Karla Cisneros is a competent and compassionate public servant with a record of using smart development to help neighborhoods. She was elected to City Council in 2015. Her focus has been on the City’s role in providing opportunities for children, and on improving the infrastructure and quality of life in the under-resourced neighborhoods in which many of them live. She previously served on the HISD Board of Education from 2000 to 2006.

As a mom, neighborhood activist, school board member and elementary school teacher, Karla Cisneros has organized and led numerous grassroots efforts to improve educational opportunities for children and provide transformational support for neighborhoods. She led a grassroots effort in the Woodland Heights to improve her neighborhood school and helped make it into the heart of the neighborhood. 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. In her work as an an HISD Parent Involvement Specialist, she nurtured parental and community involvement in 25 schools. As HISD Board President, Karla led the search effort that resulted in the selection of HISD’s first Latino school superintendent. As a classroom teacher, she inspired and prepared her students, and strengthened family and community connections to her schools.

Karla has been a resident of Houston since 1980, and she and her husband Tim have three children, all of whom attended HISD schools.

Professional Experience

2016 - Present

Houston City Council Member, District H

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