Eighth graders 'sent up' to the upper school

Members of the Class of 2026 tangled with the pandemic throughout their years at the middle school, beginning in the spring of their first year at RE. Veterans of mask wearing, remote learning, hybrid learning and social distancing, eighth graders and their families were thrilled to experience the annual Eighth-Grade Send-Up to the upper school in a nearly full Lewis Family Auditorium on May 28.

Photo Gallery
The name of every eighth grader was called, and each walked across the auditorium stage to receive a recognition certificate. Interim Head of the Middle School Karen Thompson opened the event and helped faculty present awards for achievement in service, academics and athletics, and she also lauded the flexibility and resilience of the Class of 2026.
“You saw that grit and determination can take you far,” she said, addressing the class. “You have learned the importance of friendship and experienced just how much you missed each other when you couldn’t be on campus. And through it all, you smiled and laughed [and] found ways to make difficult situations work.”

More than than three students received special awards, and several won major recognition: Lucas Jaffee '26 earned the Ransom Cup; Alicia Medina '26, the Swenson Cup; Ella Crowley '26, the Faculty Award; Edwin Carr '26, the Citizenship Award; Jaffee, Max Feldman '26 and Stella Newman '26 each received the Service Award; Lucas Scheifer '26 and Ana Gonzalez '26 earned Scholar Athlete recognition and John McCarron '26 and Hailey Holland '26 won top athlete awards.

Many members of the middle school community participated in the annual end-of-year event. Faculty members Michelle Mondell, Ellen Grant, Cathryn Leibinger, Jody Salzinger, Jessica Merrick, Bobbie Bassuk, Gus Palacios, Joe Mauro, Deb Savino, Doreen Johnson and Jimmy Oxsalida helped present awards. Eighth-grade members of the strings ensemble, musical theatre students and flautist Emilia Awad '26 offered short performances.

Luke Jaffee '26 addressed his classmates, and Stella Newman '26 led the pledge of allegiance. 

See the complete awards list below.

Department Awards
Physical Education: Ryan Alesandro

Visual Arts:
Sophia Biss

Performing Arts
Band: Emilia Awad
Strings: Tariq Maduro, Gianna Carvalho
Drama: Orli Ressler
Musical Theatre: Christopher Harper
Piper Bonnell: Award Aliyah Asghar
Technical Theatre: Virginia "Ginger" Seabrook
Dance: Francesca Albini, Ella Rodriguez
Margaret Fitzgerald Award: McKenzie Connell
Harriet Grinnell Writing Award: Lael Sanders
Lois B. Styles Award: Aarav Jindal, Max Grunwald
World Languages
French: Ana Gonzalez
Spanish: Aarav Jindal
Chinese: Leyla Amjad
George Kasyan Award: Aarav Jindal, Ana Gonzalez
History and Social Sciences
World Civilizations Award: Ava McAliley
Annual Awards

Top Athlete: John McCarron, Hailey Holland
Scholar Athlete: Lucas Schleifer, Ana Gonzalez
Service Awards: Max Feldman, Lucas Jaffee, Stella Newman
Citizenship Award: Edwin Carr
Faculty Award: Ella Crowley
Ransom Cup: Lucas Jaffee
Swenson Cup: Alicia Medina
Honor and Excellence Recognition
Reese Jackson
Derek Lamar
Eliana Silberwasser
Vanessa Balson
Alicia Medina
Ella Crowley
Abby Pollack

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.