Ransom Everglades boys’ tennis team won all of its finals matches to sweep the team, singles and doubles competitions at the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A District 16 championship at Crandon Park on April 14. Sam Gelber ’22 claimed the individual title and shared the doubles championship with Xander Lake ’21.
Three weeks after winning RE’s annual business plan challenge, Diya Tekriwal ’22 and Dhilani Premaratne ’22 faced off against 10 South Florida independent schools at the Innovate South Florida 2021 business competition on April 14.
Once again, the pair earned first-place honors for their plan for HobbyBox, a monthly subscription box that would bring new hobbies to your doorstep.
Bridges weren’t the only things broken during Ransom Everglades’ always anticipated annual bridge-building competition final round – myriad event records were also shattered during an epic and exciting finale on April 14. As always, the event featured the dramatic destruction of the school’s top bridges to determine the strongest by weight. The theme of the 2021 RE Bridge Competition said it all: "Not even the strongest survive."
Rafael Dovarganes ’22 emerged as this year's bridge-building champion with his record-breaking bridge.
Four RE student-athletics won district titles at the Florida High School Athletic Association 2A District 16 Track and Field Championships at Tropical Park on April 13: Mia Balestra ’21 in the javelin, Alex Dray ’21 in the 3,200 meters, Aidan Rothstein ’22 in the pole vault, and Juliana Williamson ’22 in the high jump.
Mollie Forand '22 and Kathryn Serra '23 won the scholastic state title in the girls junior double as Thomas Segrera '23 earned the state title in the boys junior single at the Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Sculling Championships in Sarasota on April 10. All five of Ransom Everglades' teams posted top-five finishes in the state scholastic championship that drew 356 competitors from 23 rowing clubs and 14 schools across Florida.
Five Ransom Everglades soccer players – Mia Balestra '21, Jasper Broad '22, Lindsay Gould '21, Danny Mendoza '21 and Juan Rivera '22 – earned first-team all-county honors for winter sports from the Miami Herald, which recognized 18 RE soccer and basketball player in its annual winter sports honor roll. Balestra, currently competing in track and field, also earned first-team recognition from the Herald in volleyball in the fall. See the newspaper's report here.
Winnie Tang, president of Florida Asian Services, has worked to get anti-Asian legislation repealed. She has offered naturalization assistance to Asian immigrants, provided information about voter registration and spoken out against anti-Asian violence. She currently hosts a weekly radio show ACE (Asian Caribbean Exchange) Talk.
For some 25 years, Tang has been an unrelenting community advocate in South Florida, and on April 12, she shared her experience and insights with Ransom Everglades upper school students during a virtual assembly. She was introduced by RE’s Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement Carla Hill.
Students in the Latin American Student Association and Volunteer Service Council conducted a three-day shoe drive in March, accepting donations from RE families during morning drop-off. Students collected 256 pairs of new or lightly worn shoes that they shared with Soles4Souls, specifically directing the RE's donations to Latin America. LASA officers are Lucas Gomez '21, Martin Jaramillo '22 and Barbara Hyland '23.
Ransom Everglades served as the virtual host of the Miami Youth Climate Summit that took place on March 6, using the Fernandez STEM center as broadcasting headquarters for the one-day event that drew 1175 registrants from six continents, 22 countries and 18 states. A number of RE students and faculty member Kelly Jackson helped plan and run the event, which featured keynote addresses by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and youth climate activist Delaney Reynolds.
Ransom Everglades School finished first in the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association South Points Regatta No. 3 in Vero Beach on March 27, topping 17 teams from schools throughout Florida. Sailors Javi Garcon '21, Liam O'Keefe '21, Nicolas Echarte '21 and Lucas Vianna '21 secured the victory.
Ransom Everglades students served as delegates at two virtual Model United Nations conferences in March, gathering with peers from around the nation to take on various local and global issues. Student-delegates represented particular countries or interests, using prior research and preparation to stay in character throughout the conferences as they addressed various questions, challenges and crises.
After an unusual season of mostly remote tournaments, two Ransom Everglades middle school robotics teams and five from the upper school qualified for exclusive regional competitions: the South Florida VEX-IQ Middle School and VRC High School Regional Championships, which take place in mid-April. The teams qualified based their performances in remote skills competitions and, in the case of the upper school students, at a pair of in-person events.
