each incoming student into one of seven "houses" that serve as campus centers for spirit, fun and camaraderie. Meanwhile, upper school student leaders announced a redesign of the upper school house system modeled on traditions of the Ransom School and Everglades School for Girls.
Ransom Everglades added talented new faculty from across the nation to ensure that class sizes on both campuses remain small – a 9:1 student-teacher ratio – while also enhancing opportunities for students in the humanities, STEM, arts, athletics and co-curricular activities. New teachers spent four intensive days learning the culture of Ransom Everglades (The RE Way) while also meeting their peers and administrators leading up to the start of school August 22-23.
RE's national champion middle school academic team of Parker Jelke '27, Lucas Gonzalez '27 and Jaz Puri '28 earned the silver medal at the 5th International History Olympiad Championship in Rome in July, finishing second in the world to a team representing Asia.
Whether sailing, swimming, dancing, playing sports, running science experiments, exploring the bay or enjoying the endless activities available during Summer at RE, children of all ages made the most of Ransom Everglades’ campuses and classrooms in June and July.
Message from Head of School Rachel Rodriguez to the Ransom Everglades alumni community on July 14:
Dear RE Community,
It is with a heavy heart that I share the loss of faculty emerita Barbara Lester, who passed away July 12 after complications from a fall. She was 85. Barbara was a student favorite and faculty stalwart during her 42 years at Ransom Everglades, and her work on RE’s marine science program was transformative. She brought a joy to teaching that was contagious.
The Ransom Everglades Board of Trustees increased its expertise in real-estate development and educational leadership with the addition of one of Coconut Grove’s most respected developers and two RE alumnae with a history of successful outcomes with schools, adolescents and children.
[Updated May 21, 2023]: RE’s Class of 2023 will be matriculating at 83 colleges and universities in 23 states and seven countries in 2023-24. Ransom Everglades seniors not only will attend traditionally sought-after schools – including all of the Ivies, MIT and Stanford – they also will matriculate at highly selective liberal arts colleges, acclaimed research institutions, extremely competitive drama/music schools, highly regarded international institutions and universities with renowned specialty programs.
Math teacher Alina Mendoza became the latest Faculty Emerita at Ransom Everglades with her retirement after 28 years of dedicated service, and she also received the Arthur Moses Faculty Award for the middle school during Ransom Everglades' end-of-year faculty and staff recognition at the Lewis Family Auditorium on June 6. Lauded for her commitment to students inside and outside of the classroom, Mendoza was one of more than a dozen faculty and staff members honored with awards or for significant work anniversaries or retirements.
Ransom Everglades' middle school history team – Parker Jelke '27, Zach Corbin Cheah '27, Lucas Gonzalez '27 and Jaz Puri '28 – won the national championship in the National History Bowl June 4 in Washington, D.C., never trailing in any game and posting a 10-0 record. During the same International Academic Competitions Middle School and Elementary National Championships, Jelke won second place in the eighth-grade National History Bee, making it one of the most successful academic tournaments ever under coach Joe Mauro.
New Raider gear is now available at Ransom Everglades' online Raider store. Good news for our students: Raider polos offered on the new site are permissible in the 2023-24 middle and upper school dress codes. Check out this short video to see how the new Raider gear looks on James Brown-Urmeneta '24, Alexandra Leiser '25, Varun Raju '24, Kiera Rampersad '25, Santiago Sauceda '24 and Adaya Yang '25. Get your gear now! Don't forget: you can always find traditional RE gear at our online RE Store, and both Raider and RE gear at our campus locations in the fall.
Nicolas Maynulet '23 and Alexis Tie-Shue '23 were named 2023 National Merit Scholars and will receive $2,500 scholarships as part of the 68th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The students were among 2,500 scholarship recipients selected from about 15,000 finalists.
Student-scientists Annabella Miki ’25, Chloe Alfonso ’24, Connor Alfonso ’26, Derrick Ma ’24, Dieter Manstein ’25 and Nelson Manstein ’26 finalized and submitted a science project that will be tested this summer aboard a high-altitude commercial balloon sponsored by NASA and Future Engineers. The project, one of 60 from around the nation selected for the balloon ride, will measure the impact of ultraviolet light on DNA as it flies to an altitude of 70,000 feet.
Eleven Ransom Everglades rising seniors will undertake summer explorations in a variety of fields and at destinations across the globe with the support of 2023 Dan Leslie Bowden Fellowships in the Humanities. Christine Keedy Brown '24, Leah Croom '24, Emma Dvorkin '24, Daniela Gardiner '24, Trinity Haish '24, Camille Lugo '24, Skye McPhillips '24, Elisa Sotero '24, Julia Torto '24, Jude Yeo '24 and Mike Zoi '24 were named recipients of Bowden fellowships in late April after the most competitive selection process in the fellowships' seven-year history.
