We write today to inform you that after eight years of incredible service and dedication to Ransom Everglades, Penny Townsend has decided to take a well-deserved sabbatical and step down as Head of School, effective immediately. It is Penny’s intention upon return to serve as a special advisor to the chair of the board. Consequently, the board will be commencing a search for a permanent head of school.
Rachel Rodriguez, former Ransom Everglades Head of the Middle School and 16-year member of the RE community, will take over as Interim Head of School, effective June 6. Rachel has deep ties to RE students and families because of her years at the middle school. She will partner on day-to-day operations with Associate Head of School John A. King, Jr., who has been at Ransom Everglades for 23 years.
During her tenure, Penny has led Ransom Everglades with a determined vision, a steady hand and an unrelenting focus on always doing what is best for the students. She has taken RE to new heights, leading the school through a $75 million dollar capital campaign, the construction of the Constance and Miguel Fernandez STEM Center, the acquisition of the La Brisa property and the opening of the Holzman Center of Applied Ethics. In addition to these accomplishments, Penny helped RE navigate the deadliest disease event in American history without losing a single day of class, while simultaneously steering Ransom Everglades through a prolonged period of racial reckoning in the United States.
Over the course of her time at RE, Penny graduated more than 1,200 students, and she steps away leaving the school in immensely better shape than she found it.
We wish Penny well as she takes a well-deserved pause. We are extremely grateful for her selfless dedication and unwavering commitment to Ransom Everglades.
Jeffrey J. Hicks '84 Chair of the Board of Trustees
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.