Ruth Millman, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor, spoke to upper school students in honor of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, sharing chilling details about her family's struggle to survive the Nazi occupation of Warsaw, Poland, and later a labor camp in Germany, during World War II. She witnessed daily horrors, and experienced hunger, malnutrition, mistreatment and illness.
A year ago, the undefeated girls’ water polo team at Ransom Everglades was closing in on a likely 15th straight district title when COVID-19 abruptly ended spring sports. The Raiders finally earned the chance to extend their streak at the Ansin Aquatic Center on March 26, and claimed resounding 13-5 victory over MAST Academy. Two hours later, RE’s boys defeated Columbus High by a 21-10 margin to give Ransom Everglades two district championships in one day.
Ransom Everglades prepared to welcome author Scott Reintgen a year ago, but COVID-19 forced a cancellation of his highly anticipated visit – the intended centerpiece of the third-annual One Book, One Day, One School (OBODOS). A year later, OBODOS made its return, and RE students were delighted to finally hear from Reintgen, who addressed middle schoolers during a March 15 virtual assembly.
Diya Tekriwal ’22 and Dhilani Premaratne ’22 won first place in the eighth annual Ransom Everglades Business Challenge for their plan for HobbyBox, a monthly subscription designed to introduce teens and young adults to new hobbies. The pair topped a field of five finalist teams in the March 23 livestreamed event and the more than 40 that began the 2020-21 competition.
Christopher Page '27 won first place in the K-8 division of the South Miami Chess Club Avant Garde Scholastic Tournament, one of the first in-person events in scholastic chess since the pandemic hit. Page competed alongside some 60 students from Gulliver Prep, Franklin Academy and other schools, going 5-0 in five rounds of the March 16 competition in Hollywood, Fla. Faculty member Luis Felipe advises RE's chess team.
Ten RE students and two RE alumni presented original research at the virtual 2021 Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium at the University of Florida in early March. The students – members of the Young REsearchers Program – defended four posters detailing novel projects, all of which relied on data from the portable laser that arrived to Ransom Everglades in the summer of 2019 from the Frost Museum of Science.
A pair of accomplished local women addressed RE students on March 22 in honor of Women’s History Month: Annie Lord ’97, executive director of Miami Homes for All, encouraged upper school students to use their power to empower others in less fortunate circumstances, while Kerry Gruson – a differently abled athlete whose participation in many triathlons and other races has been chronicled by various news outlets – shared her story of resilience with middle school students.
The two women, who spoke during simultaneous and separate virtual assemblies, offered different messages with the same ultimate goal: to inspire students to positive action.
Ransom Everglades speech and debate teams won three sweepstakes at the National Speech and Debate Association National Qualifying Tournament on February 27. RE students won the Congress Sweepstakes, Debate Sweepstakes and Individual Events Speech Sweepstakes at the virtual competition. The top two teams in each event qualified for NSDA national championships this summer. Faculty member Kate Hamm led the Raiders at the event.
The HealthcaRE club, which seeks to promote student wellness, collected more than 3,000 diapers and 4,000 baby wipes from February 10-12 for the Miami Diaper Bank, a local non-profit organization committed to relieving the need for diapers and diaper-related products during the pandemic. Amanda Harris '22, a club officer along with Peri Gould '21 and Charlotte Wang '21, organized the on-campus collection.
Ransom Everglades’ Marine Field Research students participated in one of the course's signature field trips: a shark-tagging excursion. Two classes of juniors and seniors each spent a day aboard a 55-foot research vessel in mid-February, looking for sharks on Biscayne Bay near Stiltsville and then, when a catch was made, stabilizing the shark and executing a number of research tasks.
The national business magazine Fast Company described Ransom Everglades as a "reimagined school" in a major feature story about the Fernandez STEM Center that appeared online February 23. "When the Ransom Everglades School set out to augment its Miami high school campus with a new building focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, its educators saw an opportunity," the story said. "They wanted to rethink how a physical space at the school could reflect the kind of future-focused learning that would happen there." Read more here.
Ransom Everglades nominated 13 students for the annual Silver Knight Awards competition that recognizes high school seniors for academic excellence, service, citizenship and achievement in various subject areas. In its 62nd year, the highly regarded recognition program is run by the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. Schools throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties may nominate one student in each of 15 categories; winners will be announced this spring.
The nominees were selected by the school's college counseling office with input from RE faculty and administrators.