In just his second year competing in track and field, David "Chuli" Serra '24 won state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters at the Florida High School Athletic Association Outdoor State Finals in Jacksonville on May 19 – one of the best performances in RE track and field history – with dominant finishes in both events. A former soccer player, Serra finished the 1,600 in four minutes, 12.10 seconds, more than six seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, and he won the 3,200 with a time of 9:06.66, nearly seven seconds ahead of the silver medalist.
Ian Barnett '23 was one of 15 students in Miami-Dade County to win a Silver Knight Award May 25 at the 65th annual event that honors academic excellence and commitment to service. Barnett, the music award recipient, earned recognition in part for a two-week course on the art of composition he created for and taught to young musicians. The Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald Silver Knight Awards ceremony at the James L. Knight Convention Center drew 750 nominees from more than 100 schools in South Florida.
Student works in ceramics, painting, architecture, photography, etching and drawing were featured at an end-of-year Upper School Art Show that stretched from the Solomon Gallery to the Bowden library in late May. Faculty members Astrid Dalins, Jorge Guzman and Matt Stock guided RE's students throughout the year and assembled the works for the show, which was open to visitors before and after commencement on May 19.
Students released end-of-year art and literary publications featuring student works. The literary magazines Inklings (upper school) and Little Inklings offered anthologies of students' poetry, prose, photography and artwork. The art magazine PEEL showcased students' art and photographs. Throughout the year, student journalists contribute to The Catalyst newspaper and the Conscience science journal.
RE middle schooler Tyler Grossfeld ’27 caught a 17.2-lb. dolphin during the 11th annual Ransom Everglades Epic Fishing (REEF) tournament on May 6, winning the prize for heaviest dolphin and the junior angler title while also helping propel his team’s boat – Gigi – into first place in the team competition for heaviest three dolphins. Photo Galleries
Kathryn Serra '23 and Florine Lijesen '23 won a national title in the girls' varsity double in the Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) National Championship Regatta May 26-27 in Oak Ridge, Tenn., continuing a season of dominance and giving Ransom Everglades one of its biggest victories ever in the sport. The prestigious championship regatta drew 414 entries and 137 teams from across the nation.
The eighth-grade class that entered RE during the height of the pandemic – many meeting one another via laptop screens – took seats on the Lewis Family Auditorium stage to celebrate their successful advancement through the middle school and look forward to their next great joint adventure: RE’s upper school. During the annual Eighth-Grade Send-up on May 26, some members of the RE Class of 2027 received awards, several participated in performances and all heard their names announced during a roll call at the event’s conclusion. Photo Gallery
The 120th Commencement at Ransom Everglades offered a time for celebration and reflection. The May 19 event at the Lewis Family Auditorium recognized the graduating Class of 2023: “154 of the most talented and amazing young people anywhere on the planet,” in the words of board chair Jonathan Fitzpatrick P’20 ’23. It also honored professor and author Christina Proenza-Coles ’88, the winner of the 2023 Founders’ Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the Community.
Ransom Everglades bestowed special academic awards on more than two dozen 9-11th graders and recognized the second recipient of the 2023 Head of School's Award, Jourdan Moore Houston '62, at the second Upper School Awards Ceremony May 23 in the Lewis Family Auditorium. Then-Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez opened the event by welcoming students, and also lauded Moore Houston for her commitment to RE since her days as a founding member of the Everglades School for Girls.
The new Raider Nation has arrived! More than 1,500 Ransom Everglades students and alumni voted in late April for a new Raider logo, jointly choosing a striking and sleek silhouette that makes one thing clear:in the RE community, everyone can be a Raider.Check out this short video to see how the new Raider looks on James Brown-Urmeneta '24, Alexandra Leiser '25, Varun Raju '24, Kiera Rampersad '25, Santiago Sauceda '24 and Adaya Yang '25.
The Class of 2023 began the countdown to commencement with the traditional bricklaying, words of encouragement from class salutatorian Theodore Ma '23, and a party in the gymnasium during the annual Baccalaureate/Senior Send-off. The event on May 13 also included a performance of "The Climb" by Natasha Rodriguez ’23, who dedicated the song to her classmates, and recognition of "legacy" seniors – those with RE alumni parents. Photo Gallery
Ransom Everglades middle school band and vocal ensemble students exuded joy down to their colorful socks – they were told they could forego the usual black socks in favor of more spirited versions – at their final concert of the 2022-23 school year, “Let’s Make Some Joyful Noise!” The concert on May 11 at Swenson Hall illustrated not only the students’ progress as musicians and singers, but also the fun they have had participating in the middle school music program.
