It’s official! The Natomas Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved the names of its two newest schools and the library at the brand new Paso Verde School at the April 14, 2021, board meeting.
For the future Dual Immersion school that will be located on the east end of Club Center Drive in North Natomas, the school is named in honor of the Heredia-Arriaga family, long-time supporters of English Language Learners. Susan Heredia has served the Natomas School Board since 2000, becoming the first Latina elected to the Board of Trustees. Currently the President-Elect of the California School Board Association, Heredia along with her husband, Salvador Arriaga are well-known throughout the state for their tremendous contributions to education. Having both served as teachers and in many other educational capacities, they continue to be frequently called upon throughout the state to provide insight and guidance related to English Language Learners. Their children attended Natomas schools, and Susan and Sal continue to call the Natomas community home.
Larry G. Meeks Academy
For the future Virtual Academy that will open in fall 2021 for families looking for an innovative virtual option for their students to learn, thrive, and grow, the school is named in honor of community member, local artist and former NUSD Trustee Larry Meeks. Pastor Meeks served as a Trustee from 1986-2000 becoming the first African American elected to the Board of Trustees. He was integral in the unification of the district in 1992. Meeks is highly respected and well-known in the Sacramento region serving as Pastor of Williams Memorial Church since 2005, a talented artist with public displays throughout the City of Sacramento, and a syndicated columnist in publications throughout the nation. A dedicated supporter of K-12 education, he’s been a long-time resident of Natomas with his wife of more than 50 years, 2 children, and grandchildren.
Paso Verde School Library in Honor of Bernard Marks
The brand new Paso Verde School library will be named in honor of Bernard Marks, another longtime resident of Natomas, well known in the region for his courage and education that he has provided as a Holocaust Survivor. Always ready and eager to share about his experience during the Holocaust, Marks spoke at schools and community events, teaching history and the importance of embracing diversity. When he moved to the United States, he became an engineer and worked in aeronautics. After retirement, he created scholarships, volunteered at the Sacramento Public Library, and continued to educate others about the Holocaust until his passing in 2018 at the age of 89.
We’re extremely honored to have these well-respected longtime Natomas residents as part of the legacy of the Natomas Unified School District.