Meet the Puente Staff

Mrs. Danielle Sovine

Puente Counselor & Coordinator

Phone: 951.788.7203 ext. 64232


Hello All, I am the Puente School Counselor, and look forward to all the adventure that high school will bring to your child. I believe in walking next to my students and their parents through these fours year, and look forward to the journey that they will take after Graduation. I grew up in Riverside, and did not venture too far. I am a proud of my city, the people that make it home, and love that I am able to raise my children here.

My education in Riverside started in the private sector, where I attending St Katherine's elementary school, my mom believed in catholic education. Unfortunately, the cost became too much for my parents who both were hard workers, but did not have college degrees. The transition to Public school was a scary time for our family, but I attend Jefferson Elementary and found people there that were like me. We all had struggles and most of us has no idea that college would be an option. I continued my education through Sierra Middle School and on to Ramona HS. Yes! I am a proud to be a Ramona Ram. Within high school, I played sports volleyball and swim. Being an Athlete was what defined me as a person. I work hard every day to keep my grades up and be at a every practice. We were never state champions, but we were a team. Being team is something that I think every student should experience, whether on a sports team, or in the classroom. During high school, I had an opportunity to work in the counseling office and work closely with my high school counselor. I graduated and was off to UCR straight out of high school.

At UCR I majored in English with the intention of teaching. I graduated in three years from UCR in 2000 and promptly enrolling the credential program. My first teaching job was at my former home, Sierra MS. I love teaching Literature and showing my students the beauty of a book. Soon thereafter, I moved to Poly High School as an English Teacher in 2003. Not certain how this would work, I was a proud Ramona Ram now in Bear territory? However, I was greeted with open arms, and was adopted by the Poly Family. I worked as an English teacher for about 3 years and decided to go back to school, to become a school counselor. Even though I loved to teach literature, I wanted to be able to help the whole student. I was able to get a School counseling job, in 2006, and stay at my new home, Poly HS.

Along this journey, I met the love of my life, Nye. We met working at the Home Depot when I was in college, and have two sons. We are a proud Bear family, my boys have been around green and orange their whole lives. Currently, my oldest Coen is a senior and will be graduating this year proud of his time spent as a Bear. My youngest Dylan, is a freshman and loves finally "officially" being a Bear. Even if I was adopted into the family, this School Counselor is a Green and Orange Mamma Bear. (Sorry Ramona friends)

As I look forward, I am excited to see the journey ahead and would love to welcome you to be a part of our Family.

Mrs. Lupe Avila

Puente Teacher & Coordinator

Phone: 951.788.7203 ext. 64076


Welcome to the Puente Family!

My name is Lupe Avila and I will be your Puente English teacher for your 9th and 10th grade years. I wanted to start off by giving you a sense of who I am and why I love what I do.

I was born and raised in sunny San Diego, California. I grew up building sand castles on the beach and eating carne asada tacos at my uncle’s restaurant in Mission Beach. Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around sports! I grew up in a football and baseball town, so I am a huge fan of the San Diego Chargers and remain a Charger Girl even now that they are in Los Angeles. I have traded in the Padres and embraced the Angels! I also love my L.A. Lakers because when I grew up in San Diego, we had the Clippers, and really, who wanted to admit they were a Clippers fan?

When I was 16, I moved to Riverside and became a student at Poly High School. Poly looked a little different then. We didn’t have the 2500 students we have now and our cultural diversity was a lot less diverse! I felt out of place from my San Diego home, but over time I grew to love Riverside, especially the sweet smell of orange blossoms that bloom in the early spring. After high school, I attended Riverside Community College and then California State University, San Bernardino where I majored in journalism. I wanted to be the next morning news anchor at KTLA, but then I realized that waking up to go to work at 3:00 in the morning is NOT my idea of a good time.

I transferred to UC Riverside after two years and changed my major to English and Ethnic Studies. During this time, I began volunteering in my daughter’s kindergarten class and fell in love with teaching. I truly feel joy when I see kids learning! I loved the thought of being able to make a difference in children’s lives and helping them achieve their goals and dreams. After college, I began my teaching career at Pachappa Elementary (GO TIGERS!). After five years, I had the opportunity to open a brand new middle school in the small town of Nuevo, right outside of Lake Perris. I spent four years at Mountain Shadows Middle School teaching English and Social Studies to 7th and 8th graders. I enjoyed middle school, but I was ready for a new challenge, so back to Poly I came!