Ransom Everglades upper school students enjoyed engaging with lovable certified therapy dogs midway through the AP examination period. Students thronged to the school's wellness tents during the mid-day break on June 8 to meet the friendly dogs from Heel 2 Heal, a South Florida non-profit agency. Grace Burke '24, the vice president of the Student Wellness Board and Council, arranged for the visit as a means of providing students a respite from the rigors of exams. Students petted, hugged and photographed the dogs.
Nicole Murray received 2022-23 Volunteer of the Year recognition from Ransom Everglades as the school honored dozens of parent volunteers and welcomed the new Ransom Everglades Parents' Association Executive Committee into office. Then-Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez offered special thanks to outgoing REPA President Javier Lugo and The Fund for RE Chairs Eleanor and Chris Barnett as she lauded more than 80 parents at the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove May 2 for sharing their time and talents for the benefit of Ransom Everglades.
Members of RE's Academic Team scored more than 20 top-10 finishes in a variety of national academic competitions in Arlington, Va., April 27-30. The most notable successes: RE's team of Leo Fein '23, Daniel Figueroa '24, Parker Jelke '27, Jonathan Pollak '23, Isabel Chong '24 and Mikey Zoi '24 won third place for the second straight year in the National History Bowl as the JV team of Chase Dubovy '25, Jaz Puri '28, Jacob Aronow '26, Charlie Reizenstein '26 and Nicholas Juhasz '26 finished in ninth place in the JV bowl. Fein also won fifth place in the varsity National History Bee as Jelke claimed fourth in the JV National History Bee.
Upper school students elected James Brown-Urmeneta '24 as the new president of the Student Government Association, choosing him to replace departing president Loriz Arencibia '23. A member of the crew team, Portuguese and Lusophone Club and Health Information Project (HIP), Brown-Urmeneta promised classmates he would be an active listener, extension of their ideas and bridge between students and the school administration.
In the 30 years since she graduated from Ransom Everglades, Tara Narula ’93 has founded a juice company, worked as a medical correspondent on two major networks, won an Emmy Award and earned an associate professorship – and she currently works as a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. It is for her diverse contributions and service to medicine and society that she was selected as the 2023 Commencement speaker, Ransom Everglades announced on May 2.
More than 85 middle school student dancers and 11 members of the RE Dance Team showed off a range of dance styles – from ballet to tap to hip-hop – at the All-School Spring Dance Showcase: REplay on April 27 at Swenson Hall. Under the direction of dance teacher Desiree Masucci and guest choreographer Tess Guidry, the students performed more than 35 pieces, all designed around the theme of nostalgia. Photo Gallery
Olivia Rubell '23, Lucy Fitzpatrick '23, Daniel Stancioff '23, Gabriel Menendez de Alencar '23, Marco Zhao '23 and Karyna Steele '23 offered insights on student life at Ransom Everglades to RE parents during the annual Senior Panel on April 25. The students showed poise and gratitude for their time at RE as they took questions from COO and Interim Head of the Upper School David Clark '86 in the Posner Lecture Hall at the Fernandez STEM Center.
The seventh annual Ransom Everglades Climate Symposium showcased the best thing going for our climate-in-crisis: smart, motivated, activated youth. Hundreds of Ransom Everglades middle schoolers and many upper schoolers displayed and discussed their solution-oriented projects during “a sustainable, eco-friendly celebration” – in the words of Director of Environmental Sustainability Kelly Jackson – April 26 at the Fernandez STEM Center.
From a light-hearted opening piece by the Advanced Chamber String Quartet to a rousing encore by the new RE Symphony Orchestra, Ransom Everglades' Major Works Concert displayed the growing range, skill and depth of the school's upper school performing arts program. Winds, strings, brass and percussion musicians and vocalists performed highly regarded works in small groups and large ensembles, culminating in three pieces from the new 50+-member orchestra.
Ransom Everglades announced the Class of 2023 valedictorian and salutatorian; presented more than 40 upper school student scholastic, service, music and athletic end-of-year awards; and also honored chief surgeon and professor David Arnold '86 as a co-winner of the 2023 Head of School's Award for Distinguished Service to the School during an upper school awards ceremony at the Lewis Family Auditorium April 24.
Extraordinary student talent and great ideas were on display at TEDxRansomEverglades at Swenson Hall April 22. Six student presenters, two emcees, one organizer and nearly two dozen other students planned, produced, marketed, performed and recorded an event that featured six live talks on the theme of "Between the Lines." Speakers Liv Steinhardt '23, Sophia Romanov-Imber '24, Skye McPhillips '24, Alicia Medina '26, Lucas Lippey '25 and Eliza Arnold '24 each offered thought-provoking messages, and Lucia Rose Dahn '23 and Francisco Gomez Rivas Vazquez '24 served as emcees.
