Alumni Achievement Awards

The Alumni Achievement Award, which honors an alumna who has shown outstanding leadership or innovation in an area of industry, service to community or personal passion, is presented during Alumni Reunion Weekend. The alumna must be a graduate of Annie Wright Upper School.

Below are the list of names and descriptions of the women who have received this award since its inception in the 1980s.

List of 31 items.

  • 2017: Cordelia Hartwell Puttkammer '57

    Cordelia (Hartwell) Puttkammer ’57, who came to Annie Wright from Honolulu, Hawaii, is an occupational therapy practitioner, educator, researcher and family child advocate. Retired as an associate tenured professor from Howard University, she subsequently had academic appointments at Kean University and Dominican College. Cordie is a recognized expert in pediatric and family-centered practice. She co-authored the “Preschool Visual Motor Integration Assessment,” and “My Motor Baby,” and edited “Working with Substance Exposed Children: Strategies for Professionals.” In 1997 she was awarded a recognition for significant contributions to Occupational Education by the American Occupational Therapy’s Committee on Education and is a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
  • 2016: Sally Atherton '66 and Anita Murray Barbey '66

    Sally Atherton has studied, researched, taught and advocated for vision and eye health for the past 35 years. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Colby College (Waterville, ME), her Master of Science in Biology from Trinity University (San Antonio, TX), and her PhD in microbiology/virology from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, she went on to a number of postdoctoral fellowships and professorships.
    Esteemed positions include Executive Director of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and Regents Professor and Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, where she was the first female chair. She also taught and mentored students during her faculty appointments at the University of Texas Health Science Center and the University of Miami School of Medicine.
    Her studies on herpesvirus infections of the retina were funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 30 years, and during that time, she frequently lobbied US Congressional leaders for vision and eye research and advocated for eye-related health services.

    Anita Murray Barbey earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Stanford University and a Master of Science in Nursing and Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Texas. After studying midwifery in London, she became certified in nurse-midwifery in the United States, where she introduced such care into reproductive health clinics in Multnomah County, Oregon, and standards of reproductive health care into county clinics statewide. She published, in The Lancet, the results of the first national study of freestanding birth centers in the United States and served as a consultant to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council in their report Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings.
    Anita went on to be a leader in the US midwifery movement and served as a self-employed health services consultant on women’s health issues and policy in the United States and developing countries, especially in Africa and South Asia 1984-2005. She served as the Chair of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Research and Statistics Committee and Chair of the ACNM International Health Committee.

    Anita has also been a leader and advocate of historic preservation, environmental sustainability and education, serving as president of Oregon’s National Society of the Colonial Dames of America and as a board member of numerous educational institutions including Annie Wright Schools, land conservancies and historic preservation organizations.

    According to Joan Robertson Lamb ‘69, who was later her roommate at Stanford, “Anita has always been a leader wherever she finds herself and has inspired countless numbers of young women as they embark on their careers. She has truly embodied ‘From Strength to Strength’ in her personal and professional life.”
  • 2015: Beverley Brown '41

    Bev Brown was both a Yellow Tie graduate of Annie Wright and a long-time teacher of English, religious studies and most notably art history. When Bev retired, the Beverley Brown Excellence in Teaching Award was created to both honor her legacy and to acknowledge an outstanding teacher each year.

    Bev's teaching career spanned 28 years, beginning in 1959. She spearheaded the religious education program in the Lower and Middle Schools; however it was her zeal for art that seemed to have the biggest impact on her students. Know for her dedication, wit, sincerity, grace, irreverence, high standards and passion for art and travel, Bev inspired decades of students to explore history and world cultures through the study of art.

    Read memories, thoughts and well wishes from former students and faculty.
  • 2014: Erica Duecy '94

    Red Tie Erica Duecy ’94 is a writer and editor specializing in travel and wine & spirits. By day, she runs the Fodor’s Travel website as deputy editor, programming travel content for more than five million readers per month. By night, Erica tastes wines and tests cocktail recipes for the luxury alpine travel magazine SNOW (Bonnier Publishing), where she has been Wine & Spirits Editor for the past six years.
    After graduating from Annie Wright Upper School, Erica earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

