Ransom Everglades rang in the Lunar New Year with educational and memorable celebrations on both campuses that were organized and executed by members of RE’s Chinese community. The Chinese Parent Committee, the Chinese Culture Club and RE’s Chinese language students joined forces to organize fun festivals of food, dance, acrobatics and music that brought RE students and families together on both campuses Jan. 24-25.
The centerpiece event took place the Touzet Patio of La Brisa after school on Jan. 25. All RE families were invited. Among the highlights: a Dragon Dance performance by students in the Chinese 4 Honors class; a violin and viola performance of “The Butterfly Lovers” by Evelyn Yu ’24 and Christine Keedy Brown ’24; an acrobatics demonstration; the singing “GongXi GongXi” by Sander Joeveer ’24 and Henry Berler ’25 and a martial arts performance; and the playing of the Gu Zheng by Eve Zhou ’24. A guest Beijing Opera performer shared the traditional opera piece: “Farewell My Concubine.”
Chinese Parent Committee President Shanjie Li, Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez and Chinese Culture Club President Kyle Ng ’23 opened the event with words of welcome and thanks to the many parents, students and faculty who contributed, including Chinese teacher Xiaohong Teng. Ng described her as “an iron fist in a velvet glove” who “expects nothing short of excellence”; Chinese language students Diego de Lope '23, Lucia Rose Dahn ’23 and Victor Perez ’23 honored her by presenting an orchid.
Rodriguez also recognized other members of the parent committee: Abby Kellett, Abe Ng, Ming Zhao and Yun Zhou. Ng thanked members of the school's advancement office, including Director of Advancement Melanie Hoffmann. Both credited the students who helped – and showed up in droves.
“The purpose of this gathering is to celebrate the beginning of the Lunar New Year, while highlighting our remarkable students,” Rodriguez said. “We are incredibly excited to bring the community together to mark this important holiday.”
Some 200 people attended the culminating event at La Brisa, which followed events on both campuses with similar performances, decor and Chinese foods and delicacies.
“Seeing all your faces here today – not just Asian faces, but faces of every background," Ng said, "shows me that Ransom Everglades is truly a multicultural institution, by which I mean an institution that recognizes the cultural value each of its members brings to the table.”
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.