Ransom Everglades boys' and girls' track and field team members won 16 individual district titles – one of the best performances in school history – at the Florida High School Athletic Association 2A District 15 Championship at Tropical Park in Miami April 19. Latrice Nelson '25 captured four gold medals in the 200 meters, long jump, triple jump and girls' 4x400 relay, and David "Chuli" Serra '24 earned three in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Sophia Linfield '26 (1,600, 3,200) and Liam Malik '24 (discus, javelin) each won a pair of golds. The girls' team, which claimed 14 out of 15 top-three finishes in the running events, won its 16th team championship in the past 18 years under coach Mike Becker.
Andrew Gedde '25 won first place in the Open Probability competition of the Florida math state championship April 14-15 in Orlando, leading a team of Ransom Everglades students that scored top-10 finishes in six team events and top-20 results in seven individual events.
In news from the middle school, Maxie Wu '28 received a Young Women in Mathematics Award after scoring among the top eight girls from Florida and 142 girls nationwide on The Mathematical Association of America American Mathematics Competition 8 exam.
Brazilian Indigenous leader, preservationist and activist Arassari Pataxó shared the traditions and travails of the Pataxó Indigenous tribe – one of 380 tribes in Brazil – on both RE campuses during Earth Week to inspire students to take action to protect the Amazon and the Earth. Wearing traditional dress and speaking in Portuguese through a translator during his April 18 visit, Pataxó explained that he spoke on behalf of his tribe's elders, who "are very worried about the destruction of the environment."
Jordan Gonzalez ’24 and Bryce Sadler ’24 unveiled a plan to combine virtual reality and artificial intelligence to improve the cognitive ability of those with Alzheimer’s during the 10th annual Ransom Everglades Business Plan Challenge on March 7. Their business plan – Remembered Reality – earned first place from the RE alumni judging panel, topping proposals from four other finalist teams. Their plan also prevailed at the Innovate South Florida 2023 High School Business Competition on April 19, winning the top prize among entries from eight private schools in South Florida.
Ransom Everglades rowers won three state titles in sculling at the 2023 Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Sculling Championships April 15-16 in Sarasota. Kathryn Serra '23 and Florine Lijesen '23 won the girls varsity double and Malena Tewari '23 claimed the title in the girls lightweight single, leading RE to a fifth-place finish overall among 20 scholastic teams.
Just over midway through the upper school musical, Natasha Rodriguez '23 – RE’s Cinderella – sang "all your life you'll dream of this lovely night." Those lyrics not only advanced the plot of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, they also captured the delight all around – live music, a cast talented beyond their years, brilliant costumes and stage design, fun musical numbers and witty one liners. The execution of the classic musical at the Lewis Family Auditorium demonstrated the vastness of talent in the program and thoroughly engaged the hundreds who attended the April 13-15 performances. Photo Gallery
Rosie Prohías Driscoll '86, a poet and educator, didn't become serious about writing poetry until her late 30s. Her first book on poetry, Poised for Flight, was released just last year. As part of RE's celebration of National Poetry Month, Driscoll returned to the campus she spent her own high school years to let students know that if she could write poetry, they could, too. At an upper school assembly on April 11, she urged them to pause, look around, be astonished – and write.
"When you pause and pay attention, you will find wonder," she said. "When you find wonder, you will find poetry."
At Ransom Everglades' Second Annual Social Psychology Symposium. AP Psychology students shared projects that examined how social psychology theories apply to current events, trends or developments, tackling a range of topics from the emergence of ChatGPT to Gov. Ron DeSantis' feud with the College Board to Chinese spy balloons. The April 4 event in the lobby of the Lewis Family Auditorium drew dozens of students, faculty members and students' parents during the midday break.
Ransom Everglades demonstrated the breadth of its jazz program and burgeoning talent in its guitar ranks with a Jazz and Guitar Concert at Posner Lecture Hall on April 4 co-conducted by Director of Arts Shawn Costantino and Director of Instrumental Music Jon Hamm. Drummer and RE Combo Band Leader Max Bast '23 was the only senior among the 12 jazz musicians and 14 guitarists from the upper school who performed, making it clear the future is bright for both programs. Photo Gallery
Ethan Thomas '25 earned second place at the 68th State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida in Lakeland, April 4-6 for his AI project involving heart health Thomas competed in the Intelligent Machine, Robotics and System Software category. More than 800 students from across the state competed in a number of categories including Health Science, Environmental Science, Physics and Engineering, presenting their projects before expert panels. STEM Department faculty member Susan Mactye has served as his advisor.
