The Class of 2020 Dan Leslie Bowden Fellows in the Humanities shared the results of their summer work in an impressive and wide-ranging presentation to the student body and faculty at the Lewis Family Auditorium on Oct. 15. This year’s fellows traveled to India, Scotland, France and Puerto Rico; interviewed subjects in English, Spanish, and French; studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Rhode Island School of Design; conducted research; and considered topics ranging from consumerism to history to culture to dance.
The girls' volleyball team earned its second consecutive district title by defeating Riviera Preparatory School 3-1 on Oct. 17 in the Class 3A District 15 championship at Riviera. Led by Mia Balestra '21, who had 15 kills, and Dani Ortiz '21, who contributed 41 assists and five aces, and Valentina Londono '22, who had 13 service points and three digs, the Raiders earned a 25-19, 22-25, 25-15 and 28-26 victory.
Workers put the final touches in mid-October on the framing of the monumental staircase at the front of the STEM Center as they simultaneously put in place a concrete-block projection screen adjacent to the steps. The pouring of concrete onto the staircase in the coming days will mark a significant milestone in the construction of the three-story complex that is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020.
Three Ransom Everglades students became the first high school students in five years to win recognition at an annual scientific conference typically dominated by college and graduate students. Joseph Gross ’20, Max Vallone ’22 and Josh Buttrick ’22 earned two of five student awards presented at the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies SciX 2019 conference in Palm Springs, Calif., on Oct. 13.
College admission officers from eight colleges and universities shared their expertise and advice with Ransom Everglades’ students and parents during separate panel discussions on Oct. 15 at the Lewis Family Auditorium and the Rehearsal Hall.
RE's boys' golf team celebrated its third straight district title and Jake Beber-Frankel '20 and Rachel DeAngulo '20 each won individual championships at the Class 1A-District 16 finals at the Biltmore Golf Club Oct. 14. Phoebe Beber-Frankel '20 finished second behind DeAngulo in the girls' competition, and Zach Buttrick '20 tied for third in the boys' event.
A persistent downpour didn’t dampen the enthusiasm at the Upper School Open House on Oct. 8, as dozens of prospective students and parents arrived to the Ransom Campus eager to learn more about an RE education. They were treated to an engaging panel discussion among RE seniors Abby Aldrich ’20, Jake Beber-Frankel ’20, Diego Duckenfield-Lopez ’20, Preston Edmunds '20, Charith Reddy ’20 and Dylan Tie-Shue ’20, all of whom shared insights on their years at Ransom Everglades.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz addressed RE middle schoolers during assembly on Oct. 8, speaking about the 19th Amendment, which secured U.S. voting rights for women, and her years in Congress. She also took questions.
Ransom Everglades earned its first-ever bid to the national championship of keelboat racing after a dominant performance by sailors Stephan Baker '22, Nicolas Echarte '21, Luis LaFontisee '21 and Lachlain McGranahan '20 at the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association District Keelboat Qualifier Regatta in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Ransom Everglades Middle School string orchestra students made their 2019-20 performance debut at the Fall Orchestra Showcase Oct. 4, showing great progress after just a few weeks of strings classes under faculty member Jessica Carrasquillo.
Ransom Everglades Middle School students took center stage for a story on kindness that aired on NBC's Today Show on Oct. 3, discussing the importance of being kind during a classroom interview with correspondent Savannah Sellers that tugged on heart strings. "These children make you rethink all of what kindness is," NBC's Al Roker said.
With a $175 loan to a woman in Cambodia who runs a small grocery store, the Ransom Everglades student-run club LEAP (Lending to End All Poverty) moved into eighth place on the all-time lending list among more than 2,000 participating schools according to the non-profit micro-lender, Kiva.
RE's LEAP has made 1,234 microloans for $178,350 – and counting – to individuals or small businesses in 70 countries since the club's start in 2007.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and former county school board member Raquel Regalado paid an impromptu visit Sept. 19 to Ransom Everglades, where they met with the executive committee of the school's board of trustees and took in the progress on the school's new STEM Center.
RE speech and debate students won three events at an early-season tournament in Fort Lauderdale and performed well at a national event at Yale University, getting the 2019-20 season off to a strong start.
Over 150 RE volunteers gathered to kick off the 2019-20 campaign for The Fund for RE at the Everglades Campus on Sept. 26. Spirits were high as parents, faculty and staff, alumni and trustees all came together to handwrite personal letters encouraging support through The Fund. We are grateful to all of our volunteers, who generously dedicate their time and energy to ensure the continued success of Ransom Everglades School.
Four Ransom Everglades seniors – Joseph Gross '20, Natalia Lopez '20, Benjamin Thorpe '20 and Dylan Tie-Shue '20 – were named National AP Scholars by the College Board as 75 RE students won recognition for their exemplary college-level achievement on Advanced Placement exams.
The front of the STEM Center at Ransom Everglades began to take shape in late September with the installation of columns of window panels and continued work on the large stairway/outdoor seating that will provide a building entry and entertainment space.
Ransom Everglades’ Javi Garcon ’21 navigated through heavy rain, high winds and choppy seas to advance to the 2019 Interscholastic Sailing Association Cressy Singlehanded National Championship Regatta during a qualifying regatta Sept. 21-22 on Biscayne Bay.
A standing-room-only crowd jammed Robert E. Walker Field and lined the Ansin Pool deck to watch Ransom Everglades varsity football team defeat Palmer Trinity 30-0 on Sept. 13 in the traditional “Battle for the Oar” game. Students – many in “REclaim the Oar” T-shirts – showed up in droves and joined alumni, parents and faculty to cheer on the Raiders during their lightning-delayed victory.
Ten Ransom Everglades seniors were named semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program, putting them in the top one percent of students who took the 2018 PSAT. Semifinalists Zachary Buttrick '20, Joseph Gross '20, Sophie Leibowitz '20, Natalia Lopez '20, Ashley Nguyen '20, Timothy Sucher '20, Isaac Szomstein '20, Benjamin Thorpe '20, Dylan Tie-Shue '20 and Anthony Wolfe '20 have been invited to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships.
The semifinalists were notified of the honor on Sept. 11 by Head of the Upper School Patricia Sasser. Each has the chance to compete for the 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be awarded next spring.
Solid walls, internal stairs and an elevator core have emerged in the new STEM Center as precast panels have been put into place and all temporary supports removed. Work on the outdoor stair/seating area began Sept. 11, and window installation commenced a day later. Despite a brief halt of work when Hurricane Dorian was a threat, the building remains on schedule.
Ransom Everglades upper school students gathered in the Anderson gymnasium on Sept. 10 for a pep rally in support of a variety of sports contests leading up to the Sept. 13 RivalRE games, including the annual "Battle for the Oar" varsity football game against Palmer Trinity. Head of School Penny Townsend rallied students by noting that she has had only her kayak paddle – no oar – for the last year.
RE's college counseling team met with senior parents to engage them in the college process, sharing nuts-and-bolts information regarding dates, deadlines and procedures, and also highlighting the high level of personal attention provided to all members of the Class of 2020. Head of School Penny Townsend opened the Aug. 27 event at the Lewis Family Auditorium. Director of College Counseling Claudia Jolivert and counselors Daniel Creasy and Aleny Garcia each addressed the dozens of parents in attendance.
Cement was poured for the STEM Center roof in late August as RE's construction team began to install large, pre-fabricated panels that will form the exterior of the building on the south and west sides. In just a few weeks, windows will be delivered.
