Six Run in Natomas Special Election Race

School board candidates Brenda Borge, Scott Dosick, Amir Khan and Krystal King participated in a candidate forum moderated by the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County on Oct. 2. Candidate Monique Hokman was ill and unable to attend. / Photo

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Ballots are scheduled to arrive in the mail this week for the Natomas Unified School District school board special election on Nov. 7, 2023.

Six candidates are running for the school district’s Trustee Area 4 seat which has been vacant since April 2023, when Cindy Quiralte resigned less than five months into a four-year term.

In May, the remaining four Natomas Unified school board members voted to hold a special election to fill the vacant seat for the remainder of Quiralte’s term, rather than create a short-term appointment until the 2024 election.

To run in this race, candidates must reside within Trustee Area 4 which encompasses an area north of Del Paso Road and west of Natomas Boulevard and includes the Natomas Park and Creekside neighborhoods.

Although six names appear on the ballot, only five candidates have been actively campaigning and participating in local forums hosted by Natomas-area charter schools, Natomas Black Parents United and The Natomas Buzz with the League of Women Voters and Natomas Park Masters Association. They are, in alphabetical order:

Brenda Borge

Brenda Borge has lived in Natomas since 1989 and in Trustee Area 4 since 2000. She was a long-time employee of the Natomas Unified School District as both a teacher and counselor. Borge first started working for the Natomas district as a substitute teacher in 1993 and joined the staff full time in 1997. She retired in 2021.

“I am running to represent Area 4 because I have worked with the educators of Natomas and in our schools and I believe that this district can be the destination district in the Sacramento region – and that is so important when educators are in such short supply,” said Borge. “We have such an excellent opportunity moving forward, with a new superintendent, to build exciting programs and to retain terrific educators.”

If elected, Borge said her top priorities would be to retain staff by making the district attractive to new and veteran teachers, focus on educating the whole child by increasing art and music programs, and continue services for students such as mental health programs, social and emotional supports.

“My goals in Natomas have always been to move the district forward and provide more for students. In many ways, when I was an employee I advocated for things that other districts were not doing yet – like social workers or virtual school programs, which I advocated for long before covid,” Borge said. “I will continue to do this – Natomas should be a regional leader and that is what I will strive to do.”

Borge has a bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology from UC Davis, a master’s Degree in Education from the University of Southern California and multicultural teaching and counseling credential from Sacramento State University.

“My goal is to create programs that respond to the needs of the whole child, like bringing in more robust arts and music, and continuing to expand on mental health supports and inclusive classroom practices,” said Borge. “I support the community schools model, in which the voices of not just the administration, but that of the students and the community are heard in the leadership of the school – as this model is proven to improve outcomes for students.”

Scott Dosick

Scott Dosick has lived in Natomas since 1999. He has worked at the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development in the CalCompetes Program since 2014. In 2020, he was appointed as Deputy Director of CalCompetes by Gov. Gavin Newsom. He served as a Natomas Unified School Board member from 2012 to 2020. He has two sons who attended Natomas schools.

“As a father of two boys who have spent their whole lives in Natomas, I know firsthand how important it is to ensure all Natomas students have access to a safe, inclusive, and responsive educational environment,” said Dosick. “As a proven advocate for quality education in Natomas schools, I commit to expanding college readiness and career technical education programs, balancing the budget, prioritizing parental input and perspectives, keeping students and staff safe, and supporting teachers to deliver the best in-classroom outcomes.”

If elected, Dosick said his top priorities would be to increase graduation rates through targeted intervention and improved college and career readiness programs, ensure all students have access to academic and career readiness training programs regardless of which school they attend, and implement diversity and inclusion programs and counseling services to protect students, families and staff from discrimination, bullying and harassment.

“Students district-wide continue to suffer from pandemic-induced learning loss. We can and must do better,” said Dosick. “We need to offer in-class intervention and free after school programs to get our students back on track to graduate on time, both academically and emotionally prepared to succeed in college and/or the workplace. As a single dad of two kids attending virtual Zoom school during the pandemic, I saw firsthand the toll it took on them and their classmates – emotionally, socially, and academically.”

