News Detail

Meet Ransom Everglades' newest faculty

Ransom Everglades’ new faculty arrive to RE after career stops in the United Kingdom, India, Egypt, China and throughout the United States. Some come from the higher education realm; many have spent time at independent schools; and many hold master’s degrees or PhDs. All bring great enthusiasm and a love of teaching, and look forward to getting started at Ransom Everglades after a week of team bonding and orientation on both campuses.
Get to know the newest members of RE's exceptional faculty as well as the new dockmaster here: 


Stephen Allen
Upper School History and Social Sciences
If knowledge is power, it is gratifying to play a part in empowering the next generation to create history, not repeat it. As a historian who has studied and taught internationally, I bring a wealth of experiences from best practices to various curricula. My passion is geo-political world history, for which I gained my master’s degree from the University of Hull, United Kingdom, and have been teaching for the past decade. At Ransom Everglades, I teach world history and serve as Model UN faculty advisor. When I am not teaching, I love to travel, enriching my own perspective and outlook by seeing and experiencing the various sites and cultures of different regions.
Fiacre Bienvenu        
Upper School History and Social Sciences  
At Ransom Everglades, I teach Advanced Placement World History – Modern and Advanced Placement Comparative Government and Politics. Teaching is knowledge nurturing and growing. It empowers. I live by it. It’s the passion I practice at RE. My academic training is in the fields of political science and international relations, with a background in anthropology and sociology. My region of specialty is Africa, which I research and have published on in the areas of genocide studies, post-conflict political order, and state-society relations. Before joining RE, I taught Comparative Politics and African Politics at Florida International University. Prior to that, I taught courses in African Politics and Black Studies at The College of Wooster, Ohio. Long before turning to academia, I worked in the field of foreign aid and international development across continental Africa. A personal addition: I am a native of Rwanda. 
Chu-Jiun Alice Chuang
Upper School English
Reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter in high school ignited my passion for English literature and set me on my path to becoming an English teacher. I am excited to share my love of literature with upper school students at Ransom Everglades School. I teach ninth and 11th-grade English and help with speech and debate. Before arriving to RE, I was a Senior Lecturer/Clinical Associate Professor in the Writing Program at New York University, Shanghai. I received my BA from Washington University in St. Louis and MA and PhD from Vanderbilt University. In my spare time, I enjoy reading Scandinavian horror novels. After living in Shanghai for 10 years, I was excited to return to the United States, and I'm enjoying exploring Miami with my son.
Adrienne Fama
Middle School World Languages
I teach Spanish C and D in the middle school, and I am the middle school world languages department coordinator. My teaching career has spanned all levels, from sixth grade to university. Prior to joining the Ransom Everglades faculty, I served as the world languages department chair at a private school in the Atlanta area. I earned my BA in Spanish from Northwestern University and my MA in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Florida. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and young son.
Kelley Frumer
Teaching Fellow
Upper School History and Social Sciences and Sailing
During this fellowship year at Ransom Everglades, I am excited to teach economics and coach sailing. My economic interests lie in environmental and health economics. I have been sailing since I was six years old and call the coast of Maine my home. I moved to Miami with my cat, Mousey, with great anticipation for the mild winters. My BA is in economics and East Asian studies from Connecticut College, where I also minored in dance and earned a certificate in international studies. I previously worked at Shady Hill School's Teacher Training Center as an apprentice teacher for the fourth and first grades while working on my master's degree in elementary education from Lesley University.
Alejandra Canelos Hernandez
Middle School World Languages and Global Studies
After having studied and worked in California, France and Saudi Arabia, I moved to Miami 20 years ago. Throughout my travels I developed a passion for culture appreciation. I have taught Spanish, humanities and art history in all levels, from primary grades to college. I am thrilled to teach Spanish C & D at Ransom Everglades. It is my hope to instill in all my students curiosity to explore the world through the study of languages. I earned bachelor of arts and science degrees at the University of San Diego and an MS at the University of Miami. In my free time I enjoy gardening and seeing friends but most vacation time is spent in Mexico, my home country, with my husband and two daughters.        
Xiuying Huang
Middle School World Languages and Global Studies
I love teaching and being a part of the Ransom Everglades community, where I have taught for portions of three years. I earned a BA at Hankou University in Wuhan, China. I started teaching in 2012 in Beijing, then I married my husband and moved to Miami in 2014. I have taught students as young as a year old to high school graduates. I love traveling but after being away for a week I will be missing home, especially my gardens. I would love to try skiing. I've been planning it for years.
Miranda Klees
Upper School Science
As a microbiologist and educator, I have a passion for exploring and questioning the world around me. It is that curiosity that I seek to foster within my students through scientific exploration. At Ransom Everglades, I teach biology and AP Biology, and also coach softball. Prior to joining the RE team, I taught a range of life science courses at Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach. Among my favorites were infectious diseases and biology. I earned my bachelor's degree in biology from Coker University where I also played softball. I continued my education at Clemson University where I earned my master’s degree in microbiology, researching the effects of probiotics on a high sugar diet. Aside from my passions for education, science and softball, I enjoy Clemson football, camping, hiking and spending time with my two dogs.