New Head of the Upper School Patricia Sasser addressed the upper school student body for the first time during a morning assembly on Aug. 20, encouraging students to invest in themselves, their relationships and the community. Sasser arrived to Ransom Everglades from The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn., replacing Ken Mills, who accepted the head of school post at the Gifft Hill School in St. John, V.I. At Loomis, Sasser served as dean of the senior class and led the development of the school’s first Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Plan.
Read Head of School Penny Townsend's introduction of Patricia Sasser here. Here’s the full text of the Aug. 20 address:
Ransom Everglades welcomed a record 40 legacy students − children of alumni − to the Class of 2026, and many assembled with their alumni parents for a special photo before the sixth-grade orientation on August 19.
Ransom Everglades announced the creation of three integrated academic departments – STEM, Humanities and World Languages & Global Studies – designed to amplify opportunities for interdisciplinary and collaborative learning in 2019-20 and beyond.
Ransom Everglades announced the creation of two new deanships and an administrative post for the 2019-20 school year that are designed to enhance the student experience, supporting curricular innovation and focusing on the emotional and social needs of RE’s middle schoolers.
Pete DiPace, the Middle School Dean of Students, will assume the new position of Assistant Head of the Middle School for Student Life; and faculty members Greg Cooper and Doreen Johnson will take on new Deans of Studies positions at the Upper School and Middle School, respectively.
New members of Ransom Everglades' faculty and administration gathered on the Ransom Campus Aug. 12 for a day of introductions and orientation. Head of School Penny Townsend, Associate Head of School John A. King, Jr., department chairs and others assembled to greet the accomplished new additions to the RE community, who showed up with energy and enthusiasm for the start of classes on Aug. 19.
As the summer winds down, I want to share some important updates from Ransom Everglades, where we have been working diligently to enrich the student experience in the coming year. Some changes will be hard to miss – workers are putting a roof on the new STEM Center, which is slated for completion early in 2020. Unveiling that state-of-the-art facility will represent a major milestone, but we’ve been building much more than buildings. Ransom Everglades is in the midst of a far-reaching reinvention, and I would like to introduce you to a few new positions, programs and people that will elevate student life in 2019-20 and beyond.
Workers finished framing the third story of the new STEM Center and began assembling the roof in early August, continuing their speedy pace and offering a sense of the scope of the three-story, 43,500 sq. ft. structure. Construction remains on schedule for completion in early 2020.
Ransom Everglades launched a sports performance training program designed to meet the year-round strength and conditioning needs of student-athletes on each of its teams, as well as to enhance physical education offerings for all students.
Workers completed the framing of the first floor of the STEM Center in the last week of June, and have begun work on the second floor of the three-story 43,500 sq. ft. facility. Once the framing is completed in the coming weeks, workers will begin post-tensioning the floors of the building's concrete support slabs to strengthen them.
Daniel Figueroa '24 finished first in the seventh-grade track of the National History Bee in Chicago June 7-10, giving Ransom Everglades its first national champion in the event. Chase Dubovy '25 finished in the top 10 in the sixth-grade division and Leo Fein '23 claimed a top-20 finish in the eighth-grade division. In the history bowl team competition, Ransom Everglades placed in 13th out of 64 teams with a 4-2 record. Faculty member Joe Mauro led the effort.
Ransom Everglades faculty, staff and administration assembled to honor their longest-serving peers and departing members of the RE community during an end-of-year recognition event in the Lewis Family Auditorium June 7. Head of School Penny Townsend offered special recognition to retiring faculty members Jean Duty and Shelly Stamler and paid tribute to others who had reached career milestones.
RE's yearbook staff dedicated the 2018-19 yearbook to math teacher Karen Key, announcing the choice during an Upper School assembly May 23 and summoning Key to the stage as students responded with a standing ovation. Key was overcome with emotion as she joined yearbook editor Coco Sell '19, yearbook advisor Danielle Ellis and Key's son Pancho Cabrera '17 to celebrate the recognition. The yearbook tribute lauds Key, also the math team advisor, for her warmth, compassion, dedication and inspiration, saying she epitimizes the yearbook's theme: "Get it Done."
Ransom Everglades Middle School placed third in the Green Schools Challenge and RE science teacher Kelly Jackson received an Innovation in Education Award at the 2019 Dream in Green Awards Ceremony. The awards recognized the sustainability efforts underway on RE's Everglades Campus, which in 2018-19 included the RE Energy and Climate Change Symposium; the installation of solar panels; and the launch of a composting program.
Jackson and fellow faculty and sustainability task force members Brooke Gintert and Alexandra Gunner accepted the recognition on the school's behalf at the May 30 event in downtown Miami.
"At last night's awards ceremony for the Green Schools Challenge, Ransom Everglades Middle School was recognized for an extraordinary achievement," said Gus Palacios, the Middle School Science Department Coordinator. "This was the result of a tremendous effort on the part of Dr. Kelly Jackson and several other members of the Middle School faculty. We are very proud."
Little Inklings, a collection of outstanding RE Middle School poetry, prose and artwork has been released and can be viewed here. Anya Joneja Bhandari '25 served as editor of the publication, and faculty member Kristin Castle served as advisor.
Nineteen RE Upper School students traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland, in March for a photographic expedition designed to teach them how to capture beautiful works of art in a remote location. Ranging from freshmen to seniors, the students endured poor weather and other challenges as they learned the art of photography. Faculty member Matt Stock said he was "very proud of the images the students were able to capture. They photographed well beyond what their experience level would have led me to expect."
Isa Pena '19 received a Congressional Student Recognition Award from Rep. Donna Shalala, who announced the honor during a town hall in Little Havana on May 29. Pena was among five students in South Florida's 27th congressional district to win an Outstanding Student Award.
It’s been an amazing seven days. Last Friday 141 seniors graduated in the Lewis Auditorium; 141 talented and ambitious individuals who modeled intellectual vitality, courage and genuine concern for others. United by deep friendships, they crossed the stage slightly nostalgic about what they were leaving behind but full of excitement for what lay ahead. Diverse in their interests and aspirations, they will matriculate at no fewer than 65 schools in 23 states and three countries
Ransom Everglades welcomed its rising ninth graders to the Upper School on May 29 with the annual Eighth-Grade Send-up, a ceremony that featured the announcement of each student's name, the distribution of special awards and encouraging words from student government president Natasha Rodriguez '23, who told her peers: "I know how extraordinary of a class we are ... We are always cheering each other on ... I believe we have done our best to treat each other with respect and compassion." Photo Gallery
Two Ransom Everglades seniors won honorable mention in the 61st annual Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald Silver Knight Awards event on May 17 at the James L. Knight Center. Anna Mistele '19 earned recognition in the mathematics category and Isa Pena '19 in drama, distinguishing themselves among the more than 700 high school senior nominees from schools across Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Ransom Everglades’ 115th commencement celebrated the members of the Class of 2019, the teachers that helped shape them and the promise of new beginnings. It also acknowledged the pure sadness of leaving a place populated by lifelong friends. Commencement speaker and legendary math teacher Jean Duty, retiring after 34 years of teaching as 141 graduates cast off to 65 different colleges, captured the spirit of the event in her address. Photo Galleries
Ransom Everglades' young sailing team flashed its future potential with a bronze-medal finish in the 2019 Interscholastic Sailing Association Team Racing Championship, the national championship regatta also known as the Baker Trophy. RE's team of seven sophomores, one freshman and one junior finished the event on May 25-26 in Portland, Maine, in a three-way tie for second; the mathematical tiebreaker pushed the Raiders behind Christchurch School in Christchurch, Va., and 2018 champion Point Loma High in San Diego.
