Seniors begin commencement week with the Baccalaureate/Senior Send-off

The countdown to commencement for the Class of 2024 began with a Baccalaureate/ Senior Send-off on May 19 that featured speeches that inspired – and drew laughs – as well as the traditional bricklaying and class dinner in the Anderson gymnasium. Seniors and their parents gathered in the Lewis Family Auditorium for the salutatorian address by Elliot Gross '24, student performances, goodbyes from school leaders and a huge welcome to the RE alumni community from faculty members Paul Natland '02 and Jenny Carson '03 and Director of Advancement Vicki Carbonell Williamson '88.

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Gross shared memories of his personal failures – including attending the wrong English class for the first three days of sixth grade – and stories of growth. He thanked RE's teachers and his family. Mostly, he reminisced about special moments and the strong bonds formed over seven years with fellow members of the Class of 2024.
"I have no doubt that each of us will carve paths of remarkable success wherever we go and I am beyond happy to have shared the last seven years with each and everyone of you," he said. "But Ransom Everglades does not stop here. We are not leaving it behind, no, we are taking it with us – all the big things and all the little ... Take these high school memories, these incredible years with you. I know you will all do absolutely unbelievable things. You’ve only just started. Don’t stop now."

Read the full salutatory address
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Natland, Carson and Williamson told seniors that their connection to Ransom Everglades will change, but not disappear. Through RE's loyal alumni community, in fact, the bonds may grow stronger. Carson urged seniors to "opt in" to RE's welcoming community early.

"This community will be here," she said. "Opt in not only because it will open doors that you have no idea you need opened, but because you, too, will open doors for people, And that is transformative."
Added Natland: "I, too, predict you will at times be amazed by the ways you can meaningfully connect with members of your class in the future – as well as past and future classes of RE – professionally and otherwise. In about a week, I am honored to welcome you as peers and can’t wait to see what you do."
Students also heard from Head of School Rachel Rodriguez, who noted that "today is a testament to your hard work, dedication and perseverence ... you have demonstrated resilience and determination in the face of challenges. Your achievements have not only made your families proud, but also have enriched our school community." COO and Interim Head of the Upper School David E. Clark '86 congratulated students and introduced Gross, and Dean of the Senior Class Roger Caron challenged students to live out the school's core values in the face of challenging times.

Lucia Soto '24 sang "Journey to the Past," and Emma Holtzman '24 and Gabrielle Lieberman '24 together performed "Oh Happy Day/ Get Happy." Students also enjoyed a senior video assembled by Jake Perdigon '24 under the direction of Senior Class Advisor Jorge Guzman.

Williamson honored RE's legacy families, and, immediately after the ceremony, all posed for a photo on the steps of the Fernandez STEM Center. (See below for the legacy family list.) Students also placed their bricks in the Miller Quad, and then proceeded to a class dinner at the Anderson gymnasium organized and executed by the Ransom Everglades Parents' Association.

Class of 2024 Legacy Families
William N. Charouhis '77 and Wiliam A. Charouhis '24
Iggy Rua '81 and Sofia Rua '24
Jennifer Keedy '82 and Christine Keedy Brown '24
Eric Gould '85 and Paul Gould '24
David Arnold '86 and Eliza Arnold '24
Robert DePriest '86, Madison DePriest '24 and Matthew DePriest '24
Scott Dimond '86 and Leah Dimond '24
Jodie Weitzer Rozencwaig '87 and Riley Rozencwaig '24
Paul de la Torre '88 and Sofia de la Torre '24
Joely Kaufman-Janette '88 and Olivia Janette '24
Jody Drulard '90 and Pia Drulard '24
Kimberly Weissler Feldman '91 and Logan Feldman '24
Nicole Mendoza Hommen '91 and Carolina Hommen '24
Bruno Rebessi '91 anr Marella Rebessi '24
Lambros Katsoufis '92, Chryso Pefkaros Katsoufis '98 and Zoe Katsoufis '24
Elana Oberstein-Harris '93 and Eden Harris '24
Rafael Millares '94 and Delio Gonzalez '24
Daniel Alfonso '95 and Chloe Alfonso '24
Indialetticia Avila '96 and Ella Lombardo '24
Dwanita Fields '00 and Tyler Mason '24

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.