Orion Academy Parent Teacher Organization 2023-2024 Executive Board

President – Gretchen Wallacker
Gretchen is pleased to join the 2023-24 Orion Academy PTO as President and is grateful to be part of an enthusiastic and involved PTO Board. Gretchen grew up in Davis, attended UC Davis for her undergraduate education, University of Michigan for Law School, and is now a family law mediator and collaborative attorney in San Francisco. Gretchen’s son is an 11th grader and in his second year at Orion. Gretchen sings with an East Bay choir, bakes and jogs in her free time.

Vice President – Neva Peskin
Neva is excited to join the Orion Academy PTO as Vice President. Neva grew up in Albany, California, attended UC Santa Barbara as an undergrad and then San Francisco State University for a Masters’ Degree in Communicative Disorders. Neva currently works for West Contra Costa School District as an early intervention speech therapist, where she assesses preschoolers for speech and language disorders. Neva’s son is a Junior at Orion Academy. Neva enjoys hiking, hot Pilates, painting and traveling in her spare time.

Treasurer – Susie Allison
Susie joins the Orion PTO this year as the treasurer. Susie was born in upstate NY, and raised in Wellesley, MA. Her Masters’ Degree is in Early Childhood Education. After owning and operating a preschool in Moraga for Twenty years, Susie completed an IEP Master Coach Mentorship, and began helping families navigate the Special Education System. In addition to education advocacy, Susie works with Undivided, a company that specializes in supporting families of children with disabilities. Susie’s daughter is a junior at Orion. In addition to daily long walks, Susie enjoys swimming, hiking and paddle boarding! Susie is grateful for the supportive community that Orion provides and looks forward to an amazing year as part of the PTO!

Secretary – Kate Ruggiero
Kate is excited to join the Orion Academy PTO as secretary. Kate was born, raised, and still resides in Alameda! She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English and had the privilege of working in book and educational publishing for several years. She has been married for 18 years and her son is an 11th grader at Orion Academy. Kate enjoys dancing, hiking, and baking. She is grateful to have a supportive community like Orion and looks forward to meeting more families.

Member-at-Large – Anna Bach-y-Rita
Anna is a San Francisco native who has strived to improve the lives of children and families in the disability community. She received an undergraduate degree at Oberlin College, and graduate degrees from Rice University and California State University East Bay. Anna has worked as an educational psychologist, counselor, consultant, and special education advocate. She believes that all people should be given the tools they need to be successful. In her free time, Anna enjoys gardening, hiking, audiobooks, and spending time with her family.


Contact PTO officers with questions and we will steer you to the people who know the answers.