She is a graduate of the Holdsworth two-year Leadership Program and was a 2023 Principal of the Year state finalist in the HEB Excellence in Education Awards program.
Banuelos comes to HP from Mesquite ISD, where she served six years as an elementary principal. Prior to her MISD experience, she served as an elementary principal in Gilmer and an elementary assistant principal in Allen after serving as a self-contained classroom teacher and a District Instructional Specialist. She has a total of 30 years of experience in education.
"Kim's passion and understanding of school leadership are commendable," HPISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Rockwood said. "Throughout her career, she has consistently demonstrated an ability to drive academic achievement, leaving a lasting positive impact on the schools she has led. Kim's dedication to student growth fostered through collaborative teamwork, is inspiring and will serve the UP community well. We are thrilled to have her join the HPISD team, as her expertise and commitment will undoubtedly keep our students on a path to unrivaled success and opportunities."
"Joining the HPISD team and serving as the new principal at UP feels like I'm coming home," Banuelos said. "I attended UP as an elementary student and it's surreal to return as the campus leader at the school that gave me the foundation of a great education. It is an honor to give back to a community that gave to me in my youth."
Banuelos earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Texas-Tyler and her master's in elementary administration from Lamar University.
She and her husband, Carlos have five children - Stephen, Hayley and Lily are all grown and living on their own. Their two youngest children are Alexis, a sophomore, and Daniela who is entering the sixth grade.