Position: History Teacher
School: Ruben S. Ayala High School
School District: Chino Valley Unified School District
City, State: Chino Hills, California
About the Nominee: Jennifer Puente was nominated by her principal, Diana Yarboi. This is the second year she has been nominated for LifeChanger of the Year. She was previously nominated in 2014-15.
On any given day, walk into Ms. Puente’s classroom and you will enter a room filled with passion, energy and creativity. As a veteran teacher with over 25 years of experience, her commitment to education is seen in the programs that she is a part of.
Ms. Puente impacts students' lives daily through teaching US History and serving as an AVID teacher and coordinator. Her U.S. history students are excited to learn with the creative, fun and interactive activities she incorporates into the lesson. Ms. Puente has also brought life back to the AVID program at Ayala High School, helping first-generation college students make the dream of college a reality. Under her leadership, the program has grown from one section to six. Last year, 98% of the seniors were accepted into 4-year colleges. She mentors new and seasoned teachers on ways to make their teaching more effective and impactful, working with them one on one as well as through professional development.
High school can be a challenging time, and Ms. Puente knows that she only has one chance to make a difference. She gets excited about teaching, and it rubs off on her students; they look forward to coming to her class every day. Students who have had the privilege of being in her classroom know they are lucky to have her. She teaches them to care for the world they are about to walk into, care about other people and care enough about themselves to be the best person they can be.