Fifteen RE athletes – including five members of the girls' lacrosse team – won 2019 first-team All-Dade honors in the annual ranking released May 23 by the Miami Herald. Four girls' water polo players also claimed first-team honors as more than four dozen RE athletes earned recognition.
Three Ransom Everglades athletes – lacrosse player Sophia Antezana '20, golfer Jake Beber-Frankel '20 and volleyball player Ryan Peluso '22 – earned Athlete of the Year honors in their respective sports at the Miami Herald's annual end-of-season All-Dade awards banquet on May 23. Girls' water polo coach Eric Lefebvre and boys' golf coach Dave Ragan claimed Coach of the Year honors in their sports.
Lacrosse and volleyball star Sophia Antezana ’20 and track and cross country runner Wesley Cusack ’19 were named Ransom Everglades’ 2019 Overall Outstanding Athletes at the school’s end-of-year awards ceremony at the Lewis Family Auditorium on May 20, highlighting an evening that recognized more than a dozen varsity-sport award winners, senior student-athletes and those continuing their athletic careers in college. Photo Gallery
Ransom Everglades staged its third-annual RE Energy and Climate Change Symposium over four days, bringing in political leaders, sustainability experts and environmental activists for informative talks and offering its first-ever Student Research Showcase.
Members of RE’s Class of 2019 kicked off a week of revelry at the annual Senior Send-Off on May 19, gathering with their families, hearing from salutatorian Valeria Vela '19 and placing their personalized bricks on a path in the Quad. They then returned to campus the next day for the Senior Party on Walker Field, a water-soaked splash fest designed to celebrate the seniors’ last day of classes on May 17.
Four RE Middle School spring sports teams – boys' varsity lacrosse, boys' tennis and boys' and girls' water polo – won South Florida Middle School Conference Championships, helping to make Ransom Everglades the most successful athletic program in the South Florida Middle School Conference for the third year in the row. Middle School teams overall won 11 out of a possible 21 championships during the fall, winter and spring sports seasons.
Head of School Penny Townsend graciously surrendered this space so we, Elana Oberstein-Harris ’93 and Ricky Stokes ’94 – deeply invested parents who happen to be devoted alumni and proud board members – can share an important message with the entire RE community. We also intend to tantalize you with the prospect of an awesome pair of RE flip-flops. More on that shortly.
Ransom Everglades unveiled a new schedule for the RE Middle School for 2019-20 that reflects a contemporary approach to teaching and learning. The schedule will provide the daily space and rhythms for cultivating skills necessary for students to thrive and lead in today’s world.
RE faculty members schooled their competitors in the main event at the 2019 Ransom Everglades Epic Fishing tournament on May 11, hauling in the biggest individual dolphin and largest trio of dolphin. On a boat sponsored by trustee Jeffrey Miller '79, physics teacher Luis Felipe snagged an 18.2-lb. dolphin to win the day's biggest prize, and Felipe and his faculty fishing partners also claimed the team award for their 30-lb. trio. Photo Gallery
The annual Upper School art magazine PEEL and literary magazine Inklings were released on the Ransom Campus and can be viewed online. The 2019 PEEL was dedicated to Beatriz Carmen Mendoza '98, one of the PEEL founders who passed away last Nov. 21. The 2019 Inklings offers a collection of individual stories designed to present a shared narrative, illustrating what unites us. See them here:PEEL, Inklings.
The boys' varsity quad of stroke Andres Segrera '18, Aston Craft '20, Jackson Bryan '20 and bow Will Mathes '19 won the 2019 USRowing Southeast Championship, earning an invitation to the 2019 USRowing Youth National Championship in June in Sarasota. The quad topped a crew from the Bolles School, surging ahead in the final meters for a victory by 0.15 seconds.
Ransom Everglades girls' water polo team gave Grace Waibel '19 – the team's lone senior, team captain, unquestioned leader and de facto big sister – a sweet parting gift as she concluded her Raiders' water polo career on May 11 at Boca Raton Community High School. Waibel and her teammates arrived to the pool thrilled to be back in the state championship after a two-year absence and left with gold medals hanging around their necks after an 11-6 defeat of Winter Park High School.
The Middle School Band concluded its year with a rousing tribute concert on May 9 at Swenson Hall that highlighted noteworthy people in music, history – and at the RE Middle School. The concert entitled "Heroes, Leaders and Legends" featured a piece dedicated to Assistant Head of the Middle School Shelly Stamler, who is retiring this year, and another that included the participation of longtime math teacher Ginny Onorati who played – fittingly – the triangle. Students in the beginning band, concert band and symphonic band took part. Photo Gallery
Makenzie Love '19, Anna Mistele '19, Margo Squire '19 and Valeria Vela '19 were named 2019 National Merit Scholarship winners, joining just 2,500 seniors nationwide to receive the distinction from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the organization announced May 8. The four seniors were selected from a pool of some 15,000 finalists in the 64th-annual National Merit Scholarship competition.
Ransom Everglades students made the 2019 prom a memorable one by showing up in droves, filling the dance floor and conducting themselves with class and elegance. More than 300 RE students and guests from as far as Italy, Ireland and Canada enjoyed the carnaval-themed event at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami along with more than a dozen faculty and administration chaperones, many of whom also turned out on the dance floor. Entertainment was provided by Hora Loca dancers; the event was organized by Chair of the Science Department Jay Salon and the junior class officers.
RE's eighth-grade robotics team of Pablo Rodriguez-Russowsky '23, Victor Perez '23, Diego de Lope '23 and Luca Trebotich '23 received the Create Award in the engineering division of the 2019 VEX Robotics World Championship IQ Challenge in Louisville, Ky., April 28-30. The boys, the only team from RE to advance to the championship, achieved a perfect score of 40 during the teams portion of the competition. They trained under robotics coach Gustavo Palacios.
RE's All-School Dance Showcase featured more than 90 dancers in some 60 pieces over two nights at Swenson Hall, offering a delightful deluge of dance that made it clear that RE's dance program under faculty members Desiree Masucci and Bailey Farrell is growing and thriving. The two-night performance concluded with a tribute to the program's graduating eighth graders, each of whom received long-stem roses from their younger peers. Photo Gallery
Admission representatives from 12 colleges and universities guided Ransom Everglades parents and students through a mock college admission process on May 2, taking them behind the curtain to help them prepare for their own forays into the college process.
Ransom Everglades presented special awards to more than 40 students; recognized all of its Cum Laude Society members; and celebrated the entire Upper School student body at its 2019 Upper School Awards Assembly on May 2. Head of School Penny Townsend told the assembled students that although not all of them received awards, “all have contributed this year to the success of our school … and enriched the reputation of our school.” Photo Gallery
Ransom Everglades celebrated more than 150 inductees into seven national honor societies during the Honor Societies Recognition on May 1, summoning each to the Lewis Family Auditorium stage to receive a certificate and congratulations from the various societies' faculty advisors. The students joined RE's highest academic achievers in a variety of disciplines, and were also lauded for their leadership, character and dedication to service. Photo Gallery
Jean Duty, a revered math teacher who plans to retire this summer after 34 years at Ransom Everglades, has been named the 2019 commencement speaker. Duty, the chair of the mathematics and computer science department, will cap what has been a stellar career by sharing her wisdom and encouragement with the Class of 2019 at RE's 115th commencement on May 24.
