Ransom Everglades School Names head of school to begin July 2014

Stephanie (Penny) Townsend

Stephanie (Penny) Townsend

The Board of Trustees at Ransom Everglades School unanimously approved the appointment of Stephanie (Penny) Townsend as the new head of school, beginning July 1, 2014. Penny will replace Ellen Moceri who will retire at the end of her 13th year leading the Miami institution.

Townsend currently is head of school at the Pennington School in Pennington, NJ. Prior to assuming leadership at Pennington, she had a distinguished 23-pyear career in several key positions at the Taft School in Watertown, CT.

“We could not be more excited. Penny is committed to carrying on Paul Ransom’s legacy and building on the foundation of greatness that Ellen Moceri has put in place at Ransom Everglades during her tenure as head of school,” said Jeffrey Miller, Board of Trustees chair.

Townsend’s appointment reflects the culmination of a process that started last winter with the appointment of an 11-member search committee representing all stakeholders in the Ransom Everglades community, including faculty, administration, parents, alumni, and trustees. The search committee was unanimous in its decision to present Townsend to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Townsend graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1979 with a BA in History, specializing in Latin American studies, and a minor in Spanish Literature, and earned an MA at Middlebury College in Spanish Language and Literature. A fluent Spanish speaker, she began her career in education as a Spanish teacher at Northfield Mount Hermon School then moved to Taft, becoming dean of the Upper Middle Class (juniors), head of the Department of Modern Languages, director of the Taft Summer School, and, ultimately dean of the faculty.

Moceri will continue as head of school until her retirement at the end of the 2013- 14 academic year in June. For more than a decade, she has guided Ransom Everglades with an eye toward the public purpose of a private institution. During this time, Ransom Everglades has grown into a nationally recognized school with students who live out the school’s mission of honor, excellence, and service.

While head of school, Moceri elevated the school’s academic performance and profile and expanded its programs in the arts and athletics. She also oversaw major building projects including a complete renovation of the Middle School campus the construction of the Aquatic Center, with the Ansin and Broad REACH pools, and increased the school’s endowment from $8 million to more than $25 million.

Founded in 1903 Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory school for grades 6-12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove. Ransom Everglades enrolls 1,165 students and is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

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