    Erica is a long-time judge for the James Beard Journalism Awards and holds an advanced certificate, with distinction, from the London-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust. She has written for the New York Times, Food & Wine, and numerous other publications, and enjoys speaking about cocktail history.
    Most recently, Erica authored Storied Sips (Random House), a book that aims to bring back the social tradition of the cocktail hour by offering up intoxicating historical stories, classic mixology accoutrements, and vintage cocktail ephemera.
  • 2013: Pamela Hyde Smith '63

    The 2013 Alumni Achievement Award is presented to Pamela Hyde Smith '63 for her service to Annie Wright School and the greater community.
    Pamela distinguished herself early as a scholar, graduating from Wellesley College with a degree in Art History and becoming fluent in Romanian, Indonesian, Serbo-Croatian, and French. Her committed work ethic, combined with a pronounced dedication to her studies, served Pamela well when she began her illustrious career in foreign affairs. Pamela has worked all over the world, holding positions everywhere from London to Jakarta before acting as Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova from 2001-2003.
    In addition to her personal accomplishments, Pamela has worked to cultivate a new generation of engaged global citizens through her mentorship efforts across the country. As a faculty member and advisor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, she has mentored students at the undergraduate and Masters levels; as a Board member for various organizations she has shared her expertise; as a co-chair of The Nature Conservancy’s “Global Ambassadors” program, she has fostered international support for environmental protection. Even with all of these projects, however, Pamela has returned to speak at Annie Wright and offer friendly advice. In so doing, she exemplifies the generous spirit of Annie Wright and actively contributes to the school that launched her path to success.
  • 2012: Barbara Turpin '80

    Barbara Turpin ’80 grew up on the rocky beaches of Puget Sound and attended Annie Wright for 12 years, serving as May Queen in 1980. She remembers fondly her Annie Wright friends and teachers, and playing basketball. She received her undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology in Engineering in 1984. Caltech didn’t have a women’s basketball team, so she took up fencing and continued her sport through graduate school (Oregon Graduate Institute, OHSU, PhD 1990) and as a postdoctoral research associate at University of Minnesota. It was there that she won the national championship in women’s epee.
    Barb and her husband David Younge have three daughters: Clara, Mandella and Danae. Barb is a Professor of Environmental Science and a Campus Dean at Rutgers University. Her research is in the area of atmospheric chemistry, its effect on the concentrations and properties of atmospheric particles, and their effects on visibility, climate and health. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is widely published and has earned several awards for her research. Barb strives to inspire students to become more active learners. She is a strong supporter of Annie Wright and occasionally finds time to visit her beloved alma mater. We are proud to present the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award to Barbara Turpin ’80.
  • 2011: Elizabeth (Betsy Phillips) Kaufmann '61

    Elizabeth (Betsy Phillips) Kaufman ’61 grew up in Tacoma, Washington, having attended Annie Wright School for eight years from 1953 to 1961. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1965, and then worked for two years in medicine at University of South Dakota before transferring to the University of Washington where she received her MD in 1969.  After practicing internal medicine at Harlem Hospital, Betsy went on to study hematology and oncology at Montefiore Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
    Betsy’s husband Jack Kaufmann was a New York City attorney until his retirement eight years ago. He is now teaching Latin at a girls’ school similar to Annie Wright. Betsy’s family suffered a major tragedy when they lost their oldest daughter, Suzie, 20 years ago. Their son John graduated from Dartmouth University, married in 2008, and became a father just six weeks ago. The family resides in Maryland. Betsy’s daughter Christine graduated from University of Richmond with a degree in French and works as a paralegal in Chicago. Amanda is the youngest. She earned a degree in History and French from Grinnell College and has since returned to school to study fashion design.
    Known as Elizabeth A Phillips, MD in the medical field, Betsy practices hematology and oncology in New Rochelle, NY. She is considered by her peers to be one of the best oncologists in Westchester County.  Though it is not her practice, she is also conversant with Complementary Medicine as it applies to her specialty.
    “Oncology has become fascinating, as it is moving so fast. My practice has evolved so that a major portion of my patients have breast cancer and I am affiliated with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Albert Einstein Breast Cancer services,” says Betsy. “The meetings at those institutions and national conferences help keep me abreast of what is happening [in oncology].” Betsy loves her profession and says the best part of her job is her patients. “I have gotten to know some pretty wonderful people!”
    Betsy returned to Annie Wright School in May to celebrate her 50th reunion with the Class of 1961. She has attended all of her previous class reunions when they didn’t conflict with her children’s graduations and is one of the most engaged alumni in the school community. Betsy is diligent about submitting class notes, staying in touch with classmates, and contributing to the annual fund.
    Annie Wright School is proud to honor Elisabeth (Betsy Phillips) Kaufmann ’61 with the 2011 Alumni Achievement Award.
  • 2010: Erin Fletcher '97

    The 2010 Alumni Achievement Award is presented to Erin Fletcher, Class of 1997 for her service to Annie Wright School and the greater community.