Soccer players Sofia Rua '24, Christian Sosa '23 and Martin Piedrahita '24 earned first-team all-county honors from the Miami Herald for winter sports in 2023 as more than 15 varsity Raiders received recognition. A midfielder, Rua scored seven goals and had eight assists for the Raiders, regional quarterfinalists. Sosa, a defender, scored seven goals and had four assists, and Piedrahita, the Raiders' goalkeeper, posted a 0.667 goals against average.
Nineteen students in RE's upper school Chinese classes traveled to Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore during spring break from March 15-25, practicing their Chinese-language skills while immersing themselves in local culture and history and enjoying traditional cuisine. Under world language department chair James Monk and faculty member Xiaohong Teng, the students visited religious sites and museums, sampled street food, explored local neighborhoods and experienced the rhythms of daily life.
Legendary UCLA gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field encouraged RE upper school students. She challenged them, questioned them, called on them, listened to them. And, clearly, she inspired them; after her motivational address during assembly on March 30, she received a rousing standing ovation. A featured speaker in the Holzman Center of Applied Ethics Speaker Series, Kondos Field also met over lunch with upper school coaches in the Pagoda to share coaching strategies.
Ransom Everglades boys' and girls' water polo teams each raised championship trophies after victories on the same night over the same school in the same pool. The girls' earned their 17th straight district title with a 12-7 defeat of MAST Academy March 29 in the Florida High School Athletic Association District 14 championship at the Ansin Aquatic Center led by a six-goal, four-steal performance by Holly Alesandro '23. Fewer than two hours later, the boys defeated MAST Academy by a 12-4 margin led by four-goal performances by Paolo Rebessi '23 and Carson Stanton-Sharpless '23.
Three RE students – Taylor Smith '25, Ethan Sullivan '25 and Olivia Gomez '27 – received top honors at prestigious Junior Orange Bowl art competitions, headlining a strong showing by Ransom Everglades students at simultaneous arts and photography events March 11 at Westchester Regional Library as well as at others throughout the county. In all, more than 20 RE art students from the middle and upper schools earned recognition.
RE's ninth graders have returned from five-day, four-night treks through the Ten Thousand Islands as part of the annual Everglades Experience. Departing in four waves from January to early March of 2023, the students paddled canoes through the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, relying on compasses and peers traveling with them to find their way from various locations to base camp. They faced difficult paddles through mangrove tunnels, spent nights sleeping on "boarded-up" canoes, endured rain and wind, and enjoyed opportunities to watch the sun rise. Photo Gallery
The brand-new RE Symphony Orchestra put forth an impressive effort in its first-ever district music performance assessment in March, highlighting a strong month for RE's upper school student musicians at four district events. The 54-member symphony under the direction of Jon Hamm and Scott O'Donnell received superior and excellent ratings from judges and an overall Excellent rating at the Florida Orchestra Association Middle School and High School Concert Music Performance Assessment for District 16 on March 13-16. At that event, RE's 17-member Advanced Chamber Ensemble earned straight superior ratings and an overall rating of Superior under the direction of O'Donnell.
Four Ransom Everglades students posted top finishes at the Florida Forensic League Varsity State Championships in Orlando on March 4-5. Eduardo Michelsen '25 earned fifth place in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, Daniela Garcia '26 and Miranda Silva '26 scored sixth place in Duo Interpretation and Andrew Gedde '25 claimed sixth in Informative Speaking.
Delio Gonzalez '24 was mobbed by frenzied fellow juniors after his 21.74 gram matchstick bridge held 41.0 pounds before finally splintering in the Ransom Everglades' 2023 bridge competition. With an efficiency of 909.7, Gonzalez's bridge showed the best combination of size and strength of any of the more than 200 bridges entered in the annual competition, including the 18 finalists tested in front of the entire upper school student body during a raucous event on March 14. Max Wiesenfeld '23, last year's champion, won first and third place in the aesthetic competition. Photo Gallery
The musical Matilda was a smash hit on Broadway, a streaming success on Netflix and, as of March 8-10, a sensation at Swenson Hall. RE’s middle school drama students performed Matilda for three straight nights and during a matinee for students from CARE Elementary and Comstock Elementary. With colorful sets, vivid lighting and adorable costumes, RE’s drama students provided a distinctly Raider rendition of the famous Roald Dahl story that showcased more than 25 student-actors, a handful of crew members and the charming Matilda, played by Flavia Contreras ’28. Photo Gallery
Former Miami Shores Mayor Crystal Wagar and Dutch photographer Femke Tewari P’23 ’25 headlined RE’s celebration of International Women’s Day by sharing their thoughts on women’s advances and achievements – and the work yet ahead – during an upper school assembly March 7.
