Mendoza becomes newest Faculty Emerita at Ransom Everglades

Math teacher Alina Mendoza became the latest Faculty Emerita at Ransom Everglades with her retirement after 28 years of dedicated service, and she also received the Arthur Moses Faculty Award for the middle school during Ransom Everglades' end-of-year faculty and staff recognition at the Lewis Family Auditorium on June 6. Lauded for her commitment to students inside and outside of the classroom, Mendoza was one of more than a dozen faculty and staff members honored with awards or for significant work anniversaries or retirements.
Teachers "like Alina are not just good teachers in the classroom, but embrace every aspect of middle school life," fellow middle school teacher Greg Siegler said. They are "teachers who really make private middle schools run to their finest degree, who are active in every respect with their students ... Alina, we will all miss you very much."

RE also recognized world languages teacher Maria Martinez, who is retiring after 21 years, and computer science teacher Jan Bekkevold, who is departing after 14. World Languages Department Chair James Monk described Martinez as "a treasure" and the "keystone" of the world languages department.

"She’s the centerpiece ... [who is] supporting us constantly with her knowledge, her advice and her wonderful sense of humor," Monk said. "When Maria speaks, we listen in our department, because we know she has a valuable message to share with us."

New Assistant Head of the Middle School Jessica Merrick, who shared an advisory with Bekkevold, lauded her for her professionalism and can-do attitude. "You are my mentor, my role model and, most importantly, my friend," she said. "I will certainly miss seeing your warm smile each and every day. The faculty and I wish you the best that life has to offer."

Karen Thompson, Dean of the Ninth Grade and a world languages teacher, won the Arthur Moses Faculty Award for the upper school, and Quincy Knowles, Performing Arts Facilities Technical Director, won the newly created staff recognition award. 

Director of Libraries and Archivist Katrina Patchett was recognized for 35 years of service; art teacher Ellen Grant for 30; and Maria Eugenia Abrante, Daisy Armas and Maria Elena Gonzalez for 25. RE also bade farewell to Eric Boberg, Alice Chuang, Michael Porrazzo, Tyrone Croom, Andrew Schoudel, Chris Speers and Jack Sleeman. 

See a full list of RE's longevity honorees below:

Years of Service

10 Years
Albert Adatto
Mario del Castillo
Scott Erdmann
Bridgette Laskey
Jeanine Lehr
Tony Mercadal
Daniel Perez
Stanley Thomas

15 Years
Susan Barry
Kathryn Bufkin
Alicia Fisher
Branly Fontaine
Eric Lefebvre
Paul Natland '02
Isis Perez-Gonzalez

20 Years
Ericka Anderson
Ana Meneses

25 Years
Maria Eugenia Abrante
Daisy Armas
Maria Elena Gonazalez

30 Years
Ellen Grant

35 Years
Katrina Patchett
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.