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Principal's Message

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Welcome Home UP Panthers!


Welcome University Park Panthers to the 2023-24 School Year!  I am absolutely elated to be coming back HOME to my childhood elementary school again, as the principal! From Pumpkin Day to the Bike Rodeo, I simply can’t wait to experience all the rich traditions that have been maintained and continued, since I was a child at University Park.

Just a little about me:


I graduated from the University of Texas (Tyler) and obtained my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Lamar University.  My career has spanned three decades in the field of education, including four school districts.  I served as a classroom teacher, as well as an Instructional Specialist in the areas of Reading and Writing, Professional Development for Teachers, Mathematics, and Classroom Management, before becoming and administrator in three different school districts.  It is now my great joy to be back in the wonderful district of Highland Park, as principal of University Park. 

My husband, Carlos, and I are blessed with five children, ages 11-32.  He is also in the field of education.  We love spending time together on walks, in the swimming pool, and playing Trivial Pursuit! 

Our last name is actually easy to pronounce – BAN-WAY-LOS (long O)

University Elementary has a time honored practice of standing out in meeting students’ needs in both academic and social emotional learning, as well as partnering with families to work toward optimal school experiences for all learners.

The value that is added to the school environment by family involvement is vital to the school community – THANK YOU for partnering with us toward success!

The school staff and I can’t wait to begin this school year, together with all of our families! Thank you for loving our learners!