Wagar, an attorney who was the first African-American female to be mayor of Miami Shores, and Tewari, who authored the coffee-table book Miami Women, joined Women Empowerment president Olivia Drulard ’23 on the stage of the Lewis Family Auditorium and reflected on their careers, lives and the state of women in the world.
Ransom Everglades students swept the top three places in every division of the South Florida Regional Finals of the National History Bee and International Geography Bee, both of which took place at Ransom Everglades on March 5. Parker Jelke '27 earned first place in the eighth-grade division of both events; Jaz Puri '28 earned first place in the seventh-grade division of both, and Noah Veras '29 earned first place in the sixth-grade division of both.
Acclaimed author Christina Soontornvat shared the inspiration for her children’s books, passed on writing tips and offered support and encouragement to Ransom Everglades middle schoolers during the fifth annual One Book, One Day, One School (OBODOS) event on March 2. Soontornvat’s appearance on the Swenson Hall stage provided the highlight of a multi-faceted, day-long celebration of reading, which centered around her John Newbery Medal-winning A Wish in the Dark.
RE's middle school math team won first place in the 2023 Miami Mathcounts championship Feb. 17, earning a berth in the state tournament. Five RE students finished in the top 10 of more than 200 competitors from 31 school teams. Joshie Khohayting '28 finished second. Daniel Li '28 earned third place; Ella Wang '27, fourth; Maxie Wu '28, fifth; and Alex Tevelow '28, seventh. The students were led by coaches Jessica Merrick and Ed Lally.
Two Ransom Everglades jazz combos – the RE Combo and the Blue Note Combo – qualified for the state performance assessment for the first time in school history as the RE Combo earned its 12th-straight bid. Both groups earned the top rating of Superior at the Florida Bandmasters Association District 20 Music Performance Assessment in mid-February in Tavernier, Fla.
Whether clapping, foot-tapping or dancing to the beat of a Bahamian junkanoo band, a Trinidadian steel drummer or a marching band from South Dade Senior High, RE's faculty, staff and students enjoyed the rhythms of Black History Month Celebrations on both campuses. They also visited art and jewelry displays, author tables and hair-braiding booths, and enjoyed African/Caribbean cuisine prepared by Sage Dining.
New York University Philosophy Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah addressed "Ethics in Theory and Practice" during a special assembly with RE students on Feb. 16 and "What is College For?" in an evening event with RE parents; both talks were part of the school's Holzman Center of Applied Ethics Speaker Series. Appiah, also The New York Times ethics columnist, explored what it means to live well and the value of a liberal arts education.
A Brazilian ambassador, non-profit foundation leader and successful entrepreneur addressed RE upper schoolers on Valentine’s Day, sharing their love for Brazil and making a pitch for learning Portuguese and exploring the culture of a nation with 125 companies and some 40,000 registered voters in Florida.
Students in RE’s Brazilian and Lusophone Club invited the panel of speakers: Ambassador André Odenbreit Carvalho of the Consulate General of Brazil in Miami; Rejane de Paula P’26 a member of the Advisory Committee for BrazilFoundation; and Chris Torto P’24, an entrepreneur who founded successful cable and data center businesses in Brazil.
Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat addressed upper school students on Feb. 7 in honor of Black History Month by doing what she does best: She told stories. She described her journey from Port-au-Prince to New York City as a youth, explaining how her childhood memories, experience as an immigrant and connection to previous generations inspired and shaped her writing.
Former NASA astronaut and Coconut Grove native Winston Scott launched Ransom Everglades’ celebration of Black History Month with out-of-this-world talks to Ransom Everglades students on both campuses, telling stories about his days as an astronaut – specifically a space walker – on two space shuttle missions.
Ransom Everglades composted 10,700 lbs. of food scraps in the first four months of the 2022-23 school year. Sage Dining Services staff members have administered the program, depositing fruit and vegetable waste into new pink collection bins on both campuses. Led by Director of Environmental Sustainability Kelly Jackson, the composting is part of RE's growing commitment to operating green campuses. Food that is composted does not end up in landfills, helping to reduce harmful methane emissions.
Ryan Berkshire '23, Elise Echarte '23, Dylan Miner '23 and Alexis Tie-Shue '23 were named candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program by the U.S. Department of Education, one of the highest honors bestowed on graduating high school seniors. They were among some 5,000 students from around the nation invited to contend for 161 U.S. Presidential Scholar recognitions that will be awarded this spring.