Dosick has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA and master’s degree in Public Administration from George Washington University.

“We need to make sure that all Natomas schools offer programs that parents want and kids need to ensure that all of our kids graduate ready to go to college or embark on a career,” said Dosick.

Monique Hokman

Monique Hokman has lived in Natomas for about a decade. She owns a small business centered on remediation and environmental testing. Hokman ran for the Trustee Area 4 school board seat in 2022. She has three children who attend Natomas schools.

“As a mother, I’m devastated by the fact that our children are struggling with literacy,” said Hokman. “Literacy rates in Natomas Unified are shockingly low and we need a collaborative plan that is bold and really dares to move the needle. We have to believe in our children and expect more from them.”

If elected, Hokman said she would strive to improve literacy, support students with disabilities and enhance school safety plans.

“Literacy issues are a district-wide problem,” she added. “The entire district needs to be fully vested in tackling this problem.”

Hokman has an associate’s degree in cosmetology and maintains professional certificates in remediation and environmental testing as part of her business.

Amir Khan

Amir Khan moved to Natomas more than a decade ago. He’s a small business owner and an independent logistics and supply chain consultant. Previously, he served as an instructor of human resources for the U.S. Army Reserves. He has three children who attend Natomas schools.

“I have a personal stake in the success of the district, and I’m dedicated to helping NUSD reach excellence,” Khan said. “A robust and prominently ranked school district will not only excel in preparing our kids for success after high school, but also attract new families and foster economic growth and prosperity in the area. A win-win.”

If elected, Khan said he would seek equity in education addressing achievement gaps, promote family and community engagement and open lines of communication, and enhance educational and technological resources supporting educators.\

“I believe there is always room for improvement,” said Khan. “My goal for the district as a whole, including parents, teachers, staff, administrators, and board members is to seek, understand, and implement best practices that will yield the most positive outcome for our students.”

Khan has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, Northridge, a graduate certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology SCALE program and master of engineering in logistics and supply chain management from the Zaragoza Logistics Center in Spain.

“Natomas has the right ingredients and I believe I have the recipe for success,” said Khan.

Krystal King

Krystal King has lived in Natomas for 15 years. She is an early childhood educator for ages 0-8 year olds and has owned and operated an Early Learning Program for a decade. She has five children who attend Natomas schools.

“I am running for office because I fervently believe schools are communities,” said King. “One consistent and shared commonality is that we all want our children to obtain an excellent education. If we collaborate as a community, we can achieve this.”

If elected, King said she would improve learning outcomes for all students, increase specialized programs and opportunities for fruitful career paths following high school, and advance family engagement through community partnerships and collaboration.

“An overarching goal I have for the school district as a whole is to positively impact math and (English Language Arts) learning outcomes and scores,” said King. “This is an area of learning that requires immediate focus and attention.”
King attended American River College and Sacramento City College. She holds a Child Development Teacher Permit issued by California Commision on Teacher Credentialing and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Massachusetts Global.

“My professional experience as an Early Childhood Educator along with my experience as a parent in the Natomas Unified School District for nearly two decades equips me for this achievement,” said King. “With my candidacy, I know I am the one with the ability to foster these relationships and build our community.”

The sixth candidate Shahzad “Shawn” Anwar did not respond to emails or text messages after The Natomas Buzz made initial contact by email and telephone. Anwar is listed on the ballot as a technologist, realtor and parent.

The new school board member for Trustee Area 4 will be sworn in at a regular board meeting after the Nov. 7 election is certified. The newly elected school board member will complete the term for the Trustee Area 4 seat, which runs through December 2026.

A ballot drop box will be available at the North Natomas Library, 4660 Via Ingoglia, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, starting Oct. 9 and including Election Day. A vote center will be available at the library 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7.

NUSD Map for trustees

Map of NUSD Trustee Areas/ NUSD Photo


  1. […] Six candidates in all are running for the school district’s Trustee Area 4 seat which has been vacant since April 2023, when Cindy Quiralte resigned less than five months into a four-year term. […]

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