Gunn Foundation Board of Trustees

Our dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer board members work hard to raise funding for the scholarships. We also support students throughout the scholarship application process and distribute funds as students embark on the next steps in their education.

Meet the Members of the 2021-22 Board:

Tammy Truher, Board President

Tammy is the parent of two Gunn students and a volunteer for All Students Matter in East Palo Alto where she meets weekly with K-5th graders, concentrating on reading, comprehension, and fluidity. This experience led her to Gunn Foundation, where she enjoys helping kids achieve their goal of going to college.

Tammy’s passions are community building and fundraising. At Fairmeadow, she co-chaired the online and gala auctions, the walk-a-thon, and was a PiE Chair. She has worked as an Executive Assistant at several companies, including Marin Country Day School, Mother Jones Magazine, InterWest Partners, and A9.

Tammy and her husband have lived in Palo Alto since 2006. She enjoys walks with her family and dogs, boating on SF Bay, Giants baseball, and coffee at Philz.

Anupa Bajwa

Anupa is a parent of a sophomore at Gunn and a long-time participant on school and district committees. At Ohlone, she was a founding member and Chair of the Core Values Committee. At Terman/Fletcher she was the lead coordinator for the School Dance. She is a current volunteer on the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee, and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) District Action Committee.

Anupa brings her experience and caring – head and heart – to serve on the Foundation to support our hard-working seniors' smooth transition from high school to college. She is an Aerospace Engineer and has been working at NASA Ames Research Center for over 20 years.

Rebecca Begley


Rebecca is the parent of a Gunn sophomore and a JLS 6th grader. Rebecca was an active volunteer supporting science and math at Fairmeadow Elementary, and loves seeing kids connect with new concepts and enjoy learning. She believes in supporting education and giving back to the community, and is excited to be a part of the Gunn Foundation to help students continue their educational journey after high school.

Rebecca and her husband have lived in Palo Alto since 1997. She has worked in biotech for 16 years, and enjoys spending time with her family.



Ken Cantrell

Ken has children (a son and a daughter) at Gunn. He has served on the board for his home owner’s association. Ken has lived in Palo Alto since 2018, moving here from Hong Kong (3 years) and Nanjing (3 years). He and his family enjoy cycling, travel, hiking and recently a family member has picked up surfing. His family has a long tradition in education in Stem and in early childhood education. He believes continuing education can create opportunities that lift in a way no other can.

Myesha Dickson (Compton)

Myesha is the College Pathways and Avid Outreach Counselor at Gunn where she has been on the guidance counseling team for nearly two decades. In this role, Myesha provides advocacy, outreach and guidance for college bound Gunn students, many of whom are first generation and/or lower income.

Emily Jaquette, Treasurer

A bay area native, Emily has been involved in many Palo Alto educational causes since moving to South Palo Alto in 2005. She has been a Project Cornerstone reader, the treasurer or auditor for both the Palo Verde and JLS PTA, and was a school chair and then board member for Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE). In 2014, Emily joined the PiE staff. In 2018, she served as treasurer for Measure Z, the bond measure for PAUSD. Emily is eager to help streamline Gunn Foundation's finance and donation management processes and is thrilled to be focusing on and enabling higher educational opportunities for the population of students served by Gunn Foundation.

Judy Lee

Judy is the parent of a Gunn sophomore and is honored to serve on the Board. A Bay Area native, she was an attorney in the government sector for many years, before retiring in 2019, and she now works in real estate management in San Francisco. She is eager and happy to help hardworking high school students transform their college aspirations into reality. Judy says, "Gunn Foundation’s goal of helping students advance one step closer to achieving their college dreams is a meaningful and worthy cause I wholeheartedly support. I feel fortunate just to be along for this exciting journey."

Mala Nayak

Mala Nayak has found her work on Gunn Foundation enormously rewarding, and is looking forward to starting her fourth year on the Scholarship Committee of Gunn Foundation.

Mala is a psychiatrist and has worked for more than 20 years at a non-profit that contracts with Santa Clara County to provide mental health services to individuals with serious mental illness. She attended medical school in India and did her psychiatry residency at Stanford. She has 2 daughters who graduated from Gunn several years ago.



Veronica Oropeza

Veronica is originally from Venezuela. She came to the US as a college student and is now an American citizen. Veronica has three children. Two of her children attend Gunn while her youngest is at Juana Briones. She has a background in neuroscience but Veronica has worked at different organizations helping prepare students from underrepresented backgrounds for college admission exams such as the SAT and ACT.

Veronica enjoys hiking with her family, cooking and traveling. She is excited to be a member of the board and helping students achieve their academic goals.

Colleen Petersen

Colleen is the parent of two Gunn alumni, Class of 2018 and Class of 2020. She served as treasurer of the Gunn PTSA and was also an active member of the Theatre Boosters while her children attended. She is excited to continue her service to Gunn and its community as a member of the Gunn Foundation. A New York native, Colleen and her family relocated to Palo Alto in 2013. She enjoys dancing, reading, and going to the beach.



Skyles Runser

Sky has been involved for many years with Gunn’s Focus on Success Program and also as Assistant Coach for the Gunn Boys Varsity Basketball Team. He serves on the board of the Business of Success beyond Sports (BOSS) Program for middle and high schoolers in Long Beach, CA; and he and his wife also are parents of two Gunn graduates. Sky believes that “Every child is one caring adult away from a success story” and is excited to be a part of an organization that he has long respected and admired and that has opened so many doors for so many families.

Wendy Stratton, Gunn High School Principal

As our high school’s Principal, Wendy has a standing seat on Gunn Foundation's board. She arrives at Gunn after a year at Paly having spent a long educational career as an Assistant Principal, Athletic Director, and award-winning teacher in Marin County.

Alena Villari

Alena has a son and daughter at Gunn and a son at Juana Briones. She has served on the boards at her children's pre-school and elementary school. She teaches Art History and Art classes in the PAUSD elementary schools through an Art Education Department volunteer program. Alena has lived in Palo Alto since 2011. She enjoys sewing, cycling, hiking, trips to the beach, and skiing with her husband and kids. She's a first-generation graduate of Barnard College and is happy to serve helping all students find a path to higher education.

APPLYING TO GUNN FOUNDATION'S BOARD OF TRUSTEES:

Gunn Foundation recruits members to the Board annually for three year terms. If you would like to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a Gunn Foundation trustee, please contact us.

Visit our Donate page to help fund student scholarships: