NUSD Race: Who Do You Represent?

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 sent to us by Natomas resident and former school board member Ron Dwyer-Voss is relevant because two measures on the November ballot could impact public education funding and the fact that not everyone who lives in the Natomas Unified School District boundaries and votes, has school-age children.

THE NATOMAS BUZZ asked, “If you are elected as a trustee of the Natomas Unified School District, who will you represent? Will you prioritize any particular group of people when acting in this capacity?”

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

Vina Guzman

As an elected trustee it is my responsibility to serve and represent every child and person that resides in the district. However, if it is presented to me that a certain group is in need of special attention, I will focus an appropriate amount of energy to the matter. When more than one group needs special attention at the same time, I will look at each one and prioritize according to their critical nature. With every decision that needs to be made I will always examine the facts and how it will affect every child and if I don’t have the facts, I will make sure I get them before making any decision. I want all kids to have a quality education in a safe environment. I pledge to serve the entire Natomas community and would be honored to have their vote on Election Day.

Mike Bedrosian

I am going to be representing the three most important groups of people in this district. I will be standing up for the teachers, the staff and most important, the children of our district. They are the faces of this district. They are what we should be fighting for. I am just a parent who wants the best for my children. The best is having the best teachers, the best support staff, there for them. Together we can make this a great district. We can keep our best teachers, we can keep our best support staff and we can make this a district that we can be proud to send our children to. A district we can call our own.

Ryan Herche

If elected as a trustee of the Natomas Unified School District, I promise to be an unwavering ally and friend to the parents, students, and hardworking taxpayers of this district. I’ll fight to give those without a voice a chance to be heard and will do everything in my power to promote equal and quality access to education and student safety. I intend to rebuild the foundation of what made Natomas Unified a bright spot for education in California: a strong parent-teacher relationship and an intense focus on student achievement. I’ll fight to ensure a world-class education for our students and will always be a good steward of district resources. Simply, I will always represent you.

HK Allen
As school board trustee, I will be a representative not only for active parents, teachers, staff, and students, but also for disenfranchised parents, teachers, staff, and students. I envision myself as a board member that engages parents that have lost confidence in the district, as well as those parents that have not yet had a chance to participate with their child’s school. By placing a premium on parent involvement the results would be a closer connection between the child’s home and school. It has been proven that parent involvement no matter what the social economic background, can improve the quality of education. I desire to have each of our schools on the distinguished school list, but this can only be done with the backing of our parents. As a school board trustee I would like to put policies in place that invest in and rewards parent involvement.

Karen Bernal
Parents place a high value in the stability of relationships between their children and the school staff who make it possible for their educational experience to be a positive one. For the child, it is the memory of a teacher who gave them encouragement, a lunch lady who cared about them, or a librarian who provided the spark of imagination that are remembrances that will be carried for a long time. I want to see the return of a culture that respects the people who work most closely with our students. As a parent, it’s important to me. I also care greatly about the relationship between parents and school staff, and in my capacity as trustee, I will work hard to establish a structural working relationship between the two, believing such a partnership will encourage understanding and agreement on most issues that may come before the district.

Bruce Roberts
Natomas Unified School District currently has almost 9,400 students enrolled; Natomas Unified serves a diverse population that is truly special. Over my four years as a trustee, every decision that I have made has been based on how to best serve the students. These decisions have not been easy, difficult decisions have had to be made, but I have always worked hard to keep the cuts away from the classroom and always put all the kids first. The schools in Natomas are succeeding and our students are doing great things. We have seen district wide API growth of over 45 points in three years, Whitter Ranch and Heron Elementary have been named California Distinguished Schools, there has been improvement in student achievement for English Language Arts and Math, along with improved graduation rates. As a Trustee for Natomas I will always work hard to make sure that every student succeeds. 

Briza Trujillo Cardenas
As a trustee, I will represent students, parents, employees and the community. But the interests, learning, and achievement of school children will be my number one priority. I will set a long-term vision and direction for our schools with the input of all these parties and focus on what students need in order to achieve their highest potential. And then ensure that ongoing board policies and decisions ultimately benefit ALL students. This includes setting financial priorities and looking for solutions and means that do not affect our children, solving labor agreements problems so teachers can teach, questioning how we spend district funds and if programs or services are working or not, and allowing and welcoming parents involvement in the education of their children. To me, this is the best way to represent and be accountable to the Natomas residents who entrust me their children and their tax dollars.

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

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