Holly Steinberg '19 and Nicole Bremer '19 finished in second place in the Teen Track of the 2019 Miami Herald Startup Pitch Competition with their business plan for CamBlok!, a simple product designed to foil digital hackers by covering a laptop's camera. Steinberg and Bremer worked on the project in their AP Macroeconomics/Microeconomics class under teacher Jen Nero. Read the full story from the April 29 edition of the Miami Herald here.
Four RE teams won medals at the Robotics Battlebot Challenge tournament at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition on April 7, capturing first and second prizes in the 15-lb. robot and 3-lb. categories. Max Swietelsky ’21, Eric Medina ’21 and Adam Kaplan ’21 (15 lb.) and Gabriel Vianna '21 (3 lb.) landed at the top of the podium. Jacob Wolfe ’21 (15 lb.) and Logan Smith '22 (3 lb.) claimed second-place finishes. The robots of Wolfe and Vianna also were named Best Engineered in their classes. The students were led by robotics coach Bob DuBard.
Following her two older brothers at Ransom Everglades presented certain challenges for Anna Mistele '19, as both brothers –Matt Mistele '13 and John Mistele '17 –were valedictorians of their respective RE classes. Though determined to chart her own course, Anna Mistele also hoped to make the Mistele clan three for three in valedictory addresses.
In mid-April, she learned she had completed the extraordinary sibling sweep, earning valedictorian honors for the Class of 2019. Valeria Vela '19 was named salutatorian.
The team leading the construction of the new STEM Center clinked glasses of sparkling apple juice and celebrated on April 24 after learning the City of Miami had granted the master building permit, a significant milestone that will allow above-the-ground construction to commence. After weeks of laying the building's foundation, workers will soon begin building up to complete the project.
When Meg Daly '78 broke both arms during a fall from her bicycle six years ago, her incapacity and the accompanying inconvenience led to the best idea she's ever had. She couldn't drive, she explained to Upper School students during an assembly in honor of Earth Day, so she traveled on the Metrorail and traversed the walking paths underneath to her doctor's appointments.
As she surveyed the neglected swath of land under the rail line, she imagined a transformation that would turn the humble corridor into park and recreation space. That was the beginning of Underline Miami, set to make its debut next spring.
The Upper School band paid tribute to the 100th anniversaries of Leonard Bernstein and Dave Brubeck during its 2019 spring concert, which also honored departing seniors Greg Estime '19, James Gerrard '19, Will Mathes '19, Alex Otero '19 and Danny Sauceda '19 and recognized the winners of two major senior music awards: Otero received the Leonard Bernstein Musicianship Award and Sauceda claimed the Bill Pender Service Award. Photo Gallery
Ransom Everglades launched its first-ever composting program at the RE Middle School on April 22 – Earth Day – propelled by a grant from a local non-profit, Dream in Green, and the initiative of RE faculty and the student-run RE Green Team. Middle schoolers helped kick off the new composting effort by depositing their apple cores and banana peels from the morning snack break into the compost bin.
Eight RE seniors reflected on their years at Ransom Everglades in front of a rapt group of parents at the much-anticipated annual Senior Panel on April 23. Arianna Gonzalez '19, Aliya Hollub '19, Maggie McDowell '19, Alex Mendelson '19, Thomas Murphy '19, Henry Schermerhorn '19, Rachel Seipp '19 and Daniela Zaidenberg '19 expressed gratitude, recalled memorable experiences and offered advice to younger students.
The boys' varsity tennis team dominated the district championships on April 16-17 afternoon at Continental Park, sweeping the singles and doubles tournaments to easily advance to the regional semifinals. Grant Dill '19, a member of the 2018 state champion doubles team, led RE at the No. 1 spot in singles and in doubles with Xander Lake '21 as a trio of Raider freshmen made major contributions. The team is led by coach Peter Lehmann and assistant Tom Dughi.
Dr. Michael G. Thompson, a bestselling author and prominent children's psychologist, unpacked the topic of "the pressured child" during a lecture to RE parents and guests in a jammed Swenson Hall on April 17. Thompson shared anecdotes from decades of working with children and schools worldwide and counseled parents against viewing "childhood as a business career that can be built."
The girls' lacrosse team won its fifth straight district title April 18 with a 17-4 victory over Coral Reef at Miami Killian High, sending the Raiders to the regional quarterfinals on April 25. Ellie Dyke 21 led RE with six goals and one assist; Sophia Antezana '20 tallied five goals and three assists; and Calliste Skouras '19 chipped in three goals with two assists.
Traveling poets and educators Kane Smego and Giddy Perez returned to Ransom Everglades for their annual visit, introducing students to spoken-word poetry with high energy and a spirit of inclusion. The duo provided the entire Upper School student body with a survey of the art while working intensively with the school's freshmen English classes. The pair's first visit in 2016 inspired the formation of RE's Poetry Club.
Three Ransom Everglades soccer players – Lindsay Gould '21, Nico Guerini '19 and Daniel Mendoza '21 – won first-team All-Dade recognition in winter sports from the Miami Herald as Mia Balestra '21 and Preston Edmunds '20 earned second-team honors, and Mia Goldberg '20 and Antonio Tsiales '19, third-team recognition. Read the full report here.
RE's eighth-grade drama students wrote, cast, directed and performed a series of one-minute skits during the Eighth-Grade Drama Show, the annual culmination of students' work in their drama elective under faculty member Gina Montet. The students spoofed their teachers and classes, offered their own take-off on Saturday Night Live, and generally kept the audience in stitches with performances that showed their progress as actors and actresses.
Lili Krech Neale '69 volunteered to help organize her 50-year reunion, stepping up as she so often has since departing the Everglades School for Girls in 1969. Her passion and participation have been fueled by a long and proud connection to RE. She grew up under an educator father who worked at the Ransom School and Everglades School for Girls. She married an alum, sent her son to RE and has been an active alumna since she graduated.
Eager to recognize Neale's deep ties and decades of devotion, Head of School Penny Townsend named her the 2019 recipient of the Head of School's Award, an announcement that highlighted a resoundingly successful 2019 Alumni Weekend. More than 300 alumni gathered April 12-13 to reconnect, dine together and enjoy RE's campus, pool, athletics field and gymnasium.
Leo Fein '23 won a pair of middle school titles at the Central Florida Academic Bee and Bowl on March 30 in Spring Hill, Fla. His victory in the bee and bowl events came after he finished second in the junior varsity bee at the 2019 South Florida History Bee and Bowl Championships on Feb. 23 as RE's varsity team of Lucas Miner '20, Justin Lopez '19 and Alex Boehm '19 claimed second in the varsity bowl and Miner second in the varsity bee.
Student and faculty art was displayed at the Middle School in March and the Upper School beginning April 11, celebrating the progress of RE's art students and the excellence of the arts faculty. The Middle School Annual Visual Arts Student Exhibit showcased student works at the Braman Media Center. The Upper School show exhibited student and faculty works in different media at the Solomon Art Gallery, the dining hall, the Dan Leslie Bowden Library and other locations throughout campus.
RE crew finished third in the boys' varsity quad at the 2019 Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Sculling State Championships in Sarasota April 13-14, as Andres Segrera '19, Aston Craft '20, Jackson Bryan '20 and Will Mathes '19 just missed second place in a gripping final race against The Bolles School. The team is petitioning for a spot at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America national championships.
RE's physics team – Tomas Graglia '19, Daniela Zaidenberg '19, Thomas Murphy '19, Samson Bienstock '19, Alex Abinader '19 and Andres Segrera '19 – won first place in the 18th Annual Chemistry and Physics Tournament at Barry University on April 12, winning the lab portion of the competition and finishing second in the oral part. RE's chemistry team earned third place in the chemistry laboratory.
