Student Life
Athletic Hall of Fame

RE inducts four into Athletic Hall of Fame

Ransom Everglades welcomed a former runner, swimmer, baseball player and softball pitcher into the Ransom Everglades Athletic Hall of Fame on April 21, celebrating the induction of Bert Irigoyen '12, Kevin Grossfeld '95, Jonathan "Joner" Strauss '00 and Carrie Walpole '96 with a lively evening at the Pagoda that included friends, RE administrators and former teachers, coaches and hall of fame members. Photo Gallery
The event, held in honor of departed coach and faculty member Mike Stokes, included RE hall of famers Penny Matthews, Don Kappelman, Amy Sayfie Zichella '93, Lisa Sayfie '91, Jim Beverley '62, David Clark '86, Jessica Greenwald Ladin '93, Gordon Myers '92 and Julie Greenwald Friedland '91.

Irigoyen, who won individual and team state championships in cross country at RE and went on to the University of Miami, is now a pulmonary physiologist at Baptist Health. Former coach Mike Becker described Irigoyen, whom he met on the middle school cross country team, as passionate and team-oriented. Said Irigoyen: At RE "I learned the whole is better than the sum of its parts, and sharing a victory with a team is much better than winning it alone."

Grossfeld, who was introduced by former classmate Miguel Duenas '95, led RE to its first district championship in baseball before heading to the University of Miami for his bachelor's and law degrees. Now a partner at Saul, Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr, Grossfeld continues his involvement in baseball by helping coach RE's middle school team, which includes his son Tyler Grossfeld '27, and he's also served as alumni class representative and co-chairs the Ransom Everglades Epic Fishing tournament (REEF). "High school sports build bonds that last a lifetime," he said. "It meant the world to me to represent the school and I gave it everything I had."

Strauss, an all-county honoree in swimming and water polo, was introduced by his father Robert Strauss, a former swim coach at RE who represented Mexico in the 1972 Olympic Games. Now the founder and chief executive officer of SkateBird Miami, Joner Strauss swam at the University of Florida before becoming an entrepreneur in the adventure sports realm. "Ransom formed who I am today, and is a time of life I hold near and dear to my heart," he said. At RE I learned "you have to do it with passion, put your heart and soul into it."

Walpole, a stellar pitcher who played in the Little League Softball World Series, continued her softball career at Villanova University, where she threw three no-hitters while playing alongside current RE softball coach Melissa Dusharm. Now a senior vice president of client services at BDG Media, Walpole was introduced by former classmate Kimberly Arbuckle Goodwin '96. She got choked up thanking her family, and she also expressed gratitude to David Clark, her former teacher, and former coach Penny Matthews for helping to create an environment at Ransom Everglades where "women's sports is celebrated."

Ransom Everglades  Director of Athletics and Physical Education Corey Goff served as emcee and Head of School Penny Townsend closed the evening.

"Athletics is such an important part of what we do as educators," Townsend said. "There's so much magic associated with a school like this, and you hear it in an evening like this."

Photo Gallery
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 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.