RE launches the 'Year of the Dragon' during Chinese New Year festival

Ransom Everglades kicked off The Year of the Dragon with a rollicking Lunar New Year festival on a brilliantly bedecked Touzet patio. Tradition, celebration and fun converged at the upper school on Feb. 13 as RE students, parents, faculty, staff and friends gathered to enjoy Chinese delicacies and music, dance and acrobatics performances. The Chinese Parent Committee, the school’s Chinese Culture Club and the many students in the Chinese classes of faculty member Xiaohong Teng organized the events and helped decorate La Brisa with red-and-gold lanterns and silk dragons. Photo Gallery
The festival at La Brisa followed a similar celebration on the Lewis Auditorium Stage during the upper school assembly. Both events featured a slate of student performers complemented by a number of guest appearances. Charlotte Gould ’26 and Adaya Yang ’25 served as emcees, and Chinese Culture Club president Will Charouhis ’24 and vice president Gavin Heller ’25 concluded the assembly.

Eve Zhou ’24 played “Song of the Homebound Fisherman” on a traditional Chinese instrument called a gu zheng. Henry Berler ’25 and Sander Joeveer ’24 sang two Chinese songs, and Samuel Church-Schulman '27 performed a cello solo, “A Spray of Plum Blossoms.” Carlos de Canal Fernandez ’25 and Sienna Bautista ’27 performed “Song of the Jasmine Flower” on their violins.

RE’s inaugural Dragon Dancing Team, made up of students in AP Chinese, opened both events; and the school’s Chinese 3 and Chinese 4 classes each performed fan dances. 

“We are overjoyed to share this celebration with you all, and we hope in the new year we will all carry the luck of the dragon,” Gould said.

The festival included several guests: a martial arts champion (Gao Jia Wang); an acrobatic artist; professional taiko drummers and the St. Brendan High School Chinese Dragon Club, which gave a martial-arts demonstration known as “five-step fists.” Attendees also sampled a range of Chinese delights: sushi rolls, noodles and rice dishes, dumplings, tempura shrimp and Peking duck.

Chinese Parent Committee President Shanjie Li welcomed the crowd to La Brisa; Yun Zhou and Abe Ng shared information about the Chinese New Year. Head of School Rachel Rodriguez thanked the Chinese Culture Club and the Chinese Parent Committee for their hard work. “The students did a superb job today in assembly, and I know that you will be enthralled with their performances here as well,” she said at the start of the La Brisa event. “We are very grateful at being able to bring this cultural event to Ransom Everglades. It is really one of our core values. When we talk about what makes Ransom Everglades a school, all of our students have a voice, and all of our students belong.”

Said Ng: “On behalf of the parents, I welcome you and wish you a very happy Lunar New Year!”

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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.