To me, Poly is my home. I married my husband, Ruben, also a Poly graduate, and we both work here on campus. Our oldest daughter, Alyssa, graduated from here in 2008 and we now have three other kids who are proud Poly graduates as well. Ruben is a graduate of the class of 2014, and is now beginning his junior year at Cal State San Bernardino, majoring in Communications, and Alex Victoria is a member of the Poly Class of 2015 and will be finishing her sophomore year at Riverside Community College where she is pursuing a degree in elementary education. We also have a daughter, Maya, who was a proud member of the Poly Class of 2017, but resides in paradise (heaven) after a ten-month battle with Lupus. She passed away on July 17, 2013, but we know she is our angel and my inspiration to always strive to make the world a better place. Our family is completed by our daughter, Brianna, who has grown up in the Green & Orange and is now a junior here at Poly. We are truly a Poly PRIDE kind of Family!

As each one of you begins to write your “book” on life, I ask you to reflect on this, “When Poly High School becomes a chapter in your life, how will it be written?” Thank you for allowing me to play a part in your future and I hope that through this process, you will learn just how much each of you will play a special part in my Poly chapter!

Colleen Cunningham

Puente English, Grade 12

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Stacey Shindler

Puente English, Grade 11


It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Riverside Poly High School Puente Program. This program is challenging and nurturing, and will provide many opportunities for you to grow both academically, as well as socially. The curriculum for you has been carefully planned through implementation of the California Common Core Standards for 11th grade English. Students will be exposed to excellent literature while they learn and practice such skills as reading comprehension, note-taking strategies, academic writing, speaking, development of vocabulary, spelling, grammar, knowledge of literary terminology/elements and research skills. It is my goal as a teacher to ensure a consistently high-quality educational experience for all of my students. I believe that teaching is the most rewarding career and lifestyle one can choose. Furthermore, I have made it my life’s ambition to be a life-long teacher and learner, and hopefully, I can instill these same values upon you.


The Business End:

I currently have a Bachelor’s of Humanities in English from University of California, Riverside, as well as a Professional Clear Teaching Credential with CLAD qualifications from California State University San Bernardino. I have been here at Poly High School since 2004 and have taught various levels of English, including Language Development, Introduction to Literature, World Literature, CAHSEE preparatory for language learners, American Literature and British Literature.

On the lighter side:

I am a huge Buffalo Bills fan. I have been a fan of the Bills since they beat the Raiders 51-3 in the AFC championship (Poor Raider fans). It is difficult to be a fan of the Bills, as they have only seen the playoffs once in the last 18 seasons. But, I am a faithful fan.

I am also a major Boston Celtics fan with strong distaste for the Lakers. What can I say, I began to love basketball as a kid, growing up in the 80s. I loved watching Larry Bird, Kevin Mchale, Robert Parrish, Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson. My second favorite NBA team is whoever is playing the Lakers.

I am also a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yes, I have suffered extreme disappointment in the last few seasons. However, I have great hope that my Dodgers have not missed their window to get the World Series Championship.

If you venture into my room, you'll find that I am a fan of Star Wars. Perhaps fan is not a sufficient term here. I might be slightly obsessed with it. In fact, I have been referred to as a Star Wars Nerd, a badge I wear proudly.

Kim Yeyna

Puente English & AP Language, Grades 11 & 12

Welcome to the Puente family all! My name is Kim Yeyna, and I am a proud born-and-raised Riverside girl. I attended Palm Elementary School, Sierra Middle School, and Ramona High School. I loved – and still do – love school (all aspects of it.). It was a natural transition for me to go into teaching, and after obtaining my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from California Baptist University, I joined the Poly family – a family I am blessed to be a part of. As for a glimpse into my personal life, I am married to a wonderful man, and we have delightful, kind and productive children, four lively dogs, six interesting chickens, and I enjoy every memory we make spending time with all of them. I hope I get the opportunity to be a part of your wonderful learning experience here at Poly – whether it is my Junior AP Language and Composition course or in Senior English Literature. ​

Jeff Jambretz

AP Environmental Science

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Dr. Tacy L. Duncan

Assistant Principal & Puente Administrator

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Dr. Duncan began her career in the Alvord Unified School District where she taught Physical Education and Adapted P.E. for for K-12 students. Her caseload included students who’s needs could not be adequately addressed in a regular physical education program. While working with special need students she noticed the educational injustices that often occurred. Motivated to provide better opportunities for students she pursued her Masters in Counseling (PPS credential) and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from the University of Redlands. In addition to teaching for Alvord she also spent nine seasons as the Head Women’s Softball Coach at Cal State University, San Bernardino.

In 2014, she left Alvord and CSUSB to serve as the Assistant Principal for Chemawa Middle School. For three years she helped support the PBIS team with specific responsibility in restorative practice. She planned and delivered site professional development for certificated and classified staff. In August of 2017 she made the transition to High School. The last two years she has served as the Riverside Polytechnic High School Assistant Principal over Discipline & Restorative Practices. She oversees the Heritage, Puente and Legacy Programs and supports the ELA and Foreign Language departments.