Five years ago, the Natomas Unified School District was nearly insolvent. Today it’s in the black, with a new International Baccalaureate program, strong charters, record high graduation rates and a gathering enrollment boom.
Part of that is the economy and the lifting of an area construction moratorium, but part is also planning. That’s why we advise re-election of both incumbents in this year’s race for three board seats, and endorse a hardworking newcomer for a third vacancy.
CSU Sacramento education professor Susan Heredia, a 36-year Natomas resident on her fourth term, brings institutional knowledge to an expanding district. And Scott Dosick, a tax credit expert at GO-Biz with two children in the district, brings financial and school-level expertise. Dosick helped bring the IB program to Inderkum High School, served on the board of Westlake Charter, and gets the need for balance between charters and traditional schools.
Three candidates are vying for the third open seat. Reichel Everhart, a PTA parent, legislative consultant and teacher’s spouse, has been endorsed by the teachers union. David DeLuz, a policy director at the California School Board Association and former head of the Greater Sacramento Urban League, does local political commentary on the side with his conservative brother.
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Both want better communication, and both would give teachers a stronger voice in a district dogged by toxic labor relations. But this board mostly needs teamwork, which is why we endorse Micah Grant, a 29-year-old community volunteer and press secretary at the Board of Equalization who knows the district and has strong interpersonal skills.
A five-year resident of Natomas, Grant has tutored local youths, hoping, he says, to pay forward the mentorship he had as a teenager at one of South Central Los Angeles’ most gang-ridden high schools. As a scholarship student at UC Davis, he interned in the Schwarzenegger administration; four years ago, he managed the campaign of outgoing trustee Ryan Herche, who has chosen not to run for re-election.
Herche was a contrarian on charters and taxes. But Grant’s style is more collaborative, and he has knocked on thousands of doors and reached out to all sides. As an African American Republican, he also brings diversity to a board that could connect more effectively.