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Senior Panel: Six seniors share insights on student life at RE

Olivia Rubell '23, Lucy Fitzpatrick '23, Daniel Stancioff '23, Gabriel Menendez de Alencar '23, Marco Zhao '23 and Karyna Steele '23 offered insights on student life at Ransom Everglades to RE parents during the annual Senior Panel on April 25. The students showed poise and gratitude for their time at RE as they took questions from COO and Interim Head of the Upper School David Clark '86 in the Posner Lecture Hall at the Fernandez STEM Center.
Each of the students arrived to Ransom Everglades from a different elementary school, and four of the six came as sixth graders, with Zhao arriving as a seventh grader and Steele as a ninth grader. The panelists talked about their favorite teachers, their best memories and stand-out experiences. They discussed the transition from the middle school, finding friend groups, sampling activities, journeying to the Everglades in ninth grade and learning to sail during ninth-grade physical education.

“I’m going to carry some of these memories with me the rest of my life,” Fitzpatrick said, adding that she felt fully prepared for college. "With all the skills I've learned here, I'm excited for a change. I think Ransom Everglades has prepared me so that I'm not scared for that change, I'm excited to leap into it."

Several cited their appreciation for having gotten to know so many unique and talented classmates on such a special campus. “We go to an amazing school on the water," Stancioff said. "We all have amazing friends, and we all are going to do amazing things in our lives. It’s important to be grateful to be where we are.”

Steele recalled being amazed during practices on Walker Field as a new ninth grader, watching the sailing team retrieve soccer balls that were inadvertently kicked into Biscayne Bay.

“I remember playing out there by the water during the sunset …. and thinking: ‘I don’t know where I am right now,” she said, “but I love it.’”

The Senior Panel took place at the start of the REPA annual meeting, where REPA's 2023-24 leadership team was announced. Current president Javier Lugo will turn the leadership reins over to Soledad Awad as the next president as Nickelle Crowley steps in as president-elect. Vice president of the middle school will be Elle Rodriguez as Carmen Serrano serves as VP of the upper school. Jen Leshner will become VP of athletics; Doug Kaplan, VP of councils; Nikki Weisburd, VP of communications; Elena Leiser, VP of technology; Amy Stokes, treasurer; Tom Jelke, assistant treasurer; Dana Martorella, secretary; and head of REPals, Jennifer O'Neill. 
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.