Gunn Foundation Board of directors

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 2022-23 Board

Anupa Bajwa, Secretary

Anupa is a parent of a senior 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.

Armie Duterte, Treasurer

Armie has been a part of the Palo Alto community since 1999 and is the parent of two Gunn students.  She has worked as a finance professional in various private and public companies across the Bay Area and brings this knowledge and a "heart to serve" to the Gunn Foundation.  Armie is thrilled to be a part of an organization focused on enabling and supporting students achieve their goals of going to college.

Lorenzo Gomez

Lorenzo Gomez has 10 years of high school experience where he has served in roles from instructional aide, community liaison and school registrar. He is going into his second year as a Counselor at Gunn and is excited to make a positive impact on students and help them reach their goals.

Emily Jaquette, Chief Donations Officer

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. 

Claire Kirner

Claire is the parent of two Gunn students (a rising freshman and a rising junior) as well as a Gunn Class of '22 graduate. She holds a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education, and was a classroom teacher prior to having her own children. Her first two years of teaching were as a Teach for America corps member, which strengthened her beliefs around the importance of educational opportunity and access for all. She has been an active volunteer in her children's schools since preschool, often holding PTA leadership roles. She currently also works as a substitute teacher in PAUSD. Claire looks forward to helping students pursue their college goals by serving on the Gunn Foundation board.

Elizabeth Lam

Elizabeth Lam is the parent of a Gunn junior and a Gunn Class of '21 graduate. She has over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, working as a community liaison and event planner. Because she understands that higher education is not a given for many students, she is excited to serve on the Gunn Foundation board and help students realize their dream of education beyond high school.

Judy Lee, Board Chair

Judy Lee is the parent of a Gunn senior and is excited to begin her third year with Gunn Foundation. A Bay Area native, she was an attorney in the government sector for many years, before retiring in 2019. She now works in real estate management in San Francisco. During the past two years, she has found helping students realize their college aspirations to be an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. She looks forward to continuing Gunn Foundation’s mission of helping Gunn seniors achieve their college dreams.

Miguel Lopez

Miguel is originally from Mexico, where he earned his degree in Industrial Engineering. He is the parent of two boys, one at Gunn and one at JLS. Miguel has a career in tech and has been part of our community since 2018. Most recently Miguel’s family lived in New York City and before that Arizona, where he met his wife Helen while attending the University of Arizona. He is an avid runner and reader of history books. Miguel is really excited about helping students find a path to success.

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.  

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, Chief Scholarship Officer

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.  


Each year, we seek enthusiastic, creative and hardworking candidates to join our dedicated team of volunteer board members. All are encouraged to apply. For more information about the position, please send an email to with your inquiry. 

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