Joseph Marin
Upper School History and Social Sciences
My lifelong goal has been to teach history. In that regard, I’ve spent the past eight years teaching U.S. history along with rhetoric and composition courses at Florida International University. Prior to teaching at FIU, I taught at various elementary, middle and high schools in Kentucky. I currently teach U.S. History and AP European History at the upper school at Ransom Everglades, while also teaching a modern U.S. history course online for FIU. I earned my undergraduate degree from Morehead State University and my graduate degrees from Florida International University (MA in Modern U.S. History, PhD in U.S. History). In my spare time, I enjoy travelling with my family, hiking in the Red River Gorge, exploring the Everglades, playing sports and reading.
Heather Marshall
Upper School Science
As a faculty member in the STEM Department, I teach Biology, Anatomy and Physiology and Advanced Cellular and Molecular Biology. Prior to joining Ransom Everglades, I combined my love of marine biology with biotechnology to study the physiology of sharks. I enjoy sharing these interests and skills with my students, to help facilitate learning and support their own career aspirations. I obtained my PhD from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and subsequently held positions such as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Mote Marine Laboratory, Research Associate at Cape Eleuthera Institute, and Assistant Professor at State College of Florida. When I’m not teaching and doing shark research, I enjoy reading, exercising, seeing family in the Northeast, and exploring Florida with my dog Charlotte.
Fritz Morency 
Upper School Mathematics and Computer Science
Before arriving to Ransom Everglades, I taught mathematics and physics overseas for 10 years, and for 15 years taught Analytic Precalculus, and AP Calculus AB and BC at the New World School of the Arts in Miami. Additionally, I have taught mathematics and statistics as an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College and Florida International University. At Ransom Everglades, I teach mathematics at the upper school. I hold a dual BS in mathematics and physics from Ecole Normale Supérieure, Haiti, a BS in Mathematics Education and an MS in Curriculum and Instruction in Mathematics from Florida International University. Shaping young minds through the teaching of mathematics is what drives me. And when I am not teaching, I like spending time with my family either with "BBQ Fridays" in the backyard or road trips in the summer.
Kira Morgan
Upper School English
Having recently repatriated to the United States after 15 years abroad, I am excited to work in the RE Humanities Department teaching upper school English while contributing after school to the aquatics program. I previously taught grades 9-12, the International Baccalaureate, and coached swimming at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, the American School of Doha, Cairo American College and Vermont Academy. I earned my BA from Wheaton College, and an MA from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. A New England native and the child of teachers, I grew up as a “fac brat” in a New Hampshire boarding school. This offered an idyllic childhood rich in foursquare, influenced my teaching pedagogy and community ideals, and – for better or worse – established a lifelong love of the Red Sox.
Michael Porrazzo
Upper School Mathematics and Computer Science  
I teach mathematics at the upper school and coach rowing. Attending a New England boarding school was a transformative experience that led me into teaching after attending university at Georgetown. Over more than 30 years in independent schools, I have taught a wide range of math courses, including Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB). Somewhere along the way, I earned my master’s at Johns Hopkins. In early adulthood, I had the opportunity to row competitively. However, in recent years, and aligned with Paul Ransom’s belief that we are in this world not so much for what we can get out of it as much as what we can put into it, my focus has been on growing my students and raising a family. I love teaching math, not only for its purity and elegance, but also for its relevance to lived experiences. Outside the math realm, and in my spare time, I enjoy reading, noodling on current events, and traveling.
Fabienne Rousseau
Upper School and Middle School Visual Arts
This is my first year teaching at Ransom Everglades and I am excited to share my passion of the arts with my students. I am a visual artist born and raised in Miami who explores the evolution of graffiti and calligraphy through an abstract lens. I'm a Gulliver Prep alum who earned my BFA in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Art History from Florida International University. I'm a former museum educator from Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami and Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. I've been happily married for 19 years to my husband who’s a pediatric nurse, and just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Anaïs this summer. I currently have a web shop where I sell my artwork via print, streetwear and fashion accessories.  

Melissa Salvo
Middle School Spanish
I have been teaching for about 20 years; I have taught across different levels to all age groups, from young students to business people seeking to learn a new language. In addition to teaching, I was an educational advisor for organizations in Toronto and for preschools in Miami. My experience also includes instructional design, content and curriculum development. I grew up in Venezuela and lived in Canada for about seven years. My passion for teaching continues at Ransom Everglades as a Spanish teacher in levels A and B. I continue to grow professionally and am currently a master’s candidate at the Universidad Internacional de Valencia. I am also happily married to my husband, Alejandro, and together we have two wonderful children and two very adorable pets.

