The Orion Academy Board of Trustees exists to make decisions and take actions to underwrite the viability and ongoing success of the school’s mission for our students now and into the future.
The Board is responsible for ensuring that the school has the resources (financial and other) necessary for fulfilling its mission, long range planning, policy formulation, and is responsible for the stewardship of the school’s assets and maintaining the vision the school was founded on. The Board works with and supports the Executive Director and represents the school to the community at large. The Board of Trustees meets nine times a year as a full board and twice a year in separate committee meetings.
David Richter, Board President
David Richter is a parent of a Class of 2011 Orion graduate. He was actively involved as a parent while his son was at Orion and joined the board in May of 2011. David has seen first-hand the benefits of the Orion Academy program and is committed to seeing the expansion of the Orion program to a larger audience, both in the Bay Area and beyond. David has been a member of many task forces at Orion including Strategic Planning, Orion Community Council, and the WASC Leadership Team. A graduate of UC Berkeley, David is a widower, a father of two and a local business owner. He lives in Walnut Creek with his two children.
Mary Kay Billington
Mary Kay is an alumni parent. Her son attended Orion Academy for four years and graduated in 2007. While her son was a student at Orion, Mary Kay founded the PTO and served as president for two and a half years. Orion was growing and the PTO followed by adding many social opportunities for the students such as dances, bowling nights, movies, family weekends, seminars and the prom. After her son’s graduation, Mary Kay continued to serve Orion by joining the board. She has been an active part of the Orion community participating in WASC, strategic planning and fundraising ever since.
Jennifer has almost 20 years of Special Education experience both in public and private schools. Throughout her career, she has taken pride in helping students enjoy learning, thrive in social situations and excel in previously difficult areas. Jennifer taught for 15 years in the public school system of Wayland, Massachusetts. During that time she focused on leading mainstreamed classrooms with developmentally disabled students. She helped improve the learning skills for special needs students with low math and reading comprehension for the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment). In her long career she has worked with the Open Court Phonics Program, Wilson Reading, Touch Math Program, and is fluent in Reading Milestones Programs. She is experienced with Autism, developmental delays, PDD, ADHD, behavioral learning, ESL, trauma victims and has also served as a speech pathologist.
She was a finalist for the Golding Award for Excellence in Massachusetts Education. She holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts, the Clarke School for the Deaf and the Wellesley College Stone Center. Prior to joining Orion, she led the Board of Trustees study at The Cathedral School for Boys on “ADHD and Boys.” Jen continues to be a public speaker on bullying prevention and Open Circle Programs.
Kim Zagon joined the Orion board in the fall of 2014. Her son graduated from Orion in May of 2014, and as an Orion parent she served the PTO as Fall Fiesta chair, WASC representative, and board vice president and president. As a former middle school teacher, Kim appreciates Orion’s vision and commitment to our AS and NLD students and looks forward to continuing to support Orion’s unique program. Kim, a UCLA graduate, lives in Walnut Creek with her husband, Brian, two sons, her mom, and two rescue dogs.