Kim Tunnell has served in public education since 1985 in both Texas and California. Educational training spanned multiple Universities with a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Eastern Washington University, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from California State University in Bakersfield. She earned her doctoral degree from Texas A&M Commerce in Educational Leadership in December 2018.
Dr. Tunnell’s educational background began as a teacher with positions in middle school math, primary, and intermediate grades. Following 12 years in the classroom, her transition to central office began with the role of district literacy facilitator and then Coordinator of Special Projects. This experience led to her first principal position on a low-performing Title I campus. In the course of the three years of leadership, the campus became a Title I Achieving Schools and went on to become a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School.
Upon arrival to Tyler ISD in 2001, Dr. Tunnell served as acting principal and instructional consultant before moving into the role of Coordinator of Staff Development at central office. The remaining 10 years in Tyler were spent in the positions of Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction where math and science scores increased by over 20% while closing the achievement gap between subgroups. Dr. Tunnell also led the community strategic planning process in the role of Executive Director of Strategic Planning. She served as the Chief Leadership and Performance Officer before being hired as Superintendent in Mineola ISD.
Kim Tunnell has served on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of East Texas and is an active church member in the community. Other educational service includes positions as Adjunct Professor at California State University Bakersfield and Texas College, along with a teaching assistant position at University of Texas Tyler. Dr. Tunnell established a business, Tunnell Leadership Consultants, in 2003 and has consulted with districts across Texas and Nationally as well as presentations at national and state conferences. She currently serves on the UT Health East Texas Quitman Hospital Board.
Dr. Tunnell joined Mineola ISD in June 2015 as Superintendent and has worked to build partnerships with parents, staff and the community. A comprehensive strategic plan was developed in 2016 and she and the school board are working to create a quality learning environment for students in order to prepare them for their future. She led the district to become the first in the region to file for District of Innovation status and was asked to represent Region 7 on the TEA Commissioner Rural Schools Task Force committee. Her support of new and aspiring superintendents includes serving on Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) committees and presenting at the First Time Superintendent Academy sessions. She also serves on the State UIL Executive Committee.
Kim and her husband of over 30 years are blessed to have three children along with twin grandsons and one granddaughter. Her passion is education and learning here locally as well in Zambia, Africa where she has established a foundation and school. She is a staunch advocate for public education as one of the cornerstones of our nation’s democracy