Karla Cisneros is a proven leader who gets things done. She was appointed to the HISD Board of Education in 2000, was elected to a full 4-year term in 2001, and served as Board President in 2004. As Board President, Karla led the search effort that resulted in the selection of HISD’s first Latino school superintendent.

A 35-year resident of Houston, Karla Cisneros has dedicated her adult life to working to improve public schools and her community. As a classroom teacher at Northline and Harvard Elementary schools, Karla taught and helped usher children through their lives. In addition to being a classroom teacher, she has worked as a science teacher and as a reading interventionist. She also worked as a Title 1 Parent Involvement Specialist, where she nurtured parental and community involvement in 25 schools in HISD’s North Central District.

As a school activist in the Woodland Heights, she organized numerous community efforts to make improvements at Travis Elementary School. She has been active in the PTA, the Friends of Travis, the Woodland Heights Civic Association, Parents for Public Schools, the Greater Heights Education Project, the SPARK Board, and the board of Multi-Cultural Education through Counseling in the Arts – MECA.

While serving as Assistant Director of the city’s SPARK School Park Program, Karla worked with parents and community members to develop over 20 school parks throughout the city.

Karla and her husband, Tim, have three children, all of whom attended HISD schools.


Professional Experience

2009 – 2015

HISD, Northline Elementary and Harvard Elementary, Third Grade Classroom Teacher


Baylor College of Medicine Center for Educational Outreach, Science Saturdays, Trainer of Teachers

Summer 2009

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center Summer Camp, Teacher

2006- 2009

Blue Crab Studio, Owner and Designer


Hermann Park Conservancy, Project Manager


HISD Parental Involvement & Community Engagement, Specialist


SPARK School Park Program, Assistant Director


Travis Elementary School, K-5 Science Teacher

Community Involvement

  • Member

    Woodland Heights Civic Association

  • Volunteer Counselor

    Texas A&M University Sea Camp
    Summer 2014

  • Member

    Texas Marine Educators Association

  • Leadership Team Member

    Baylor College of Medicine, Bridging the Gaps in Science
    Spring 2011

  • President

    HISD Board of Education

  • District 1 Trustee

    HISD Board of Education
    2000 – 2006

  • Former Board Member

    Joint City/County Commission on Children

  • Former Board Member

    SPARK School Park Program

  • Former Steering Committee Member

    Greater Heights Education Project

  • Former Board Member

    MECA – Multi-Cultural Education through Counseling in the Arts

  • Original Coordinator

    Travis Elementary SPARK Park

  • Travis Elementary PTA

    Travis Elementary PTA

Educational Experience

Texas Teaching Certificate, 2009

University of Houston-Downtown
ACP in Urban Education

Master of Architecture, 1983

Rice University
School of Architecture

Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Science, 1976

University of Virginia