Alumnae Honored at Reunion 2019

Ellis alumnae gathered to recognize and celebrate three outstanding graduates of the School during Reunion Weekend 2019. Sally RIAL Phelps ’58 was honored with the Sara Frazer Ellis Award and Jordan ZAPPALA ’99 and Rebekah HUGHEY ’94 were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
In recognition of her steadfast commitment to all-girls education, philanthropy, and service, and her remarkable professional developments, Ellis was proud to name Sally as the recipient of the 2019 Sara Frazer Ellis Award. The award is given annually to an alumna whose achievements represent the Ellis experience.

A graduate of the Class of 1958, Sally went on to attend Wellesley College where she majored in Biblical History. Her first career was teaching at Fox Chapel Country Day School in Pittsburgh, followed by The Meadowbrook School in Massachusetts, and, as part of a government grant, at Bucknell University. Her second career was banking in New York City. From 1973 to 2000, she was a lender with three banks: Chase Manhattan Bank, Citibank, and ABN AMRO. In 1980, Sally was one of the early women to be promoted to Vice President at Chase. In 2000, Sally married Richard “Dick” Phelps and retired from banking. Together, Dick and Sally have five children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Sally has been an Ellis Class Representative since 2007 and was on the National Board of Alumnae Visitors from 2009 to 2013. She organized her class’ 50th Reunion in 2008 and did the same for her Wellesley 50th Reunion in 2012. In her retirement years, Sally has learned how to play golf and paint pictures.

Jordan and Rebekah were selected to join the Ellis Athletic Hall of Fame for their outstanding athletic accomplishments and contributions during their time at Ellis.

During her four years at Ellis, Jordan played field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse, eventually rising to the position of captain and taking the reigns as president of the Ellis Athletic Association. Thanks to camaraderie on the field and the leadership of her beloved coaches and fellow teammates, she found her happy place and learned how impactful physical activity is to her mental wellbeing. After a PCL tear during a lacrosse tournament in her senior year, Jordan had to shift away from more high-impact athletics, but physical activity has remained an integral part of her daily life. She picked up yoga in college and began professionally teaching in Washington D.C. in 2011. She also admits to joining the Peloton cult more recently, riding at least several times a week while home with her children. Jordan looks forward to showing her own children how valuable physical activity is to their lives, as well as how impactful team sports can be to their budding psyches.

Starting in grade 7, Rebekah played a sport every season at Ellis. She played field hockey, lacrosse, basketball, and softball over the course of six years. She made the Varsity Basketball Team her freshman year and served as softball team captain. She also served as treasurer of the Ellis Athletic Association and received the Sportsmanship Award. Rebekah went on to attend Spelman College, where she played intramural basketball and played on their first soccer team. After graduating from Spelman, Rebekah completed a teaching fellowship at Ellis and helped coach the Junior Varsity Basketball Team. To this day, Rebekah enjoys staying active. She has played coed softball for years and participated in the Pittsburgh Triathlon in 2013, 2015, and 2016.  Her newest challenge is rowing, which she did for the first time last summer, and she enjoys running, swimming, and biking.
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