Adam Schachner
Upper School English
Miami is my birthplace and I am an enthusiast, even when stuck in traffic. Teaching ninth-grade Forms of Literature, as well as mythology and adventure electives, as a member of the Ransom Everglades English faculty is a culmination of my Miami upbringing. I have taught high school language arts for almost two decades, following a double major in English and Secondary Education from the University of Miami. I also earned master's degrees from Florida International University, first in Public Administration and then in Emergency Management, both supporting my interests in service learning, community resilience and civic engagement. Outside the classroom, I am likely riding my bicycle, walking my dog, baking cookies (and accepting kitchen challenges if you have a recommendation), video gaming and kayaking with my wife. My favorite color is purple and I've been told my "Patronus" animal is a sea otter.
Drew Schoudel    
Upper School Science              
It is my privilege to work in the Ransom Everglades STEM Department exploring chemistry and physics with students and colleagues. My teaching and coaching career began as a graduate student and rowing coach at the University of New Hampshire. Researching nutrient dynamics in coastal marine environments was a challenging and rewarding experience, and it also allowed me the opportunity to find my passion of sharing and helping others to develop their potential. In the years since, I have coached at the highest levels of competition and worked with students of all ages in their studies and pursuit of discovery. I earned my master's degree from the University of New Hampshire and bachelor's from Bucknell University. In my spare time, I can be found in or on the water.
Pedro Silva
Upper School Math and Computer Science
I’m excited to be teaching middle school computer science and upper school mathematics. Before joining Ransom Everglades, I designed video games and taught classes in game design at Idyllwild Arts Academy, and continue to teach summer courses for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program. Throughout my career, I’ve focused on creating, teaching and researching tools that empower interactive storytelling. I’ve earned a BA in creative writing and an MFA in digital media; and I’m currently finalizing my PhD thesis at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where I’ve also served as a graduate fellow and lab manager for the Prototyping eNarrative Lab; my research explores ways of leveraging the advantages of the digital medium to tell meaningful stories. Outside of work, I’m an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, a DnD player and an amateur writer and runner.
Teagan Thompson
Teaching Fellow
Upper School English, Coach Basketball and Track and Field
I am thrilled to work alongside the incredible faculty and staff at Ransom Everglades as a teaching fellow in the Humanities Department. In the spring of 2022, I graduated from Drew University, with my BA in English with an emphasis in literature. Shortly after graduation, I went back to my alma mater, Phillips Academy Andover, and served as a teaching assistant, house counselor and basketball coach for Andover’s six-week summer session program. For the 2023-24 school year, I plan on continuing my educational career and obtaining an MS in exercise physiology (sports nutrition). Some of my additional hobbies (besides being immersed in literature) include paddle boarding, convincing people why Kentucky has the strongest program in men’s basketball, and teaching Sunday school at my local church.
Kristina Villa de Rey
Middle School World Languages
This is my 11th year of teaching Spanish and my first at Ransom Everglades where I teach Spanish A, B and E. As an undergraduate, I attended Florida International University where I studied art history as well as Latin American and Caribbean Studies. I began my teaching career in the Greater Atlanta area as a Spanish teacher at two public middle schools. Soon after, I became very interested in language acquisition and the learning process and earned a master's degree in teaching Spanish from Kennesaw State University. On my time off I take full advantage of our city and try to spend as much time as possible outdoors whether at the beach, on the water, or at a park with my three children. I am very much looking forward to growing and building with the RE community.
Shannon Wolling
Upper School History and Social Sciences
I am thrilled to work at Ransom Everglades as a history and social sciences teacher. I teach U.S. History, AP U.S. Government and Politics, U.S. Criminal Justice System, and International Law. I also coach cross country and track and field. Prior to RE, I earned my JD from Brooklyn Law School, where I had the opportunity to provide pro bono legal services through the Criminal Defense and Advocacy Clinic, as well as the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic. During law school, I interned for the Legal Aid Society and Bronx Legal Services. I hold a BA in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University, and spent a summer at DIS Copenhagen and Stockholm studying Gender and Sexuality in Scandinavia. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, beach volleyball, rollerblading and playing pool.

Benjamin Yeo 
Upper School History and Social Sciences
A native of the United Kingdom, I bring a global perspective and love of the Harkness method (discussion-based learning) to History and Social Sciences at RE. Before coming to Coconut Grove, I taught at Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Cambridge, Mass., and prior to that I spent 15 years overseas in Egypt, Qatar and India where I taught ninth- and 10th-grade World History and Theory of Knowledge to the diplomatic and business communities. I hold an MA in history with a focus on imperialism from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. I have two children, Jude and Pippa, and my wife, Kira, also teaches at RE. For the 2017-18 school year we traveled the world as a family and learned to surf. Outside of the classroom I love to run, cycle and play soccer and cricket.

Dave Sanderson
Upper School Dockmaster
The location of the Ransom Everglades campus on Biscayne Bay is special. As the dockmaster, I work to help facilitate the use of the bay as an extension of the classroom, athletic space and a tactile way of engaging with a unique ecological environment. Prior to arriving to RE, I was the head coach of rowing at the University of Miami and have been “on the water” with the sport over 30 years. I’m also a 20-year coast guard licensed captain. I graduated from Yale University with a BA in American Studies. In my free time I enjoy fishing, snorkeling, backpacking and generally exploring Biscayne Bay and the Everglades or where ever the trail takes me. My wife, Taber, and I have one son, Porter '29, and have lived in Miami for 16 years. 
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.