RE sixth graders participated in a month-long global eco-challenge, learning about solutions to climate change and eco-friendly habits while helping Ransom Everglades win recognition as a top points-earning organization among the 388 global participants in the annual event.
More than two dozen RE string students received superior or excellent ratings for their performances at the virtual Florida Orchestra Association Solo/Ensemble Music Performance Assessments on February 20-21. The students submitted videos of their solo pieces and received feedback on their performances. Through the solo and ensemble experiences, students learn the discipline of rehearsal; advance their musical skills; perform in front of an audience and adjudicator; and benefit from critiques.
The Independent Schools of South Florida honored Mia Bouyoucef '25, Jaerla Sajous '25 and Kaige Brown '25 as "Star Award" winners, recognizing their exemplary scholarship, leadership and excellence outside of the classroom. The students were nominated by Ransom Everglades for the annual awards, which the ISSF uses to celebrate excellent students at member schools throughout South Florida.
Ransom Everglades continued its celebration of Black History Month with two alumni speakers on February 22. Matthew Beatty ’01, the vice president and chief operating officer of The Carrie Meek Foundation, spoke virtually to upper school students, and Charlie Weyman ’11, Education and Outreach Coordinator at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, remotely addressed middle schoolers. Beatty’s talk looked toward the future; Weyman’s examined the past.
Mia Balestra ’21 earned first-team All-Dade honors for volleyball as more than 20 Raiders won recognition from the Miami Herald in its annual review of fall sports. Thirteen student-athletes – including eight swimmers – claimed second-team recognition, and seven other fall sport athletes earned honorable mention in the rankings released February 17.
Ransom Everglades drama students took the virtual stage to share with the RE community performances they will present at the Florida State Thespian Festival in March. Under the direction of drama teacher Sam Shapiro, the students performed solo musicals, duet musicals, a small group performance and one original performance in REmote REpertoire III. You can download and watch the show, which aired live on February 10, by going here.
Ransom Everglades' boys' soccer team cruised to a 4-0 win over Westminster Christian on February 11, earning its first district championship since 2016. Dillon Kaye '22 opened the scoring midway through the first half. Co-captain Danny Mendoza '21 scored early in the second half and again late in the game. David Pulido '22 also scored. Co-captain Nic Stone-Perez '21 led the Raiders on defense, while Walker White '21 recorded the shutout in the goal.
The boys entered the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 3A regional playoffs with an 11-1-5 record, ranked third in the state and having won five straight games by a 20-1 margin. The team suffered a last-minute 3-2 defeat to Westminster Christian in the regional semifinals to end its excellent season. The Raiders were led Head Coach Dave Villano '79.
Ransom Everglades Parents’ Association couldn’t hold an in-person auction this winter, so REPA created a virtual event designed to bring the RE community together while generating support for the school’s financial aid program. The 38th annual REPA auction – and first remote one – featured extraordinary emcees, moving testimonials from alumni and students, glimpses of campus life, student performances, and, as always, an incredible array of items for bid. The FutuRE is Ours event on February 6 was so successful, REPA netted more than $176,000 for the school’s financial aid program, with some dollars still being counted.
Ransom Everglades honored seven senior athletes who intend to pursue their sports at Division I schools, recognizing them during a morning signing ceremony in the Anderson gymnasium on February 3. Lindsay Gould '21 committed to play soccer at Brown University; Helaina Harris '21, lacrosse at Northwestern University; and Daniela Ortiz '21, volleyball at Villanova. Sailors Hannah Bast '21 and Javier Garcon '21 committed to the University of Pennsylvania, Nicholas Echarte '21 to Tufts University, and Louis LaFontisee '21 to Tulane University.
Fifteen students from Ransom Everglades won recognition in the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for the southeast region, with several students earning awards for multiple entries. Lucia Rose Dahn '23 earned the highest honor – a Gold Key – for Poetry and Science Fiction & Fantasy, and she and seven other students also claimed Silver Key awards.
Daniel Jackson '21, Erik Medina '21, Zara Shapiro '21,Viviana Vela '21 and Rohit Yavagal '21 have been invited to compete for recognition in The United States Presidential Scholars Program, joining a distinguished group of 4,500 students across the nation identified for participation. The five seniors at Ransom Everglades did not apply individually for the program, and were not nominated by RE; students receive invitations based on academic achievement, their performance on the SAT or ACT or other elements of scholarship.