Four Raiders – Bothwell C. Gonas '89, Jenny Stadler Krueger '93, Melissa Saiontz Luse '06 and Arturo C. Pedroso '03 – were inducted on April 11 to the Ransom Everglades Athletic Hall of Fame during an emotional and celebratory evening with friends, family, current Hall of Famers and other members of the RE community at the Pagoda.
RE's girls' track and field team won its 14th consecutive district title at Miami Dade College April 11 as Vashti Claybrook '20, Zoe Tsoukas '20 and Isabella Sosa '20 earned individual gold medals to lead the Raiders. The girls topped a field of 11 teams, winning 13 medals overall.
RE's girls' water polo team defeated Coral Gables 19-2 to win its 14th consecutive district title on April 9 as nine players contributed goals in the championship game at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School. The boys' team finished as district runners up, winning their semifinal over Columbus High before falling 13-10 to Belen Jesuit in its home pool in the title game. RE math and computer science faculty member Eric Lefebvre coached both teams.
Noah Gold '22 and Zach Marcus '22 helped Ransom Everglades to unprecedented success at the Florida Forensic League Novice State Championship for speech and debate April 6-7 by winning first place – the first victory ever at the championship for a team from RE – in Public Forum Debate.
RE also got top finishes from Alexandra Henriquez '22, who finished third in Dramatic Interpretation of Literature; Paisley Verea '22 and Lauren Zanarini '22, and Katerina Ortega '22 and Ana Martin '22, who were fourth and sixth, respectively, in Duo Interpretation of Literature; and Dashiell DeStefano '22, who finished eighth in Congressional Debate.
Holly Steinberg '19 and Nicole Bremer '19 finished second in the Innovate South Florida business challenge for private schools at Miami Dade College-Wolfson April 10. The pair, which pitched a proposal for CamBlock!, a sleek, movable cover for laptop cameras designed to thwart cyber-mischief, qualified for the finals of the 2019 Miami Herald Startup Pitch Competition on April 17.
The varsity sailing team finished second in the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association District Team Race Championships in Tampa on April 6-7, winning a qualifying spot for the Toby Baker Trophy Team Race National Championships in Portland, Maine, in May. Skippers Lachlain McGranahan '20, Javier Garcon '21 and Liam O'Keefe '21 led RE's sailors, who were victorious in the last race of the day.
Preston Edmunds '20 promised to work to make campus life better for RE students, invigorate school spirit and organize novel service projects as the 2019-20 Student Government Association president. Edmunds, who will succeed current SGA President Henry Schermerhorn '19, addressed the Upper School student body for the first time on April 9 during an assembly.
Ransom Everglades offered an enthusiastic welcome to the Class of 2026 and newly admitted students rising into grades 7 through 12 with orientations on both campuses on April 6. The highlight of the day's programming was provided by Isa Peña ’19, Henry Schermerhorn ’19, Calliste Skouras ’19 and Ilija Wan-Simm ’19, who received a standing ovation from parents at Swenson Hall after sharing reflections on their years at RE. New families were also welcomed by Head of School Penny Townsend, Director of Admission Amy Sayfie Zichella ’93 and Associate Head of School John King.
RE drama students shared their end-of-year class projects during an engaging REpertoire show in the Acting Studio that included directing, acting, monologues, singing, dancing, video production and an exciting 40-minute finale – a breathtaking, fast-paced showcase of Broadway through the decades, featuring two full classes of students and more than a dozen famous scenes and songs. Photo Gallery
Alumni Weekend puts alumni at the center of a wide-ranging celebration on both campuses, allowing them to reconnect with the school and each other. Alums – all of you – are an integral part of the RE community and we want you to know how important you are. We are especially excited to welcome this year’s reunion classes: R1969, E1969, 1979, 1989, 1994 and 1999, but we invite all of you to join us April 12-13!
The Ransom Everglades Middle School Symphonic Band earned Superior ratings from all four adjudicators at the Feb. 28 Florida Bandmasters Association District 20 Concert Band music performance assessments at Robert Morgan High School. The 30-member band under director Cathi Leibinger also earned straight A's in all categories of the sight-reading portion. The performed three prepared selections for three adjudicators and then sight-read two additional selections for an additional adjudicator.
Silicon Valley scientist Tiffany Vora urged Upper School students to build a better future for themselves by employing exponential thinking and out-of-the box solutions rooted in digital technology. Vora, the Faculty Director and Vice Chair of Medicine and Digital Biology at Singularity University, admonished students during an assembly at the Lewis Family Auditorium on April 2 to aspire to change the world dramatically, not incrementally.
The first-ever solar panels were installed at Ransom Everglades during spring break, with 18 panels placed atop the Hogan Building. The panels can generate 5.2 kilowatts of electric power, which will offset a small amount of the campus's power consumption daily while also serving as a learning tool in RE's science classrooms and illustrating the school's increasing commitment to sustainability.
Rohit Yavagal '21 finished in the top five percent of students who participated in the 2019 Miami Dade County Public Schools Science Fair, winning recognition as a finalist-alternate for the State of Florida Science Fair March 26-29. Yavagal worked under RE science faculty members Jay Salon and Scott Erdmann on his project: exploring methods to decrease the amount of sulfate in the Everglades.
Ransom Everglades won the 2019 South Florida District Sweepstakes Awards for speech and debate as five RE students won individual or team district titles at the South Florida District Tournament at Miami Beach Senior High on March 9-10. Oliver Stern '19 and Dori Schurr '20 won the title in Public Forum Debate; Alex Dray '21 in U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking; Georgia Crosby '21, Informational Speaking; and Alexandra Henriquez '22, Dramatic Interpretation. They join Zoe San Martin '20, who last month was named district champion in the Senate.
Kiera Rampersad '25 thrilled her Middle School peers by correctly reciting from memory 215 digits of the mathematical constant pi during an assembly on Pi Day – March 14 (3.14) – surpassing her closest competition by 75 digits to become Ransom Everglades' 2019 Pi Recitation Champion. Rampersad's remarkable performance tied for 459th best in the world, and 190th best ever in the United States, according to the Pi World Ranking List.
Mateo Heitner '25 offered a formidable challenge by reciting 140 digits, and Coren O'Brien '23 finished third by reciting 126.
As workers continued to build the foundation of the STEM Center during spring break, gradually filling the gaping, 14,400-ft2 footprint of the building, Ransom Everglades completed the new Upper School traffic loop and opened it for use. On April 1, the day students returned from their two-week break, all vehicular traffic was routed through the main entrance, around the new loop, and back out the main gate.
Four math team members – Anna Mistele '19, Dylan Tie-Shue '20, Joseph Gross '20 and Stephen Garrett '20 – finished in the top five percent of students nationally on the American Mathematics Competition examination, qualifying them to sit for the prestigious American Invitational Mathematics Examination. The students under math team coach Karen Key were the first from RE to qualify since 2017.
Ransom Everglades named 10 juniors to its third class of Dan Leslie Bowden Fellows in the Humanities, awarding grants and support for a range of ambitious summer projects. Associate Head of School John A. King, Jr., congratulated the 2019 fellows – Olivia Byrd '20, Mia Williamson '20, Jolie Dreiling '20, Diego Duckenfield-Lopez '20, Becca Fisher '20, Mia Landman '20, Kate Menninger '20, Sofia Mora '20, Charith Reddy '20 and Zoe San Martin '20 – and provided details about the journey they will undertake this summer during a meeting in the Ransom Cottage on March 14.
