Dozens of awards presented at upper school award ceremony

Ransom Everglades announced the Class of 2023 valedictorian and salutatorian; presented more than 40 upper school student scholastic, service, music and athletic end-of-year awards; and also honored chief surgeon and professor David Arnold '86 as a co-winner of the 2023 Head of School's Award for Distinguished Service to the School during an upper school awards ceremony at the Lewis Family Auditorium April 24.

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Arnold, described by Interim Head of School Rachel Rodriguez as "inspirational to all" and "a Raider through and through," said he gained intellectual confidence at Ransom Everglades along with “a keen understanding that a group of talented engaged individuals can accomplish much more together than they can individually.” Arnold, the father of Elanah ’21, Eliza ’24 and Ella ’27, has been actively involved in RE since his graduation, serving on RE’s alumni board, as a member of the school’s task force for Covid-19, and in many other roles.

“This award is supposed to recognize some contribution that I have made to RE,” said Arnold, Chief of Surgery Lennar Foundation Medical Center, “but all that pales in comparison to what Ransom has done for me. The time I spent here in the 1980s prepared me for a life of significant challenge and more than my share of successes.”

COO and Interim Head of the Upper School David Clark ’86 lauded valedictorian, Nico Maynulet ’23, and salutatorian, Theodore Ma ’23, for their exceptional scholarship. Maynulet will address his classmates at commencement and Ma during the Senior Send-off/Bacalaureate.

Rodriguez opened the event – the first of two upper school award ceremonies for 2022-23 (one focused on 9th through 11th-grade awards will take place in May) – by reminding all students, whether they received awards or not, of their importance to the school community.

“Each of us has a place in this community,” she said. “I am proud of your work this year, in the classroom, on this stage, on the field, and in the variety of other spaces we work and grow together.”

A number of special members of the RE community presented service or leadership awards. Bill Bermont ’93 presented an award named after his mother – who he said dedicated her life to service and “lived by the philosophy that it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice” – to Karyna Steele ’23.

Pamela Kayton Posner ’92 honored her brother Elliot Kayton ’96, who she said “had a pure heart and loved everyone ... and was wise beyond his years,” by presenting the eponymous award to Natasha Rodriguez ’23. On the 25th anniversary of the Robert Segall ’82 Leadership Award, Howard Srebnick ’82 appeared with Rudy Ruiz ’98  – the first winner of the award, who went on to become a federal judge – and they jointly presented this year’s award to Victor Perez ’23.

Flavia Tomasello and John Tsialas, the parents of the late Antonio Tsialas ’19, presented the leadership award named after their son as part of their quest to develop “a new generation of compassionate leaders” to Francisco Gomez Rivas-Vazquez ’24. Upper School Dean of Student Activities Laura Miller presented the Princeton Service Award to Will Charouhis ’24 and the Arthur Moses Student Award to Loriz Arencibia ’23, the 2022-23 Student Government Association president.

The ceremony at the Lewis Family Auditorium also provided a final opportunity for Arencibia to address her peers. “The first word I think of when I think of Ransom Everglades is excellence,” she said. “I define excellence as the point where talent meets character … Thank you to everyone in the audience whose excellence has brought out the best in us.”

Associate Head of School John A. King Jr. and Upper School Dean of Studies Adriana Sanchez recognized the members of the Cum Laude Society, those in the top 20 percent of the senior class.

Director of Arts Shawn Costantino presented the visual and performing arts awards; Humanities Department Chair Jen Nero presented the English and social sciences awards; World Languages Department Chair James Monk presented the world languages awards, Upper School Math and Computer Science Coordinator Mandira Bose-Nyberg presented the mathematics award, Upper School Science Department Coordinator Jay Salon presented the science awards and Director of Upper School Athletics Scott Berman presented the athletics awards.

See a full list of recognized students below.

The other winner of the 2023 Head of School's Award, Jordan Moore Houston '62, will be honored in May.


Nico Maynulet '23
Theodore Ma '23

Service Awards
Ronni Weksler Bermont Service Award: Karyna Steele ’23
Arthur Moses Student Award: Loriz Arencibia ’23
Elliot Kayton '96 Award: Natasha Rodriguez ’23
Robert Segall '82 Award: Victor Perez  ’23
Princeton Service Award: William Charouhis ’24
Antonio Tsialas ’19 Leadership Award: Francisco Gomez Rivas-Vazquez ’24

Virtual and Performing Arts

Studio Art: June Frankel ’23
Architectural Design: Max Wiesenfeld ’23
Photography: Beatriz Ribadeneira ’23
Ceramics: Ysatis Jadotte ’23
Instrumental Music John Philip Sousa Band Award: Lena Zide ’23
Instrumental Music Louis Armstrong Jazz Award: Max Bast ’23
Best Thespian: Natasha Rodriguez ’23

Eleanor Crawford Backman English: Marco Zhao ’23
Creative Writing: Lucia Rose Dahn ’23
Sheila Natasha Simrod Friedman (English & Fine Arts): Rogelio Munoz-Franco ’23

Social Sciences
Excellence in History: Leo Fein ’23
Excellence in Social Sciences: Veronica Kerr ’23                                               
Mike Stokes Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement: Jonathan Pollak ’23          
Speech and Debate: Liv Steinhardt ’23

World Languages
Excellence in Chinese: Lucia Rose Dahn ’23
Pierre Cameron Award for French: Nicolas Maynulet ’23
American Association of Teachers of French Outstanding Senior Award: Eleonora Cavallini  ’23     
Excellence in Portuguese: Nicole Miquilarena ’23
Outstanding Achievement in World Languages: Angela Dula ’23

M.I.T. Excellence in Math: Ryan Berkshire ’23

Beverley B. Jones Science Award: Ana Cecilia Gonzalez ’23
Excellence in Physics: Theodore Ma ’23
Excellence In Engineering/Technology: Max Wiesenfeld ’23 

Penny Matthews Award: Annabelle Sanders ’23
Mike Stokes Award: Jackson Pegg ’23
Comeback Player of the Year: Christian Gardner ’23
Sportsmanship Award: Sara Velazco ’23 
Sportsmanship Award: Victor Perez ’23
Team of the Year Award: Sailing
Scholar-Athlete Award: Dylan Miner ’23
Scholar-Athlete Award: Gabriel Menendez de Alencar '23
Athletic Performance Award: Kathryn Serra   ’23
Athletic Performance Award: David "Chuli" Serra ’24
Overall Outstanding Athlete: Kobe Lopez ’23
Overall Outstanding Athlete: Leah Croom ’24

Cum Laude Society
Fall 2022 inductees (top 10 percent)
Emma Arnhols '23
Ian Barnett '23
Ryan Berkshire '23
Adriana Bussel-Alonso '23,
Lucia Rose Dahn '23
Diego de Lope '23
Leo Fein '23
Theodore Ma '23
Nicolas Maynulet '23
Dylan Miner '23
Rogelio Munoz-Franco '23
Kyle Ng '23
Jonathan Pollak '23
Denise Suarez '23
Alexis Tie-Shue '23
Marco Zhao '23

Spring 2023 inductees
Leticia Crosby '23
Natasha Do Valle '23
June Frankel '23
Roger Garcia-Caceres '23
Ana Cecilia Gonzalez '23
Veronica Kerr '23
Raife Levy '23
Jackson McAliley '23
Sofia Dimitra Paraoulaki de Miranda '23
Victor Perez '23
Mason Signorello '23
Emilia Suarez Herrero '23
Jack Touby '23
Thomas Trebotich '23
Athena Tsialas '23

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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.