    As a member of Annie Wright’s Yellow Tie Class of 1997, Erin excelled in math, science, and track and field. She entered Stanford University in the fall of 1997 at the age of 16 and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering.

    Erin began her career as a civil engineer. Today her greatest passion is introducing kids to engineering and math, and in particular, helping minority students and girls realize that anything is possible. Erin has mentored high school students, coordinated the Popsicle Stick Bridge competition, the American Society of Civil Engineers K-12 Outreach Program, and participated in Expanding Your Horizons, an organization that strives to interest girls in the fields of math, science and technology.

    Erin was nominated to serve on the Annie Wright School Board of Trustees at the age of 23 and finished her second three-year term in June 2010. “Erin has been an exemplary board member and voice for the alumni of Annie Wright,” says Mary Ann Anderson, fellow trustee. “She powerfully articulates the influence that her experience at Annie Wright continues to have in her life and lives it in authentic and impactful ways. Erin is a thoughtful, committed and caring leader who is able to learn from a wide variety of sources and situations to create good in the world.”
  • 2009: (Not Awarded)

    2009: (Not Awarded)
  • 2008: Helena (Barbey) Lankton '68

    The 2008 Alumni Achievement award is presented to
    Helena Barbey Lankton '68
    for her service to Annie Wright School and the greater community

    Helena’s dedication to Annie Wright is reflected in her service on the Board of Trustees from 1999-2006.  During her tenure, she coordinated the tie-off competition; participated on the steering committee for the Campaign for Annie Wright, helping to make Klarsch Hall and other physical improvements to AWS a reality; chaired the development committee and worked to increase the school endowment, advance the scholarship offerings, and propel the school’s fiscal responsibility.


    Helena received the 2008 Stanford Alumni Association Governor’s Award for her outstanding work as a volunteer and her untiring energy toward fundraising for Stanford.  Helena is known by her friends to step in when needed and her leadership and commitment to strong communities, dedication to life-long education and philanthropy creates a strong role model for all Alumni of Annie Wright School.

  • 2007: Ross Syford Hoyle '63

    The 2007 Alumnae Acheivement Award is presented to Ross Syford Hoyle of 1963, for her service to Annie Wright School and the greater community. Ross’s dedication to Annie Wright is reflected in her service on the Alumni Association Board, two terms on the AWS Board of Trustees, as well as the financial support she and her family have provided to Annie Wright School over several decades. Ross has benefited many communities through her innovative and hard work on behalf of individuals with disabilities and learning challenges. Her focus and talents represented Annie Wright School and the Alumni Association ably at home and throughout the country. Ross Syford Hoyle embodies the essence of an Annie Wright educations: diligence, innovation, faith, love of family , concern for others, and self-reliance.
  • 2006: Peggy Lou (Stebbins) Roberts '35

    Presented to Peggy Lou (Stebbins) Roberts, class of 1935, for her dedication to the life-long sports and her deep compassion for the support of children. Peggy Lou’s love of sports inspired her to establish the Roberts Chair for Athletics, as well as endow a fund to support the life-long sport of golf at Annie Wright School. In her community, Peggy Lou is a major support of Easter Seals of Volusia and Flagler counties in Florida, donating an aquatherapy pool and continuing the effort to help build a new summer camp for children. As an avid golfer, Peggy Lou also is a long-standing supporter of the Women’s Professional Golf Association, located near her home in Daytona Florida. Peggy Lou will forever be remembered for insightfulness, generosity, and dedication to her Alma Mater and children with special needs.
  • 2005: Lynn (Beaty) Sealey '61

