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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.