Natomas School Board Race: Holding the Superintendent Accountable

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz


We invited the 10 candidates running for Natomas Unified school board to answer questions submitted by readers. Today’s question asked:

“As a member of the Natomas Unified School board, the superintendent is your employee. How would you hold the superintendent accountable for achieving the goals the school board has adopted?”

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

Micah Grant

As your elected trustee, I believe it’s vital to hold our superintendent accountable for achieving clear goals that reflect our community’s priorities. The goals we have established include equity, student achievement, student safety, infrastructure improvements, and regular district communication with parents, students and teachers. We’ve also set specific timelines and an annual evaluation process to measure the superintendent’s progress in meeting these important goals. This evaluation process is directly linked to the superintendent’s pay and retention. We give students grades to track their progress; it only makes sense we do the same with the school officials who are entrusted with our students’ education.


Ericka Harden

As a member of the Natomas Unified School Board and the superintendent is my employee I would establish a respectable working relationship with boundaries that do not cross any lines of favoritism. The superintendent is a dignitary that deserves respect and will be presented with the proper information to understand and follow the policies that the school board has adopted. There is no room for a circumstance of a conflict of interest or a violation of policy that can be mutually respected as professionals representing the schools and the people in the district. In order to be respected, one must be respectable.

Mariana Corona Sabeniano

Accountability and transparency are among the key traits to serving in public office. If elected, I will hold the superintendent and myself to the highest standard. I have experience leading, managing, and supervising individuals through my day job and through work with various organizations. I have the skills to oversee NUSD and the superintendent. I will expect the superintendent to celebrate the victories of NUSD, but also to constantly identify areas in need of improvement and solutions. I understand change takes time and may be incremental, but ensuring we have a clear vision in sight is a must. As a school board member, I will come prepared to meetings, will ask questions, and will take input from parents, teachers, staff, and the community to evaluate and identify creative solutions. Together, we can establish clear goals and metrics to ensure we are all working towards common goals that prioritize student learning.


Monica Barrios

The Superintendent should be held accountable through an annual performance evaluation. The performance evaluation should be focused on how well the Superintendent is making progress on the goals to achieve the district’s vision of students graduating as college and career ready, productive, responsible, and engaged global citizens.



Sumiti Mehta

Chris Evans is highly paid, very visible district leader and is responsible for meeting goals set by the board. Leading a district is not an easy job. As a trustee I will build a strong relationship with the superintendent and his team to advance the goal of lifelong student success. As a representative, I will take my duty to function as oversight of the administration very seriously. I will make sure that fellow trustees, teachers, and charter leaders have a voice while setting goals, including setting specific targets and deadlines for improving student learning for the superintendent. These goals will be clear, focused, and will be included in the superintendent’s performance evaluation. In addition to student achievement, positive communication with diverse groups, and the ability to facilitate contentious decisions will be part of the evaluation process. I will tie compensation and renewal of superintendents contract to the annual evaluation.

Dr. Susan Heredia

As your local school board member, it is my responsibility for maintaining and administering the schools within Natomas and for enforcing state laws and regulations. The only person the school board hires to implement the board’s vision and goals is the Superintendent. My experience in management in the College of Education at Sacramento State and as the Vice-President of the California School Board Association, is directly applicable to my job as a trustee in working as a team with the superintendent to hold him accountable for implementing our district goals. To do that we: 1) meet every year to develop our goals with the superintendent; 2) at the six-month mark discuss the progress in meeting those goals; and, 3) yearly have a board assessment of the superintendent. To learn more about the board adopted vision, goals, core beliefs and commitments for which we hold the superintendent accountable for – visit:

Christopher Alvarez

The superintendent’s role is to take the policies, goals, and objectives set by the board and translate them into real programs and actions that achieve results. In order to hold the superintendent accountable, the board should work closely with the superintendent and clearly set their expectations for performance and evaluation. I would evaluate the superintendent’s performance on a regular basis with input from all stakeholders. A culture of transparency and collaborative leadership is necessary to build success for our students and schools.

RayNette Johnson

I’m certainly optimistic that all members will develop a rapport, and being that we’re all striving for the same common goal, I have high expectations and don’t foresee any issues. However, I will talk one on one with the Superintendent and aid him with adopting our goals. If the problem persists, following the school board protocol will be my next act; we want to stay productive.

The Natomas Buzz is hosting a second online candidate forum 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 22. Register here. Students from Natomas Charter School, Westlake Charter School, and Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep will host a student-facilitated candidate forum 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 which will be broadcast live via YouTube.

The deadline to register to vote in California is Oct. 19. Register online at

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