    Lynn has made commendable contributions to the AWS community through her generosity and involvement as both a trustee and an alumna. She has been the driving force binding the class of 1961 and encourages her classmates to stay involved at Annie Wright. She served 27 years in the medical technology industry and is active in the Washington Women’s Foundation, Fauntleroy Community Association Board, and Nature Conservatory and the Trust for Public Land. In addition to these accomplishments, Lynn has climbed Mt. Rainier and ran the New York City Marathon.
  • 2004: Phyllis (Ridge) Gill '49

    The 2004 Alumni Achievement Award for 2004 is presented to Phyllis Gill from the Class of 1949 in recognition of her courage to care for the mentally and physically ill, for her celebrating and support of the arts, for acting out the conviction of her faith, and in honor of her dedication to educational excellence. Because of her profound faith and deep interest in her community, she has used her generous spirit, kind nature, and insightful wisdom to reach out to those less fortunate, injured, ailing and aging. With thought and poise, she has championed the needs of helping institutions like the Three Cedars AIDS HOUS, Planned Parenthood, YMCA, Frank Tobey Jones Retirement Community, and many more. With a deep appreciation for the arts, Phyllis has promoted the importance of performance through the Tacoma Actors Guild and Tacoma Philharmonic. By understanding the value of independent education, she has helped to guide and nurture the mission of Annie Wright School. And, with a devoted love for her family, Phyllis has embraced her role as a mother and wife who values the individuality of her children and the companionship of her husband. As a giver, mentor, mother, and a respected alumna of Annie Wright School, she will always be remembered as a woman dedicated to the welfare of others.
  • 2003: Barbara Bishop Ward '36

    The 2003 Alumnae Achievement Award is presented to Barbara Bishop Ward of the Class of 1936 in recognition of her life-long dedication to helping those who suffer from hunger, for her compassion for people in desperate need, and in honor of her devotion to educational excellence. Because of her inquisitive nature and deep compassion for human suffering, she has used her hands, her heart and her treasure to ease the conditions of people served by the Salvation Army, American Red Cross and Visiting Nurse Services. She has also provided leadership and wisdom to promote the educational pursuits of Mills College in California and Annie Wright School. As a loving mother, devoted friend and cherished alumna of Annie Wright School, she will always be remembered as a woman dedicated to service.
  • 2002: Sally Hopkins Moore '37

    The 2002 Alumnae Achievement Award is presented to Sally Hopkins Moore, Class of 1937 in honor of her outreach to children and families in crisis, for her passion and enthusiasm for the visual arts, for her devotion to her faith and her church and for her commitment to educational excellence. With her charming wit and persevering spirit, she has quietly but earnestly worked to preserve the history of Annie Wright School and provided guidance for its future, she has given thoughtful leadership and inspiration to Ryther Child Center and its mission to build brighter futures for children, she has been enthusiastic in her support to the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington and she has provided faithful service to the church of Saint Thomas of Medina. As a devoted mother, friend and alumna of Annie Wright School, she will always be a treasured Annie.
  • 2001: Flo Meyer Ball '51

    The 2001 Alumnae Achievement Award is presented to Flo Meyer Ball, class of 1951 in honor of her compassion for the homeless, for her many contributions to our democratic system and for her devotion to educational excellence. With her wise concern and limitless energy she has worked to better our Tacoma community and promote the vision of Annie Wright School. She has quietly moved to improve the lives of those in need through her efforts with the Department of Health and Human Services and she has inspired our youth to embrace their citizenship through her work with Pierce County Elections. We are grateful to her as a devoted wife, mother, friend and dedicated alumna of Annie Wright School.
  • 2000: Elizabeth Ayrault Moses '48

    The 2000 Alumnae Achievement Award is presented to Elizabeth Ayrault Moses, class of 1948 in honor of her deep passion for gardening and the outdoors, for her unending enthusiasm for the performing arts and for her devotion to educational excellence. With her boundless energy and quiet leadership, she has inspired and greatly contributed to the history and future of Annie Wright School. She played a pivotal role in helping to establish and guide the growth of Seattle’s Intiman Theatre and she was instrumental in shaping the magnificent Arboretum of Seattle. As a dedicated wife, mother, friend and alumna of Annie Wright, she will always be cherished.
  • 1999: Susanne Fisher Hubbach '37

