Those of us on campus have seen the power of project-based approaches on display in our Pine Knot Scholars summer program, which for the second straight year is guiding exploration in and outside of the classroom. There is similar enthusiasm on the middle school campus as Breakthrough Miami enters its fourth decade. It’s wonderful to see that RE alumni Justin Wong ’21, Eric Medina ’21, Felipe Campano ’21, Louis LaFontisee ’21, Nicolas Echarte ’21, David Dubovy ’22, Alexandra Lugo ’22, Isa Virtue ’22 and Zachary Vuong ’19 have returned to our campuses to share their talents and experiences by assisting with these programs.
Earlier this summer, I let you know that school leaders have been working to improve security on our campuses, and I am pleased to share that those efforts will be immediately elevated under the direction of Robert E. DePriest ’86, a former FBI Crisis Management Coordinator and Special Agent who has been appointed Director of Security at Ransom Everglades. Robert, who most recently served as Senior Director of Security at the Pine Crest School, will begin work in July, and we are eager to welcome him back to RE.
During more than two decades with the FBI, Robert developed and executed the FBI Crisis Response Plan for large-scale critical incidents as Crisis Management Coordinator, and he helped coordinate the FBI response to a number of tragic events in Florida. He also served as the Special Operations Group Team Leader for the agency, managing a highly trained covert surveillance team; a Principal Firearms/Tactical Instructor; and the Hazardous Evidence Response Team Senior Team Leader – a post that earned him the Federal Hazmat Team Lead at Super Bowl XLIV.
At Pine Crest from 2018-22, Robert oversaw a revamping of the school’s emergency policies, training, monitoring, protocols and communications. He earned a BS in mechanical engineering from The Catholic University of America after his years at RE, where he played football on the same team as David Clark ’86, our new COO and Interim Head of the Upper School.
RE administrators have gotten to know Robert and benefitted from his expertise in the recent months; he has visited our campuses and helped us begin to strengthen our crisis response plan and internal response structure. His guidance has been invaluable, and we are confident his daily presence and concentrated efforts will significantly bolster our emergency preparedness.
A final note for our current RE families – especially those who are new to our community. Please don’t forget to check our back-to-school page
as you turn your attention to the start of the 2022-23 school year. It’s been recently updated with news about our technology orientation Saturday, August 20; orientation activities on the first day of school on Monday, August 22; fall sports; ordering textbooks; and the RE bus service. We hope this resource is helpful to all of our families, particularly those preparing for their first fall at RE.
There is indeed a lot going on at RE. I’m loving it, and honored to be a part of it. The leadership team and I can’t wait to welcome you to the 2022-23 school year.