College Counseling

A REimagined college counseling office at RE

Message from Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez to the RE community on Jan. 20, 2023:
It is my great pleasure to announce the unveiling of a reimagined college counseling office at Ransom Everglades, a goal of Executive Director of College Counseling Jason Locke since he arrived to RE this past summer. With the support of Ransom Everglades’ dedicated board of trustees, we have appointed seven new college counselors and an essay writing specialist, moves that not only will more than double the size of our current office to 12 counselors, but also will transform the services and opportunities we provide to our families to ensure that we elevate RE students in the college process. 
Please join me in welcoming new associate directors of college counseling: Marty Elkins, former RE Director of College Counseling; Kate Fetterman from Kenyon College; Francisco Herrera from Brown University; and China Hutchins from Washington University, St. Louis. I am also pleased to share that Ann Parks of Cornell University will join RE as Director of College Counseling Communications and assume college counseling duties, and Christina Iglesias of Columbia University will serve as an essay writing specialist. We also welcome two new faculty counselors: Brandon King, Dean of the 11th Grade and history and social sciences teacher; and Marlen Nuñez de Varela, STEM teacher. Find bios on our new college counselors here

RE juniors will receive their college counseling assignments by Feb. 1. The new counselors will join an office that currently includes Mr. Locke; Director of College Counseling Patrick Tassoni, Senior Associate Director of College Counseling Claudia Jolivert; Dean of the 12th Grade and Coordinator of Student-Athlete College Recruitment Roger Caron; and Associate Head of School John A. King Jr.

With the new additions, our college counseling office will become an even more vibrant campus center for college counseling, application resources and individualized attention. We will be dramatically reducing our student-to-counselor ratio and thereby providing more one-on-one college counseling and allowing us the time to develop each student's unique story. We will also be offering more direct programming for essay writing, resumé development, internship and scholarship nominations, portfolio and audition support, and interview preparation, ensuring that our students have the mindset and tools to stand out in the application process. We will be increasing outreach across the board – including for our 9th- and 10th-grade students and families – while amplifying our communication to colleges and universities. We also will be strategically utilizing data analytics to help our families make informed decisions.

As we reimagined office staffing, we sought counselors with experience in the admission offices at highly selective colleges and universities, knowing they could help us identify and hone traits in RE students that will set them apart in a competitive national landscape. Counselors Elkins, Fetterman and Parks will work remotely, providing easy and flexible access to their national expertise for both RE students and parents. The addition of faculty counselors – who will counsel students while carrying a reduced course load – will help ensure that our office more fully aligns the college search process with the student academic experience. 

As Mr. Locke shared, “Today, we are taking a bold step in the reimagining of the college counseling office – one that promises to elevate RE students through a more personalized and strategic college counseling experience.”

We are both grateful for the support of RE senior leadership and the entire board of trustees. This ambitious and ongoing transformation would not be possible without the commitment and backing of board chair Jonathan Fitzpatrick P'20 '23, who along with vice chair Elana Oberstein-Harris '93, P'23 '24 '27 and finance chair Miguel Dueñas '95, P'26 has provided unyielding support. I am also particularly appreciative of the efforts of Mr. Locke, who has worked since the summer to carry out his exciting vision. 

I hope you share my excitement about what’s happening on the second floor of Cameron Hall, the home of our college counseling office. I can’t wait to see what the coming years will bring: I believe the best is yet to come for students at Ransom Everglades. 

Rachel Rodriguez
Interim Head of School
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.