Natomas School Board Race: Meet the Candidates

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Updated at 1 p.m.

2022 marks the first time Natomas Unified board members will be elected to represent a specific geographic area within the school district’s boundaries.

Previously, school board members were elected at-large by all voters within the school district. Now, a board member who resides in each trustee area can be elected by only those registered voters who live in that specific geographic area.

Due to the shift from at-large to by-trustee area elections, two current school board members are not eligible to run for reelection. That means there are two seats — Trustee Area 1 and Trustee Area 4 — on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Trustee Area 1

Megan Allen and Noel Mora are running to represent an area of the Natomas Unified School District largely located south of West El Camino Avenue and west of Interstate 5 which includes American Lakes School, Leroy Greene Academy and Two Rivers Elementary School.

Megan Allen

Allen, an IHSS homecare provider, has lived in Natomas for 40 years. Her oldest son graduated from Natomas Charter School and she has volunteered at Witter Ranch, Westlake Charter and Natomas Charter schools.

“I care about the families in our community and want the children to receive the best education possible,” Allen wrote in a candidate questionnaire. “My goal is to ensure there (are) more support programs for single parents and for the district to be creative about academic and athletic enrichment.”

Allen’s top priorities are parental rights, academic achievement and school safety.

“I want to ensure that every child is college and career ready through academic success and promote curriculum that is rigorous and challenges our students to be creative,” she wrote. “As a mother of a special needs student, I want to ensure children on individualized education plans are fully supported and have the resources necessary to succeed.”

Noel Mora

Mora, who works at Sacramento State University, has lived in Natomas his entire life and attended Jefferson Elementary, Bannon Creek Elementary and Natomas Charter School.

“I believe there is a place on our school board for someone who grew up in our schools and who now works in education,” Mora wrote in a candidate questionnaire. “I have my own lived experience to draw upon, but also, I have those of my siblings, cousins, and neighbors. I have helped students during incredibly difficult times, and I have seen the trends we are facing, as well as the biggest challenges towards education.”

Mora’s top priorities are school safety and well being, literacy and math success and paths toward college and trade schools.

“I am ready to be a Natomas school board member (who) advances equity and inclusion in our district’s curriculum, operations and governance,” he wrote. “The role of public education is to prepare our students to be diligent members of society, which includes ensuring they have as full of an understanding as possible about our past and present.”

Trustee Area 4

Monique Hokman and Cindy Quiralte are running to represent an area of the district north of Del Paso Road and west of Natomas Boulevard which includes Heron School, H. Allen Hight Elementary and Natomas Middle School.

Hokman, a business owner, has lived in Trustee Area 4 for seven years. She currently has children attending Heron School, Star Academy and Inderkum High School and her oldest daughter previously attend Natomas Park Elementary and the Leading Edge program.

“I’m running for Trustee Area 4 to ensure parents, students, and families have a real voice on the board in combating learning disruption and implementing strategies that prepare students for college and diverse careers,” Hokman wrote in a candidate questionnaire. “I will also focus on closing the achievement gap and addressing the shortcomings that prevent students from performing well on standardized tests.”

Hokman’s top priorities are safety, supporting educators and academic achievement.

“Students should feel safe and secure on campus,” she wrote. “Teachers need more support. Addressing learning loss and disruption is a top priority.”

Quiralte, who works as the Family Engagement Coordinator for the California Department of Education, has lived in Natomas for nearly 10 years. She has a student who attends Heron School.

“As a parent, I am passionate about ensuring our students are provided opportunities for diverse academic and career success,” Quiralte wrote on a candidate questionnaire. “I will fight for safe schools, greater parental engagement options, and support a budget that prioritizes student achievement. I have a long track record of serving as an advocate for equity.”

Quiralte’s top priorities are school safety, social emotional learning and equity.

“A goal I have for the Natomas Unified School District as a whole is to support access to early child hood development opportunities and supporting highly qualified teachers,” she wrote.

The four candidates running for Natomas Unified school board will be answering questions submitted by readers leading up to the Nov. 8 election.

You may also be interested in:

County Officials to Hold Public Hearing on Natomas Unified School District Election Proposal
Lawsuit Alleges Natomas Unified School District has Violated California Voting Rights Act Timeline

Due to establishing of by-trustee area representation within the Natomas Unified School District boundaries, trustees Jag Bains and Lisa Kaplan were ineligible to run for re-election in 2022 as they reside within the same trustee area as Susan Herredia, who was re-elected in 2020. / Map: Natomas Unified School District

Speak Your Mind