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.
Duty, the chair of the math and computer science department, is retiring after a 34-year career during which she won the Arthur Moses Faculty Award, engaged in mathematical research at Florida International University, helped author a textbook with fellow faculty member Henry Stavisky ’85, and gave the commencement address at the Class of 2019 graduation. A team of RE friends and colleagues – Penny Matthews, Stavisky, Ginny Onorati and John King – offered a joint tribute.
Stamler, Assistant Head of the Middle School and Academic Dean, departs after 16 years as a full-time employee, having taught English and study skills, served as an advisor, orchestrated St. Alban’s Day and helped implement many programmatic improvements at the RE Middle School over the years. She was introduced by Head of the Middle School Rachel Rodriguez, who offered an emotional tribute that concluded with the reading of the poem "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou.
Duty and Stamler were also honored at an alumni event at the Pagoda on June 6 that drew several dozen grateful alumni, former trustees and friends. Alumni Farewell photo gallery
Townsend also recognized Spanish teacher Cristi Edmunds ’86, who is departing after 22 years to enjoy more time with daughter Preston Edmunds ’20, her third and final child at RE (along with Ande ’18 and Myles ’16). Cristi Edmunds coached cheerleading, basketball and softball during her Ransom Everglades career and was introduced by fellow Spanish teacher Bobbi Bassuk. Head of the Upper School Ken Mills, who has accepted the post of Head of School for the Gifft Hill School in St. John, V.I., after six years at RE, was also recognized with a tribute from Townsend.
All received rousing standing ovations.
A number of faculty and staff received Length of Service Awards. Math teacher Ginny Onorati was celebrated for 45 years at RE; Duty for 35; math teacher John Lewis and art history teacher Jose Rodriguez for 30; and Stavisky for 20.
A number of other faculty, staff and administration who are departing or achieved significant career milestones were also recognized with emotional tributes and hearty ovations. To view the honorees and their presenters, please see this photo gallery. The event preceded the annual end-of-year Head of School luncheon in the gymnasium.
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.