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.
Director of Admission Amy Sayfie Zichella ’93
opened the event with a welcome and explained the nuts and bolts of the admission process
that culminates in the Jan. 10, 2020, application deadline. Head of School Penny Townsend spoke about the school’s long history in Miami, the importance of school culture at RE and her favorite four-letter word: grit
. She noted that every upper school student learns to sail, and ninth graders journey to the Everglades for an annual five-day foray.
Head of the Upper School Patricia Sasser shared elements of community life that make an RE education special.
“What we ask daily of students is to stretch themselves, to explore and to serve,” Sasser said. “We start the day in advisory. It’s an opportunity to shrink the school a bit, to build a community within a community. We become a family. We support each other.”
The students then took the stage and offered perspective on elements of RE life ranging from managing homework to using technology in the classroom. Aldrich, the president of the drama club, said RE’s drama program had provided her with a creative counterbalance to RE’s academic demands. Caring teachers, she added, also made a huge difference.
“Ransom Everglades is such an academically rigorous school,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to still pursue my passions and further my creativity at school…. One thing Ransom Everglades teachers are really good about is there is always time for extra help… teachers are always available… they’ll work with you for as long as you need in order to help you understand the concept.”
Noted Duckenfield-Lopez: “The small class size allows teachers to be available and know you on a personal level.”
Reddy spoke about his experience entering RE as a ninth grader. Beber-Frankel talked about how he balanced the demands of competitive golf – he set a course record at the Junior PGA Championship this past summer – with his classwork. Edmunds, the student body president, described her experience playing three sports and leading student government – which she described as the “joy” of her high school career.
Tie-Shue, the president of math team, noted that dozens of students arrive before classes several times per week for 7 a.m. math team practices – and they also participate in after-school sports and other activities.
“The fact that so many students all want to show up just to do math speaks to the intellectual vitality of RE students,” he said.
The panelists noted that RE students, while competitive and ambitious, also grow extremely close and become increasingly protective and supportive of one another. “Students at RE all want to help each other out,” Tie-Shue said. “Yes, we are all trying to be the best in certain things, but we all want each other to succeed.”
To conclude the open house, the prospective families received tours of the upper school campus led by umbrella-bearing student tour guides: Isabel Almada-Sabate ’21, Rachel Bienstock ’21, William Brodsky ’21, David Civantos ’20, Georgia Crosby ’21, Liza Dill ’21, Alexandre Dray ’21, Jolie Dreiling ’20, Preston Edmunds ’20, Rebecca Fisher ’20, Yasmina Haddad ’20, Magnus Kron ’21, Mia Landman ’20, Ava Levinson ’21, Asher Lieberman ’20, Palmer Lykes ’21, Peter Mendiola ’21, Jackson Mopsick ’21, Nicholas Namias ’20, Ella Rubell ’21, Elliot Sable ’21, Jacob Simkovic ’21, George Spillis ’21, Brianna Suarez ’20 and Viviana Vela ’21.
For more information on the admission process, go here