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Flavia Tomasello and John Tsialas had two goals in mind for The Antonio Tsialas ’19 Leadership Endowment Fund: they wanted to ensure their son’s memory would inspire generations of Ransom Everglades students, and they sought to put in place a program that would teach life lessons and skills, and guide students long after they departed RE’s campuses.

Just over a year after their son died tragically during his first semester in college, the Tsialas family announced the creation of the leadership fund, which will recognize a deserving Ransom Everglades rising senior each spring and also support thoughtful, year-round programming designed to develop compassionate leaders at RE

The school will present The Antonio Tsialas ’19 Leadership Award for the first time in May 2021, honoring a student with a strong commitment to leadership and community service, and follow that by launching The Antonio ’19 Tsialas Compassionate Leadership Program for the rising senior class in the fall.

“It’s really giving our children the skills so they can balance adventure and new experiences with really safe and compassionate choices,” Flavia Tomasello said. “And, in that process, how can they be more inclusive, compassionate, more loving? ... We want to have the resources available to do something meaningful because we feel so strongly about it. It’s very personal for me and John, a way to honor Antonio’s legacy.”

Antonio was a soccer goalie at Ransom Everglades known for taking young players under his wing, and staying late after practice to work with teammates. He excelled academically and was beloved across campus for his friendly demeanor, kind heart and beaming smile. He died after a hazing incident at a fraternity.

A generous gift from the Tsialas family along with many donations from those who loved Antonio provided funding for the endowment. 

John Tsialas said the leadership award would recognize an outstanding student who shared his son’s commitment to RE and the larger community, and inspired others. A monetary gift of $1,000 will accompany the leadership award so recognized students can further their leadership and community service efforts while preparing for college.

Flavia Tomasello noted that the details of the leadership program would be developed with input from RE students, faculty and alumni. The program will become an important annual component of Ransom Everglades’ health and wellness curriculum, helping students develop strong leadership skills and engage in positive social behaviors and activities inside and outside the RE environment.

Intended to formally begin with the senior class in 2021-22 and expand in subsequent years, the initiative will help students become leaders who can readily adapt to the changes and challenges of life while showing compassion for themselves and others. 

Said Flavia Tomasello: “Our goal is to help build awareness of the potential situations and challenges students may face at college and to arm them with the tools needed to safely and compassionately navigate their path.”


For more information about The Antonio Tsialas ’19 Leadership Endowment Fund, please contact Director of Advancement Melanie Hoffmann at MHOFFMANN@RANSOMEVERGLADES.ORG.

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EDITORIAL  Remembering Antonio Tsialas ’
EDITORIAL  Remembering Antonio Tsialas ’
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