Ms. Puentes: A Sting Like No Other


CAP Advisor Ms. Puentes tries to meet with 5 students per class period, 4 periods per day, 5 days per week–that does not include all the work she does after school.

By Miguel Reyes, Staff Writer

She is an MHS alumna with an impeccable love for the school she has been at for 20 years. Ms. Vicky Puentes states, “First as an English teacher and the last 4 as the CAP Advisor, I hope to be at MHS until I retire whether in a teacher or counselor capacity. I love MHS, I am an alumnus, my children have all graduated or will graduate from MHS. I believe we are the best-hidden secret in Dade County.”

MHS’s CAP Counselor

As Miami High’s CAP counselor, Ms. Puentes is a very dedicated person to her job. Her typical busy periods for seniors are between July to January and then again from April to July. Although Ms. Puentes spends a lot of her time solely with seniors, she wishes every year she had more time with the seniors.

On average, Ms. Puentes would have 4-5 appointments with seniors per period for the 4 daily periods and 10 afterschool. These appointment topics range depending on the student. Ms. Puentes states, “This year the inflow of appointments has had to change a bit due to Covid, but I am still seeing an average of 4-5 students a period and about 10 appointments after school.

I go over college applications, essays, scholarships, and FAFSA.”

Not only does Ms. Puentes care about seniors’ future, but she also cares for their wellbeing. She states, “We discuss plans for after high school, and I like to provide a judgment-free zone for my students.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Puentes has found a way to help distribute important info to the seniors. She said, “It has been a very difficult year having more than half of the senior class at home, but I have adjusted by setting up Zoom meetings during the day and holding afternoon workshops through TEAMS.”

SGA Advisor

Not only has Ms. Puentes dedicated years as Miami High’s counselor but she’s also been Miami High’s SGA advisor for 8 years. Ms. Puentes says her reason for staying as the advisor of SGA for so long is because she found the association to be an important part of her student life when she was at Miami High; she also believes that SGA helps build future leaders.

Ms. Puentes’s main goal as the advisor for SGA is to “provide my officers with the most normal year possible and to encourage them to think outside the box when creating events for this year. I believe given the parameters of this year my crew was successful.”

Similar to other organizations, SGA was severely impacted because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Nevertheless, Ms. Puentes and her SGA officers dealt with the pandemic creatively. Ms. Puentes states, “In a regular year we would have had the Paint-A-Can event, Stingaree Festival, and many dances. However, this year has made us focus on connecting with community programs and that has been a very welcome change.”

From Student to Counselor

As a high schooler at Miami Senior High, Ms. Puentes “loved being involved in activities and leadership.” She loved her 4 years of high school at Miami High so much that she had high hopes of giving back to the school.

During her 4 years at Miami High, Ms. Puentes was part of the Beta National Honor Society where she also met Dr. Hueck who is now her best friend and “like a family member at our house.”

Her favorite high school memory was being part of the Senior Class as an officer and being part of Beta, where she met Dr. Hueck. m Despite Ms. Puentes’s good memories, she also had a few regrets after graduating from Miami High. She said, “I wish I would have taken more risks in taking more rigorous classes like Advanced Placement courses.”

Before going to UM to pursue her English degree, Ms. Puentes got some of the best advice near the end of her high school career: “Always believe in yourself; don’t let anyone dim your light.” She has carried it throughout her life, helping her get through the dark times.

Personal Life

Other than being a counselor for Miami High, Ms. Puentes has a joy for books and loves spending time with her family. Ms. Puentes states, “I love reading any of the classics by writers such as the Bronte sisters and Shakespeare and spending time with my husband and four children.”

Ms. Puentes’ biggest joy is traveling with her family all over the United States. “We have gone to the Grand Canyon, California, Utah, etc.,” she said. “We love the outdoors, hiking, biking, and horseback riding.” Though she isn’t the biggest fan of board games,

loves to play Uno. She states, “I think it’s a fun game to play with family and friends.”

Ms. Puentes also considers herself a football and basketball fan. She states, “I guess I have always liked these sports because I grew up with my older brother watching the games.”

Ms. P’s Many Connections with Miami High

  • Went to Miami High as a student
  • Came back to Miami High as an English teacher for 16 years
  • Became Miami High’s CAP Counselor for 4 years and counting
  • Is the current SGA Advisor of Miami High
  • All 4 of her er children currently attend Miami High