Ready for Launch

The Ellis School celebrated the intectually vibrant, confident, and driven students of the Class of 2019 at Commencement on June 6, 2019. As individuals and as a group, this class of 34 young women has contributed so much to the Schoool—from thought- provoking performances and probing presentations to vibrant artwork and thrilling playoff games. Now as alumnae, the Class of 2019 will join the ranks of strong women who have graduated before them as the carve their own paths to create positive change in the world.
Sydné Ballengee, Senior Class President
“The glorious part about [our class] puzzle is that each piece is so unique, yet they all fit together to create the wonderful image of the Class of 2019. We embody strength and flexibility: by sticking together, we do not allow others to bend and break us.’’

Leah Ewers, Student Council President
“We will lead with our minds, but almost more importantly, we will lead as the types of people that the Ellis community has shaped us to be: people who care about others, are empathetic, and know how to give and receive love. The Ellis community has given this to us, and now it is our turn to give it to the world.’’

Jenera Solomon, Ph.D., Executive Director of Kelly Strayhorn Theatre and 2019 Commencement Speaker
“You will face moments in life when things happening around you are not okay. And the question will be: who’s going to say something? I know an Ellis girl will say something. In those moments, my hope for you is that you’ll have the courage to ask difficult questions. Because when you do, you’re making room for other people to ask questions and that’s how we solve problems and put ourselves on a path to make a difference

Class of 2019

Yumika Amemiya
Olivia Annon Ball 
Sydné Nicole Ballengee
Amani Janee Barnes
Sierra Niko Brandegee
Erica Catherine Davis 
Leah Elizabeth Ewers 
Katharine Graham Ference 
Payton Elizabeth Ferris 
Louise Edwina Finnstrom 
Isabelle Mariah Hammer 
Emma Zhiren Hsiung 
Ziyan Hu
Kaia Kaufold Iverson 
Lauren Nicole Jasper 
Dorothy Ann Johnson 
Kai'ya Anique Jones-Gordon
Roxanne Elizabeth Kim 
Lillian Bess Leibovich 
Brynna Isabelle Luedde
Helen Barbosa Luffy 
Rebecca Madeline Moran-Scoratow 
Stephanie Ohori 
Renée Marie Margaret Frembgen Petersen 
Amelia Larkin Rosenstock 
Rebecca Leslie Rust 
Emma Lucia Schell
Hannah Faith Shanley 
Lucia Sandsedt Snyderman 
Olivia Claire Strickland 
Alison Lee Taylor 
Augusta Smythe Weiss 
Olivia Faye Wilson

Senior Projects 

The Class of 2019 looked outside of themselves and into the local and global community to raise awareness for causes they believe in, spark conversations that influence change, and give notice to issues of importance to them in their final assignment as Ellisians. From partnering with a gender equality lawyer on the #MeToo movement to interning with the City of Pittsburgh on an immigration initiative, the Class of 2019 tackled a range of topics that illustrated their impressive commitment to some of the some of the most pressing issues facing their generation today. 

Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Animal Conservation and Appreciation
Positive Body Image
Preservation and Promotion of the Arts and Literacy
The Perils of Addiction
Service Learning and Volunteerism
Social Equity Advocacy Girls’ Education
Women’s Empowerment
Economic Diversity and Inequity
Media Bias and Representation
Gender Equality
Fair Voting Practices
Climate Change and Environmental Awareness
Sports and Leadership
Accessibility of STEM Programs
Healthcare and Medicine

Class of 2019 College Commitments

Armed with arsenals of ambition and spirits of optimism and resilience, the Class of 2019 will attend 28 different colleges and universities in 12 states in the fall. Three students will participate in Division III college athletics, andd our graduates plan to study everything from architecture and engineering to computer science and literature, proving yet again the multifaceted nature of an Ellis education. Because Ellis is focused on finding each girl's best fit college that supports her individual journey and unique goals, the Class of 2019 will begin their next their next chapter on campuses that, much like Ellis, allow them to continue to grow into the best versions of themselves. 

Matriculation List:
American University 
Amherst College 
Brandeis University 
Chapman University 
Chatham University 
Colgate University 
Connecticut College 
Cornell University 
The Cooper Union 
Duquesne University/LECOM 
Emory University 
Haverford College 
Juniata College 
University of Miami 
Middlebury College 
Mount Holyoke College 
Northwestern University 
Pennsylvania State University 
University of Pennsylvania 
University of Pittsburgh 
University of Rochester 
University of Tampa 
Temple University 
University of Vermont 
Washington University in St. Louis 
The College of Wooster 
Yale University