RE's strings students celebrated their progress in 2018-19 under director Jessica Carrasquillo with a lively spring concert that also recognized the program's graduates: senior violinist Ashlyn Cowgill '19 and the 16 eighth graders moving from the Middle School to the Upper School. The musicians also surprised Carrasquillo, who is expecting her first child in April, with a basket of baby goods presented by Cowgill and Mary Logan Woolsey '22. Photo Gallery
Novelist, syndicated columnist and Cuban immigrant Ana Veciana-Suarez spent a special day at the Middle School for the second annual One Book, One Day, One School (OBODOS) event, sharing her personal story, providing insight into her life's work, and explaining the inspiration behind her novel Flight to Freedom.
Middle School drama students merged their musical gifts and comic timing in the spring musical Freaky Friday, a laugh-out-loud comedy that showcased more than two dozen student-performers during jam-packed performances at Swenson Hall March 6-8. Adriana Carvalho '25 and LivSteinhardt '23 played the daughter-mother lead roles and were joined by a host of other talented middle schoolers in the show directed by faculty member Cecilia Gonzalez. Photo Gallery.
Fred Guttenberg, the father of Parkland shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, gave an emotional address to the Upper School student body on March 7, sharing his painful journey from bereaved father to gun violence activist. Guttenberg, invited to RE by the Students Against Gun Violence club, told students they had the power to make a difference and urged them to fight for change.
RE's academic team continued its excellence this season as RE's varsity team of Lucas Miner '20, Justin Lopez '19 and Alex Boehm '19 finished second in the varsity bowl and Javier Kumar '22 and Victoria Davis '21 won the JV bowl at the 2019 South Florida History Bee and Bowl Championships at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School on Feb. 23. Miner also finished second in the varsity bee as Kumar and Leo Fein '23 scored the top two places in the JV bee.
Holly Steinberg '19 and Nicole Bremer '19 won the Sixth Annual RE Business Challenge on March 4 at the Pagoda with Steinberg's clear and persuasive pitch for CamBlock!, a sleek, movable cover for laptop cameras designed to thwart cyber-mischief. The pair will represent Ransom Everglades at the Innovate South Florida competition at Miami Dade College-Wolfson in April. Luisa Guarco '19, Makenzie Love '19 and Khushi Shah '19 finished second with SpoonAble, a design for an innovative spoon to help people with hand tremors.
For at least a decade, faculty, parents, and even orthopedists have lamented the weight of student backpacks. At the same time, RE and other schools have discussed sustainability and the imperative to reduce paper on campus. And pedagogy has evolved, valuing interactivity and personalized instruction. For those reasons, Ransom Everglades has begun moving away from traditional textbooks and paper notebooks to more digital, portable, and cloud-accessible resources.
Eight RE speech and debate students placed in the top four in the state at the Florida Forensic League Varsity State Tournament March 2-3 as team coach and teacher Kate Hamm received FFL Coach of the Year recognition. The teams of Dori Schurr '20 and Oliver Stern '19, and Marley Rywell '19 and Brianna Kerr '19, accrued top finishes in public forum as four individual competitors advanced to semifinal rounds during the championship at West Broward High.
Every year, Ransom Everglades students strive to build structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing bridges out of basswood sticks, and the strongest structures advance to the the annual bridge-busting competition at the Lewis Family Auditorium.
There, each student’s hard work is transformed into a heap of shattered sticks.
Mike Hannan ’19 earned victory in this year’s splintering spectacle, as his svelte 16.04 gram bridge withstood a force of 37.01 pounds before collapsing (1,119.8 efficiency). He topped Joseph Kodsi ’20, whose 23.83 gram bridge managed a weight of 53.81 pounds before reaching its breaking point (1073.5 efficiency), and Jennifer Lin ’20, who finished third (15.42, 33.81, 1070.7) – and also won second-place in the aesthetic competition.
RE's all-girls calculus team of Anna Mistele '19, Yiduan Zheng '19, Huiyi Lin '20 and Valeria Vela '19 finished fifth among more than 50 teams at the Cypress Bay Regional March 2, lifting RE to a fifth-place finish overall among 38 teams as it prepares for the April state championships under coach Karen Key. RE's calculus squad, the only all-girls calculus team at the event, anchored a quartet of top-10 finishes by RE's teams in statistics, calculus, pre-calculus and geometry.
Children from Arc of South Florida, a non-profit benefitting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, visited RE's Upper School on March 2 for the 2019 RE Carnival organized by the student-led Volunteer Service Organization (VSO). The carnival featured a bouncehouse, clown, boat rides on the bay, grilled picnic items for lunch, and a number of sports and craft activities organized by other student clubs. RE families and faculty/staff families also attended.
Scientist Tiffany Vora, an expert in the field of biotechnology, will provide the RE community with a view into the likely effects of exponentially growing technologies on the future and a glimpse of cutting-edge work at the intersection of biology, technology and genetics. Vora, the Faculty Director and Vice Chair of Digital Biology and Medicine at Singularity University, will address the Ransom Everglades community at 7 p.m. on April 2 at the Lewis Family Auditorium
RE Students Against Distracted Driving (SADD) arranged for a distracted-driving simulator at the Upper School on Feb. 28 to educate their peers about the dangers of impaired driving. The simulator provided by the Arrive Alive Tour drew the interest of dozens of students, who waited in line to sit behind the wheel of the simulator-car, and WSVN Channel 7. The station sent a reporter to RE, interviewed SADD member Emanuelle Dooreck-Aloni '20 and shared a story on its newscast.
Liv Steinhardt '23 won second place in the 79th Annual Miami Herald Spelling Bee at the University of Miami's Donna Shalala Student Center on Feb. 19, distinguishing herself in a field of 166 spellers from Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Steinhardt prepared for the bee under English Department Coordinator Jody Salzinger.
Prevention specialists from Freedom from Chemical Dependency met with Ransom Everglades parents on March 4 and shared insight into their approach with RE students during their campus visits in 2018-19; provided information on vaping, marijuana, alcohol and other substances; and urged them to communicate clear boundaries to their children.
Middle School drama students conducted a theater workshops with children at Overtown Youth Center on Feb. 23 and fifth graders at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Coconut Grove on Feb. 14. Drama teacher Gina Montet oversaw the RE students – Nico Maynulet '23, Liv Steinhardt '23, Sophia Adams '23, Ryan Berkshire '23, Mason Signorello '23, Carmen Sanchez-Tembleque Wood '23, Zoe Katsoufis '24, Gerry Mena '24, Kate Demos-Brown '23 and Jake Perdigon '24 – as they gained experience in mentoring, leadership and community service.
RE's Middle School math team of Arjun Badwal '23, Ryan Berkshire '23, Victoria Paraoulaki de Miranda '24 and Solon Sun '25 earned a second place and state-championship bid at the 2019 Miami Chapter Mathcounts Competition at Miami Dade College. Miranda also achieved an eighth-place finish overall in a field of more than 250 students. The students, who will compete at the state event March 22 in Orlando, were led by math teacher Ginny Onorati.
It's not an outhouse or a new tower for school administrators to watch over Ransom Everglades. The mysterious, concrete-block edifice that recently sprouted up on the STEM Center construction site next to the Visual Arts Building is a material mockup – a site for the architectural design team to review materials and color selections and make necessary modifications before installation in the new STEM Center.