    The 1999 Alumnae Achievement Award is presented to Susanne Fisher Hubbach, class of 1937, in honor of her leadership and passion for education, performing arts and volunteer causes. With her unending energy and generous spirit she has significantly contributed to the growth and future of Annie Wright School, the Oregon Girl Scouts and The Seattle Opera. As a devoted wife, mother and friend she will always be deeply loved.
  • 1998: Betty Garrett Parks '36

    The 1998 Alumnae Achievement Award is presented to Betty Garrett Parks ’36, in honor of her gracious generosity in sharing her acting, dancing and musical talents, for her courage in the face of social injustice, for her faith and loyalty to her family and friends, and for her lifelong support of education.
  • 1996: Kayla LaGasa Skinner ’35

    The 1996 Alumnae Achievement Award is presented Kayla LaGasa Skinner ’35 , a former Annie Wright Trustee who is many things to many people-mother, philanthropist, businesswoman, volunteer, community leader and patron of the arts. She created a career in civic responsibility for herself, determining to focus on issues which emphasize cultural education and those which enhance the lives of women and girls.
  • 1995: Kay Bishop '60

    The 1995 Alumnae Achievement Award was presented to Kay Bishop ’60, an Annie Wright Trustee who generously gave of her time, contagious energy and unwavering spirit to Annie Wright School. As a resident of San Francisco, she became the spokeswoman for “Annie Wright South” by assisting with many events in California.
  • 1994: Anne Murray Barbey '38

    The 1994 Alumnae Achievement Award was presented to Anne Murray Barbey ’38, an Annie Wright Trustee who has helped make the school a force for education; in her own life she embodies the wisdom and power of intellect, a kind heart and magnificent ideal.
  • 1993: Lisa Weyerhaeuser '74

    The 1993 Alumnae Achievement Award was presented to Lisa Weyerhaeuser ’74 for outstanding achievement in setting up the first center to provide child care for deaf and hearing youngsters that integrates American Sign, English and Spanish-in Phoenix Arizona.
  • 1991: Melissa Sheldon Hess '63

    The 1991 Alumnae Achievement Award was presented to Melissa Sheldon Hess ’63 for her leadership in the advancement of independent education. A leader of conferences nationwide, Missy envisions a “national community of enthusiastic participants in the world of ideas”.
  • 1990: Marie Dodge Eaton '64

    The 1990 Alumnae Achievement Award was presented to Marie Dodge Eaton ’64 for her distinguished academic career and rich musical life. “What is important”, she says, “is that you dream. Don’t let your expectations for yourself be limited by the voices outside”.
  • 1990: Marjorie Jeffries Shanaman Baker '26

    The 1990 Marty Hoey Award was presented to Marjorie Jeffries Shanaman Baker ’26 in honor of her courageous spirit and the zest with which she faces life’s challenges. Marjorie has shown tremendous fortitude in her efforts to fulfill her dreams.
  • 1989: Frances Anderson Backus '33

    The 1989 Alumnae Achievement Award was presented to Frances Anderson Backus ’33 for her dedication to education, her loving personality and infections spirit. Frannie initiated the successful Backus Merit Scholarship Competition in 1986.
  • 1987: Martha Turner Gonyea '38

    The 1987 Alumnae Achievement Award was presented to Martha Turner Gonyea ’38 for her loyalty to Annie Wright and her commitment to the community. Mrs. Gonyea chaired the committee which raised $5.2 million dollars for the school during the Centennial Capital Campaign.
  • 1986: Dee Quevli Knight '48

    The 1986 Alumnae Achievement Award was presented to Dee Quevli Knight ’48 for sharing her extraordinary talents as librarian and museum docent with children of all ages.
  • 1985: Elizabeth Appling Bloch '63

    The 1985 Alumnae Achievement Award was presented to Elizabeth Appling Bloch ’63 for her remarkable success in creating the San Francisco Girls’ Chorus, and for her dedication to excellence.
    • 2017 Alumni Achievement Award winner Cordelia "Cordie" (Hartwell) Puttkammer

      2017 Alumni Achievement Award winner Cordelia "Cordie" (Hartwell) Puttkammer '57

For ideas of how to stay in touch or get involved, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at or call 253.284.5412.


Annie Wright Schools
Main Campus:
827 North Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98403

Downtown Campus:
936 Broadway
Tacoma, WA 98402

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Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower  and Middle Schools offer co-ed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for girls  and boys offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School.