Ransom Everglades Middle School won first place in Dream in Green's 2020 Green Schools Challenge in recognition for year-long sustainability efforts that culminated in a successful student-run campaign that eliminated juice boxes from the Everglades Campus. Third-place winners last year, RE topped some 110 entrants from middle schools throughout South Florida.
The virtual awards ceremony held on May 28 also gave special recognition to the efforts of four RE students – Anya Bhandari '25, Luciana Pardo Munoz Ledo '25, Adriana Carvalho '25 and Ale Leiser '25 – and faculty member Brooke Gintert. All were honored for the leadership, dedication and drive.
Bhandari and Munoz Ledo led RE's campaign to reach its yearly sustainability goal: replacing the hundreds of juice boxes distributed during the daily snack break with large beverage dispensers – and requiring students to bring their own refillable bottles. The pair worked with Max Heymann of SAGE Dining Services and Head of the Middle School Rachel Rodriguez to bring about the shift to large dispensers, which saved an estimated 1,500-2,000 juice boxes per week from entering landfills.
Carvalho and Leiserwere honored for their notable work on issues related to climate change. The pair served on the Student Leadership Board of the 2020 Miami Youth Climate Summit. The youngest student leaders on a board of mostly high schoolers, they helped make the summit a success and worked to involve classmates from RE.
Gintert was honored with an Innovation in Education Award for her leadership on a variety of sustainability projects and efforts throughout the 2019-20 year, including the Drawdown EcoChallenge, the REMS Green Team, and the Ransom Everglades Energy and Climate Change Symposium virtual museums.
The first-place award recognized those efforts and many others throughout the school year. RE middle schoolers participated in a bike- or walk-to-school day, completed a debris maze challenge, conducted water sampling in Biscayne Bay, among various other projects led by Gintert and other faculty members including Kelly Jackson and Robin Escobedo.
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.