I am pleased to introduce Patricia Sasser, who will assume the role of Head of the Upper School at the conclusion of the 2018-19 school year. Patricia will replace Kenneth S. Mills, who is departing Ransom Everglades to become Head of School at the Gifft Hill School in St. John, V.I. We will miss Ken’s contributions as a scientist, teacher and administrator, but we are very excited to welcome Patricia to our team.
The RE Combo along with vocalist Isa Pena '19 will perform live on WDNA radio (88.9 FM or www.wdna.org) at 7-8 p.m. on March 11. The show is also free and open to the public at WDNA studios at 2921 Coral Way, Miami. RE Combo director Jon Hamm helped arrange for the performance, which will include drummer James Gerrard '19, leader and tenor saxophonist Connor Munroe '21, multi-saxophonist and musical director Alex Otero '19, bassist Danny Sauceda'19, trombonist Will Mathes '19, and pianist Max Vallone '22.
RE Sailing finished first among 27 teams at the South Points #6 district regatta in Sarasota March 2, keeping its hold on the top spot in the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association standings with only one SAISA event remaining in 2018-19. Under coach Joe Logan, RE topped Immaculata La Salle High, Riverview (Sarasota) High, H.B. Plant (Tampa) High and Gulliver Prep.
The Middle School REbotics team of Pablo Rodriguez-Russowsky ’23, Victor Perez ’23, Luca Trebotich ’23 and Diego de Lope ’23 won the Create Award and third place in the teamwork event at The South Florida VEX IQ Middle School State Championship at G. Holmes Braddock High on March 2. The results in a field of more than 40 teams earned REbotics a bid to VEX IQ World Championships in Louisville, Ky., in April.
Seniors kicked off the Raider Day of Giving as soon-to-be-alumni by making four-year pledges after meeting with Alumni Board President Agustin “Konky” Arellano ’90 on the eve of the annual fundraising day. Arellano shared his passion for RE and promised that the alumni board would donate $20.19 on behalf of every senior who contributed. Andres Badia ’19 made the first pledge on the spot, urged on by his classmates. Give NOW!
More than 400 members of the RE community donned heavy metal T-shirts, leather jackets and black – lots of black – make-up, nail polish and temporary tattoos for the 35th annual Ransom Everglades Parents' Association auction, this one bearing the theme: RE Rocks: Party through the Decades. The Feb. 23 event, an important fund-raiser for the school’s financial aid program, delighted the decked-out throng and showed early returns of more than $200,000 from ticket sales and bidding. Photo Gallery
Upper School drama students entertained and interacted with the audience at the spring play, Murder's in the Heir, performing a concluding act only after polling the crowd on its preference for the evening's villain. The lively show Feb. 21-22 at the Lewis Family Auditorium featured new faces from the senior and freshmen classes and many familiar names from the drama program under director Sam Shapiro.
RE's newly expanded jazz combo program scored at the Florida Bandmasters Association District Festival on Feb. 7 in Miami with all three teams collecting superior ratings under director Jon Hamm. The esteemed RE Combo earned straight superior ratings competing at the highest level of difficulty, grade five, and qualified for the state event.The Blue Combo entered at grade four and earned straight superior ratings. The Green Combo entered in grade three and earned split scores for an overall rating of superior.
More than 50 Middle School students traveled to Puerto Rico Feb. 15-18 for a cultural immersion trip that allowed them to hone their speaking skills while experiencing the beauty and diversity of the island’s landscape; exploring the history preserved in Old San Juan and Ponce; and eating – and even cooking! – authentic local cuisine.
Siblings from one of Overtown's first families described Miami's segregationist history to RE's Upper School student body during a Feb. 19 assembly at the Lewis Family Auditorium in honor of Black History Month. Anthony C. Jennings, the author of the Overtown Cookbook and an instructor at Booker T. Washington Senior High, shared remnants of his family's experience dating back to his great-grandfather's arrival to Miami in 1894.
Jennings said his family worked hard to counter overt and covert racism encountered at segregated restaurants, water fountains, hotels and schools. The family’s refuge was Overtown, a center of business and life in Miami once known as "colored town."
Members of the Middle School student government worked on their leadership skills as they guided the rest of the student body through Middle School Spirit Week, a week of costumes, games and many competitions including marshmallow-building, lip sync, film crew and cake-baking. Student government judges Loriz Arencibia '23, Sofia Paraoulaki de Miranda '23, Olivia Rubell '23, Paolo Rebessi '23 and Kyle Ng '23 presided over the week. After the Raider Run, a 43-person relay, the All the Way UP team was named the victor in the final assembly.
Two REbotics teams from the Middle School won top awards at the VEX IQ Robotics Tournament on the Everglades Campus on Feb. 10, with the all-eighth-grade team of Pablo Rodriguez-Russowsky ’23, Victor Perez ’23, Luca Trebotich ’23 and Diego de Lope ’23 earning the Excellence and Teamwork Awards as well as an automatic bid to the state championships in March. The all-seventh-grade team of Joseph David ’24, Varun Raju ’24, Erick Gross '24, Myles Heller '24 and Daniel Figueroa '24 won the Amaze Award.
Some 450 grandparents visited Ransom Everglades for Grandparents and Special Friends Day, which took place at the Middle School Feb. 13 and at the Upper School Feb. 14. A morning rainstorm did not deter more than 260 grandparents and friends of RE's sixth through eighth graders, and construction at the Upper School did not thwart nearly 200 Upper School visitors. Those who made it were treated to a trio of classes with their grandchildren and coffee and dessert with Head of School Penny Townsend, who also welcomed guests at a morning assembly.
The RE Middle School geography team – Leo Fein '23, Diego de Lope '23, Daniel Figueroa '24, Mikey Zoi '24 and Henry Berler '25 – went undefeated to win the Independent Schools of South Florida Geography Bee on Feb. 12 at the Women's Club of Coral Gables. Less than a week later, RE middle schoolers scored five podium finishes at the South Florida Regional History Bee and Academic Bee in Pompano Beach.
Some 150 ninth graders spent five days and four nights in Florida's 10,000 Islands in late January, participating in Ransom Everglades' annual freshman adventure that illustrates the school's commitment to experiential learning and fostering an appreciation of the natural world. The freshmen broke off into teams of eight students each and undertook separate journeys through the region's waterways with guides from the North Carolina-based Outward Bound. Photo Gallery
Ransom Everglades finished fourth overall at the Golden Gate regional math competition in Naples on Feb. 2. For the first time in team history, all four RE teams placed in the top five. Margo Squire ’19 claimed her first individual trophy in statistics while helping RE's statistics team to a third-place overall.
More than 60 RE alumni from the New York area gathered at the Yale Club in Manhattan on Jan. 29 to reconnect with each other and hear from Head of School Penny Townsend, Alumni Board President Augustin “Konky” Arellano ’90 and trustee Ricky Stokes ’94. The best turnout came from the Class of 1994 – celebrating its 25-year reunion in April – and Class of 2010. All enjoyed the gathering!
Twelve orchestra students earned superior ratings and Ian Barnett ’23 claimed a “superior with distinction” for their performances at the Florida Orchestra Association District 16 Solo/Ensemble Music Performance Assessment Feb. 1-2 at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High under orchestra director Jessica Carrasquillo.
Four RE students – Nicole Bremer ’19, Arianna Gonzalez ’19, Isabella Cofresi ’19 and Fernanda Garcia Moreno ’20 – won awards at the Model United Nations international competition in Bilbao, Spain, known as MUN Bilbao from Jan. 24-27.
