Seniors start graduation week with send-off

Ransom Everglades seniors began a week of revelry with a Baccalaureate/Senior Send-Off on May 15 that included a series of celebratory events that stretched across campus. The festivities for seniors and their parents opened in the Lewis Family Auditorium with speeches and a senior video, continued into the Miller Quad for the traditional senior brick laying, and concluded in the Anderson gymnasium with a buffet dinner.

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With their May 20 graduation just days away, seniors gathered in the auditorium – the site of weekly assemblies in the upper school. Salutatorian Nikhil Kumar ’22 addressed his classmates, urging them to treat the next stage of their lives like paintings to be filled with brushstrokes of memories. “Through years of hard work, stress, and tears, we’ve finally made it to the finish line of high school,” he said. “So, congratulations to each and every one of you for making it through high school. It’s been an incredible journey.”

Head of School Penny Townsend offered a welcome and announced her annual “Keepers of the ….” awards, anointing 14 seniors to be stewards of RE’s mission and values – and class agents. She designated this year’s group of seniors as “Keepers of the Sun” – in honor of the 305 solar panels installed this spring on the upper school gymnasium. “You have brought sunshine to our campus, and also to me,” she said.
Townsend presented each senior – Mimi Angeli ’22, Hannah Badia ’22, Philip Craft ’22, Dashiell DeStefano ’22, Yara Haddad ’22, Alexa Hommen ’22, Alessia Mantilla ’22, Madison Munroe ’22, Wirth Munroe ’22, Kira Oglesby ’22, Katerina Ortega ’22, Julian Stancioff ’22, Noah Zaldivar ’22 and Lauren Zanarini ’22 – with a mini-STEM kit.
Former alumni board co-chair Augustin “Konky” Arelleno ’90 also addressed the Class of 2022, encouraging seniors to get involved and stay connected as alumni. He and Vicki Carbonell Williamson ’88, the Director of Alumni Engagement, then handed out plaques to legacy seniors (those with alumni parents). Williamson, the mother of Juliana Williamson ’22, was recognized with her daughter.
Among the legacy honorees was a third-generation RE student: Levi Gans ’22, son of Stephen Gans ’89 and grandson of the late Marcella Gans ’62.

RE's legacy seniors and parents:
Levi Gans ’22: Stephen Gans ’89, Marcella Gans ’62 (grandmother)
Madison and Wirth Munroe ’22: Charles Munroe ’55 (grandfather; represented by son Wirth)
Jasper Broad ’22: Kenneth Broad ’84
Lauren Heller ’22: Doug Heller ’80
Samuel Gelber ’22: Eliot Gelber ’84
Blythe Heller ’22: Brian Heller ’86
Julian Stancioff ’22: Lissette Stancioff ’86
Alexandra Hommen ’22: Nicole Mendoza Hommen ’91
Juliana Williamson ’22: Vicki ’88 and Jeff ’86 Williamson
Zoe Holtzman '22 took the stage to sing, "Wherever I Go," and seniors also heard from student body president, Noah Zaldivar ’22, and Dean of the Senior Class Roger Caron. Caron directed hard questions at the seniors sitting in the audience: “Will you simply worry about yourself?" he asked. "Will you actually try to make the change you know needs to be accomplished? I dare you to take that risk and put aside petty personal entitlement and selfishness and do something for the greater good ... Go make a difference and perhaps you will be the needed change.”
The auditorium portion of the event concluded with the senior video that was put together under the direction of Student Government Association advisor Jorge Guzman. Seniors then proceeded to the Miller Quad, where they took turns placing their bricks on a stretch of walkway in front of the cannon. After, families gathered in the gymnasium for a dinner that was planned and executed by senior parents, Vicky Capote, Nicole Murray and Susan Woolsey, and other members of the Ransom Everglades Parents’ Association including president, Allison Holly.

“Along the way, there were lots of laughs and maybe a few tears,” Head of the Upper School Patricia C.A. Sasser said. “You’ve made it. Look around you; this room is filled with people who cared about you and helped you along.”

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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.