NUSD Race: Where Do You Stand On Past Board Decisions?

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

THE NATOMAS BUZZ invited the 10 candidates for Natomas Unified school board to participate in a series of articles wherein they answer questions submitted by readers.

Today’s question was sent to us by Valeri Garcia. THE NATOMAS BUZZ asked, “How are your positions different or similar to the decisions made by the current school board within the last year?”

Here are the answers we received by the deadline, in the order they were received:

Scott Dosick

NUSD needs to do a better job of engaging our community. I do not believe that it is better to beg forgiveness than ask permission, especially when it affects our kids, their schools, and their education. I do not believe that two minutes of public comment constitutes community engagement.  It is naïve to expect us to accept changes in the delivery of programs without a conversation.  As a school district, we need to engage our community and other stakeholders in mutually satisfactory conversations. They cannot expect us to be persuaded during a brief presentation that PE and art can be taught by our regular classroom teachers. They cannot expect us to accept Trustee Area maps that were drawn to protect “communities of interest” without discussing them with those communities. As your trustee, I will proactively engage and communicate with our community prior to voting on issues of significant importance.

Mike Bedrosian

My positions differs from the current board on the basis that if elected I will ensure that all parties are heard from. I will personally check and double check all issues that arise. I would also ensure that I have all sides to an issue, not just taking the word of select individuals. My primary focus will remain what is in the best interest of the children, teachers, staff and parents in our district. If elected my decisions will reflect this promise. Nothing but the best is good enough from this point forward.

Ryan Herche 

My laser-like focus on student achievement is what separates me from the current school board. I’ll work diligently to rescue students from failing schools and provide them with the alternatives they deserve. I vigorously oppose wasteful spending on bloated administration, attorneys, and consultants. Money belongs in the classroom. Recently, the board voted to approve a two-year appointment for an executive director position in the district office with a base salary of $118,500 plus benefits. It’s hard to justify a new six-figure position in the main office that has little or no classroom interaction. I would have voted against this. To increase transparency, I’d introduce an action item requiring audio/video recording of school board meetings to improve public access to our representatives. There is no credible reason for the board to meet with the cameras off. Natomas residents should be afforded every opportunity possible to hold their elected officials accountable.

Briza Trujillo Cardenas

My positions will be different in several ways. I will put the needs of students first. If we don’t, students will drop out or pursue other poor choices. Our priority must be to invest in students and programs so we challenge our gifted students, support our most needy students as well as encourage clubs or activities that the students could be part of and want, like robotics, animation, and technology. This also includes support training that encourages teachers to engage students in their education. I will promote fiscal transparency – books open to public so all sides see what there is or isn’t available to spend. I will bring parents in as true partners in a child’s education. Parents are knowledgeable and could bring a lot of skills and support to our schools and students. Last, I will be willing to listen/work with all sides before making a decision.  

Karen Bernal

I appreciate the challenges of serving on a school board; however, if we are to have true progress, we as a community must learn from our mistakes and do whatever it takes to not repeat them. Choices were made, and our children are paying the price. Choices like increasing administrative positions and salaries, simultaneously cutting positions close to the classroom, while telling the world the district’s finances are in dire straits.  Choices like the 11th hour decision to make Leroy Greene Academy a dependent charter, though the community was promised a magnet school.  Choices like taking a valuable technology program from Natomas Middle and sending it to LGA. Choices like cutting library staff hours to a level which denies them health benefits – a decision which is causing the district thousands in legal fees, and will likely result in retroactive pay for the affected employees. We can do better!

HK Allen

I agree with the board when it comes to the honoring of staff, teachers and students on their achievements and dedication to the school district. Where I differ is with the board’s decisions on sensitive subjects like the budget, policy and recommendation from consultants. Which consultant was it that thought it would be a great decision to cut jobs, no less than thirty minutes from giving administrative staff raises in the same meeting? No matter if the raises were just; the action was nothing more than disrespecting district teachers and staff. If the board felt that these raises were just, it would been best to have facilitated the granting of raises during a different meeting; showing humility to those who just lost their jobs. It is decisions like this which have driven the community to take action. 

Have a question you’d like to ask the candidates? Send it to us at [email protected].


  1. […] times Herche ran for school board prior to being elected in November 2012, his platform included introducing an action item to require video recordings of board meetings which would then be made available to the public in podcast […]

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