More than three dozen RE speech and debate students advanced to the Florida state championship by finishing in the top six in their events at the Region 5 Varsity State Qualifier at North Miami High School Feb. 3-5. Ryan Berkshire '23 (Original Oratory), Eva Bricker '23 (Dramatic Interpretation of Literature), Daniela Garcia '26 and Miranda Silva '26 (Duo Interpretation of Literature), Eduardo Michelsen '25 (Extemporaneous Speaking) and Hannah Risin '25 (Improvisational Speaking) – led the great day for Ransom Everglades, finishing in first place in their events.
An RE sixth-grade violinist – Gillian Carvalho '29 – earned a Superior with Distinction rating and 19 fellow Ransom Everglades musicians garnered Superior ratings from adjudicators at the Florida Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble Music Performance Assessment Jan. 27-28 at Robert Morgan Educational Center. All of Ransom Everglades' musicians earned Excellent or better ratings under the direction of performing arts faculty member Scott O'Donnell.
Girls Who Code CEO and founder Reshma Saujani visited the Ransom Everglades Middle School on Feb. 2 and answered questions from panels of middle schoolers about her upbringing, approach as an author (she wrote Brave, Not Perfect) and experience working with teen girls through Girls Who Code, the non-profit she founded to help close the gender gap in computer science.
Ransom Everglades held a signing ceremony Feb. 2 at the Anderson gymnasium to recognize the nine senior student-athletes who committed to continue their athletic careers in college: Sophia Adams '23 (sailing, Tulane), Olivia Drulard '23 (sailing, Dartmouth), Alexa Geller '23 (crew, University of Miami), Florine Lijesen '23 (crew, Duke), Jackson McAliley '23 (sailing, Penn), Thomas Segrera '23 (crew, Georgetown), Kathryn Serra '23 (crew, Harvard), Karyna Steele '23 (soccer, Macalester) and Sarah Velazco '23 (water polo, McKendree).
The middle school robotics team of Dylan Kantesaria ’29, Sidney Schwartz ‘29 and Porter Sanderson ‘29 won the Teamwork Champion Award on Jan 29 at the 4th Annual Riviera Rams Robotics Open in Miami, advancing to the South Florida Regional Middle School VEX IQ State Championship on March 5. They will be accompanied by coaches Gus Palacios and Nelson Milian.
Ransom Everglades student-dancers danced through the decades during the REwind: All-School Dance Showcase on Jan. 27, donning period-appropriate costumes and performing to some of the most famous dance tunes of the last 65 years. Photo Gallery
The granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor shared her grandfather’s story of tragedy and survival with Ransom Everglades upper school students in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Brought to campus by RE’s Jewish Students Association, Caryn Pardo detailed the horrific childhood journey of her “Zaida” – Harry Feldzamen – through five concentration camps.
Student art – drawings, ceramics, photographs, painting, sculptures and structures – appeared across the Ransom Campus with the opening of the Upper School Winter Art Show on Jan. 27. Works from classes taught by visual arts faculty members Astrid Dalins, Jorge Guzman, Fabienne Rousseau and Matt Stock remain on display in the Solomon Art Gallery, the Bowden library, the Cameron Hall lobby and exterior walls of the Visual Arts Building.
Ransom Everglades rang in the Lunar New Year with educational and memorable celebrations on both campuses that were organized and executed by members of RE’s Chinese community. The Chinese Parent Committee, the Chinese Culture Club and RE’s Chinese language students joined forces to organize fun festivals of food, dance, acrobatics and music that brought RE students and families together on both campuses Jan. 24-25.
Ransom Everglades teams won the South Florida History Bowl varsity and JV competitions held at the upper school on Jan. 21, with Leo Fein '23, Max Weisenfeld '23, Jack Touby '23 and Jonathan Pollak '23 earning first place in the varsity event and the middle school team of Lucas Gonzalez '27, Parker Jelke '27, Zach Corbin Cheah '27 and Jaz Puri '28 topping teams of ninth and 10th graders in the junior varsity event.
Six Ransom Everglades students – Chloe Alfonso '24, Natasha do Valle '23, Andrew Gedde '25, Nicolas Imery '24, Parker Martorella '23andNicolas Maynulet '23 – each won a prestigious Gold Key in The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Regional Competition for 2023, a distinction that advances them to the national round of the annual competition sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. RE students also claimed 10 Silver Keys and 28 Honorable Mentions, and many earned multiple awards in the competition honoring excellence in various forms of writing, photography, ceramics and multiple art styles.
Ten musicians from RE's Combined Symphonic Band were named to the 2023 District 20 Honor Band and performed on Jan. 21 at Westminster Christian School. The RE student-musicians are enrolled in RE's jazz band, RE combo or symphonic band classes at the upper school, and they train under faculty member Jon Hamm. The district includes 10 of the top high school programs in South Florida.