Two dozen RE students paired up with students from Booker T. Washington Senior High for the schools' annual weeklong cultural and educational exchange, with half of the students meeting up on the BTW campus and half connecting at RE. The partners attended classes and experienced campus life together from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1, ending with an emotional dinner at RE and thoughtful program on social justice at Florida International University.
RE speech and debate coach Kate Hamm earned regional coach of the year honors for the second straight year as four RE students scored first-place trophies at the 2019 Florida Forensic League Art Deco Region Qualifying Tournament Feb. 2 at Ransom Everglades Middle School. More than 40 RE students won invitations to the state championship tournament by finishing in the top seven in their events.
Six Ransom Everglades seniors were recognized as National AP Scholars, the highest honor awarded by The College Board. Tomas Graglia '19, Makenzie Love '19, Anna Mistele '19, Isa Pena '19, Valeria Vela '19 and Ilija Wan-Simm '19 each earned an average score of at least four on all AP exams taken, and scores of four or higher on eight or more of those exams.
Most people spent their summers trying to escape mosquitos. Maya Rosen '21 collected the pesky insects in traps in her backyard, stored them in plastic containers in her parents' freezer, then took them each day to a lab at Florida International University. There, she sorted them under a microscope by sex and species to assist scientists researching the neutralization of viral transmission of mosquitos.
Her 2018 internship was one of about 20 featured at the Lewis Family Auditorium Jan. 31 during the sixth-annual Ransom Everglades Internship Forum.
Former RE board member and parent David Lawrence Jr. admonished Upper School students to lead lives of energetic purposefulness during a Jan. 29 assembly at the Lewis Family Auditorium. Lawrence, who retired as publisher of the Miami Herald at 56 to become one of the nation's leading proponents of childhood welfare and education, detailed a personal journey that began on a chicken farm in New York and included two full and productive careers in newspaper publishing and children's advocacy.
Ransom Everglades dedicated the Middle School conference room on January 29, 2019, in the memory of FJ Pollak, a devoted husband, father and philanthropist. Abigail Pollak made a special gift and selected the room near the entry of the Middle School so it would be readily visible to her children Jonathan Pollak ’23, Matthew Pollak ’25 and Abby Marie Pollak.
The RE Combo and vocalist Isa Peña '19 combined their talents to bring home an unprecedented four trophies from the 2019 Berklee High School Jazz Festival Jan. 26 in Boston. Peña won first place in the Jazz Singers Showcase and was invited to open the evening's awards program, where she sang "Almost Like Being In Love" to a packed house of 4,000 at the Hynes Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Connor Munroe '21 claimed the Outstanding Musicianship Award for his class, and the RE Combo under Jon Hamm claimed second place – its best finish ever – in its class.
Five RE athletes won first-team All-Dade recognition from the Miami Herald on Jan. 24 as more than 30 Raiders earned spots on the newspaper’s annual fall sports awards list. Jake Beber-Frankel ’20, Phoebe Beber-Frankel ’20 and Rachel DeAngulo ’20 won first-team honors in golf; Ellie Carrera-Justiz ’19, in volleyball; and Madison Munroe ’22, in cross country.
Ransom Everglades Middle School students, faculty and administration performed a day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 21, using sewing machines and their artistic talents to convert ordinary pillowcases into beautiful dresses that will be delivered to under-resourced children in Africa through the non-profit Little Dresses for Africa.
RE's Middle School arts program celebrated a host of good news: Ricky Sucre Gil '23 won first prize at the Beaux Arts Student Showcase in January as seven fellow Middle School students won acceptance into the annual Celebrate Art (Logan, Utah) scholastic contest.
RE sailing finished first in the junior varsity division of the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association South Points #4 at Ransom Everglades on Jan. 19 as the squad’s varsity sailors claimed fourth overall and first among South Florida schools in the varsity competition.
Ransom Everglades students excelled at the RoboSLAM III Miami robotics event at Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition Arnold Hall Jan. 12. Adam Kaplan '21 went undefeated and won the 3 lb. division in the BattleBots tournament, and RE’s powerhouse freshman team led by Max Vallone ’22 and Dashiell DeStefano ’22 claimed the Create Award and second place overall in the VEX Robotics Competition. More than 40 teams participated.
Eight seniors presented plays they selected, cast with fellow students and directed during the Senior Directing Showcase on Jan. 18. The drama night in the Acting Studio showed the seniors' maturity as drama students and their peers' range of theatrical gifts as they performed eight pieces in front of a crowd of family and friends that jammed the studio. Photo Gallery
RE’s speech and debate students claimed a dozen podium finishes at a pair of end-of-year South Florida Catholic Forensic League events, and distinguished themselves at the highly competitive 2019 Sunvitational, a Jan. 11-13 tournament in Fort Lauderdale that attracted teams from around the nation.
If you have passed through the Quad at the Upper School recently, you could not have missed seeing the large, wooden-framed, soil-filled box near the dining hall. This box, which will soon include a computer-programmed robotic gardening system and, we hope, eventually sprout organically grown fruits, vegetables and herbs, represents the latest addition to the myriad multi-disciplinary programs that we offer at Ransom Everglades.
Five college admission officials representing a wide cross-section of schools shared advice on navigating the college process during Ransom Everglades' annual College Admission Symposium at the Lewis Family Auditorium Jan. 17. RE's Director of College Counseling Claudia Jolivert led the roundtable discussion with representatives from Berry College, Columbia University, Florida State University, Oberlin College and Texas Christian University.
Ransom Everglades is installing 15,000 square feet of permeable pavers to create an attractive new drop-off loop at the Upper School entrance. The loop, which runs between the Lewis Family Auditorium and Ransom Cottage, has been under construction since late December and will be open for use in the coming weeks. It includes charcoal, gray and off-white pavers in a herringbone layout.
Ransom Everglades completed a near-sweep of titles at the 2019 Southern Florida Winter History Bee and Bowl at RE on January 12, with a team of middle schoolers winning the junior varsity bowl and RE students earning victories in the individual varsity and junior varsity bees. RE also scored a second- and third-place finish in the varsity bowl on a day that many RE students qualified for the national championships in Arlington, Va., in April.
Phil Lord '93won a Golden Globe Award for producing and co-writing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was named best animated feature on Jan. 6. The movie, which was released in December, topped Pixar's Incredibles 2; Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet; Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs; and GKIDS' Mirai. In Miami last April for his 25-year reunion, Lord visited several classes and regaled RE students with stories of his adventures in filmmaking.
RE's athletics and physical education department raised money for California wildfire victims and collected clothing donations for local elementary school children through a pair of holiday drives that got athletes and non-athletes involved. Preston Edmunds '20 and Jake Schwartz '19 spearheaded the sale of vintage RE jerseys and jackets on the Quad to raise nearly $900 for the California Fire Foundation, and winter athletic teams – girls' and boys' basketball and girls' and boys' soccer – donated dozens of sweaters and jackets to The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove's Heartwarming Holidays campaign.
Ludington Room Eleven was dedicated on Dec. 21 in memory of Francisco Triana '09. Francisco's family chose to honor his memory by making a special gift to name the room in which he led Student Government Association meetings as president, and in which the SGA continues to meet.
Solon Sun '25 was honored for scoring in the top five percent of students nationwide on a nationwide math contest for middle school students, the American Mathematics Contest 8, which was administered on Nov. 14. Sun was also recognized for his top score among his RE peers. Ryan Berkshire '23, David Luan '25, Hudson Kaplan '25 and Alexander Tong '24 earned second-place recognition. The third-place winners were William Charouhis '24 and Ethan Thomas '25.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.