Sindhu Talluri '25 successfully spelled infallibility to claim first place in Ransom Everglades' first remote spelling bee, earning the opportunity to represent RE at the annual Miami-Dade bee this spring. Talluri edged Stella Armstrong '27 in a January 24 tiebreaker, the culminating round of a competition that began with 38 students in November and narrowed to a field of eight finalists – Talluri, Armstrong, Ricardo De Lorenzi '27, Edmond Baudin de la Valette '27, Chase Dubovy '25, Hudson Kaplan '25, Oliver Friedland '26 and Ella Wang '27. Talluri and Armstrong handled words such as souterrain and camalote during the bee, which was organized by faculty member Jody Salzinger.
The Winter 2021 Upper School Virtual Art Exhibition showcases the creations of ninth- through 12th-grade students in Matt Stock's Photography I, Portraiture and Experimental Photography classes; Astrid Dalins' Studio Art I, II, III and IV and Architectural Design I, II and III; and Jorge Guzman's Ceramics I, II and III. Enjoy their extraordinary works by watching this video.
Youming Che, a master teacher and founder of Ransom Everglades’ Chinese program, died on January 14 after suffering a heart attack while jogging. The news devastated the RE community, where Che was deeply admired across both campuses. He was considered a gentleman scholar who exemplified honor and excellence, and he was known for his genuine concern for his students.
Ransom Everglades juniors and their parents gathered virtually on January 16 for a deep-dive into the upcoming college admission season during RE’s annual Junior College Admission Symposium. Families received a frank, lively and informative admission primer from Erik DeAngelis, Senior Associate Director of Admission at Brown University, and met in small groups with their newly appointed college counselors at RE.
Ransom Everglades celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with a trio of events that amplified key elements of King’s distinguished life: Aspiration, service and a quest for justice. Students and faculty heard from notable speakers at the middle and upper schools, and some also participated in a “Little Dresses for Haiti” service day on the national holiday.
A determination to counter segregation and anti-Semitism in 1950s Miami inspired Ruth Greenfield – the now 97-year-old matriarch of RE’s Greenfield family – to found the interracial Fine Arts Conservatory in 1951. Her center of music, dance and art defied the segregationist practices of the time, influenced generations of students, and inspired a fresh round of reflection and reminiscence at Ransom Everglades on January 13.
Members of the Ransom Everglades community gathered for a virtual conversation with Ruth Greenfield, four of her children and retired Miami-Dade County Judge Wendell Graham ’74 – a conservatory student who later became the first Black student at the Ransom School.
Head of School Penny Townsend moderated the event, the first Paul Ransom Digital Podium event of 2021. Watch it here.
Artwork by Sophia Biss '26, Eleni Haralambides '26, Isabella Rojas-Cueva '26, Ava McAliley '26, Oscar Vazquez '26 and Nathaniel Pegg '26 were winners in the juried national art contest for fall 2020 held by Celebrating Art, which reviewed submissions from K-12 students across the country. Art teacher Elsa Munoz announced the honor on January 5.
Ransom Everglades faculty, staff and administration started the second semester by participating in a day of professional development designed to further the school’s work in diversity, equity and inclusion. The January 4 program under the direction of Bridge Builders 305, a training and development leadership group, focused on heightening cultural competencies to foster a more inclusive environment at RE.
For the 28th year, members of the RE middle school community collected toys for children at several churches in Coconut Grove, with each advisory filling a huge gift bag with stuffed animals, dolls, books, sports equipment and requested items for particular children. On December 18, faculty and staff delivered the bags and the myriad overflow items – bicycles and other large gifts – to Christ Episcopal Church, which shared the items with Macedonia Baptist Church and others, bringing many surprises and smiles.
In RE’s first robotics event of the school year, three robotics teams claimed major awards at a socially distanced, in-person, indoor/outdoor competition in Naples on December 5. At the Best in Southwest event, RE teams won the Think Award, Innovate Award and Design Award, and an all-freshman team gained valuable experience.
Join panelists Ruth Greenfield, Charles Greenfield ’68, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders ’70 and Wendell Graham ’74 for the first Paul Ransom Digital Podium of 2021 on January 13 at 7 p.m. Head of School Penny Townsend will lead a conversation with this illustrious group about the long-term impact of the desegregation efforts led by Ruth Greenfield at her Fine Arts Conservatory, which was featured in the documentary Instruments of Change.
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.