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.
Mixing humor, anecdotes, scientific data and experience from years of working with children, clinical neuropsychologist William Stixrud and tutoring specialist Ned Johnson – co-authors of the best-selling book The Self-Driven Child – shared with Ransom Everglades parents the science and sense of giving adolescents more control over their lives.
More than 175 members of the RE community and friends joined Ransom Everglades' annual day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, making dresses and shirts for children in Haiti, packing meals for local food banks and picking trash from the mangroves. Students, parents, faculty, administrators and friends arrived to the upper school throughout the day on Jan. 16, participating in the local, international and environmental service projects.
The six Ransom Everglades students who attended the 2022 Student Diversity Leadership Conference took the stage at the Lewis Family Auditorium Jan. 17 to share their experiences with their upper school peers and encourage RE to become a more welcoming and accepting community. During a roundtable discussion, the students – Mackenzie Buckner ’24,Eleonora Cavallini ’23, Daniel Figueroa ’24, Francisco Gomez Rivas-Vazquez ’24, Karyna Steele ’23 and Malena Tewari ’23– explained how they benefited from the multiracial, multicultural gathering in San Antonio of upper school student leaders from across the nation.
For the second straight year, NASA selected a science experiment proposed by a team of Ransom Everglades students for a launch on a NASA-sponsored craft. After last year's project won a ride on a rocket, this year's team of Annabella Miki ’25, Chloe Alfonso ’24, Connor Alfonso ’26, Derrick Ma ’24, Dieter Manstein ’25 and Nelson Manstein ’26 learned today that their proposed experiment measuring the impact of ultraviolet light on DNA will be tested aboard a high-altitude balloon sponsored by NASA.
A nationally recognized diversity trainer held interactive workshops with various Ransom Everglades constituents from Jan. 9-11 with the goal of advancing the school’s mission and values in an ever-changing world. Visiting speaker Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee met separately with students, faculty, leadership team members, trustees, alumni and parents over three days, offering age-appropriate sessions designed to further RE’s long tradition of fostering students’ cultural and character development and sense of identity and community to help them lead productive lives.
Five middle school teachers will be featured speakers at three national conferences in the coming months, sharing their classroom successes and highlighting elements of the exceptional teaching that takes place on RE's campuses every day. STEM faculty member Robin Escobedo will present research at the National Science Teaching Association National Conference on Science Education in Atlanta in March; world languages teacher Renée Rodriguez will speak at the 105th American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Conference in Salamanca, Spain, in June; and science teachers Kelly Jackson, Brooke Gintert and Gus Palacios will share information with peers at the Green Schools Conference in New Orleans in March.
A trio of university admission officials offered guidance on the college process to RE juniors and their families during the College Admission Symposium Jan. 7 at the Lewis Family Auditorium. The morning-long program, called "Reimagining the College Search Process," featured presentations by Angela Herrera Canfield of Cornell University, Rob Springall of Penn State University and Art Rodriguez of Carleton College, and it concluded with a roundtable led by RE Executive Director of College Counseling Jason Locke. Locke and Director of College Counseling Patrick Tassoni introduced the event, one of many programs at Ransom Everglades designed to assist the Class of 2024 and their families as they journey through the college search process.
Five collegiate RE alumni participated in a frank and wide-ranging – and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny – panel discussion about the college application process with RE's juniors, helping the Class of 2024 kick off their college search process. Olivia Byrd '20 (Southern Methodist University); Jack Fitzpatrick '20 (Wake Forest University); Yasmina Haddad '20 (University of Michigan); Marlon Ly '20 (Vanderbilt University); Connor Sahs '20 (Bates College) told stories, offered advice and most of all urged RE juniors to support one another through the process and enjoy their senior year.
Seven RE students – the most in school history – each posted top scores nationally on the annual American Mathematics Competition examinations for 10th or 12th graders and advanced to the next stage of the major scholastic math competition. Six upper schoolers and one middle schooler – Victoria Paraoulaki de Miranda '24, Maya Shaked '24, Minnie Zhou '24, Andrew Gedde '25, Solon Sun '25, Gabriel Karsenti '26 and Joshie Khohayting '28 – qualified to take the Feb. 7 American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME).
Kelly Jackson, Ransom Everglades’ Director of Environmental Sustainability and Will Charouhis '24, a climate activist and member of RE's Environmental Sustainability Committee, exchanged ideas and information with a cohort of mangrove experts from central Africa during winter break as part of a cooperative program on Mangrove Ecosystem Management and Environmental Protection.
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.