Monica Puentes has been with the VAC as an adjunct lecturer since 2013.
She earned her MSW from Ohio State University in 1991 and BSW from Arizona State University in 1989. She was licensed as a clinical social worker in 1996, and she obtained credentials in Pupil Personnel Services and Child Welfare and Attendance from the University of Southern California in 2000.
A bilingual Spanish-speaking clinical social worker, she worked with the Los Angeles Unified School District from 1998 to 2015 in capacities ranging from line staff to management. Receiving extensive training in mental health treatment, crisis intervention and threat assessment, she served on the LAUSD crisis team for several years and responded to numerous school-wide crises. She provided district trainings to administrators, school staff and parents around crisis management, psychological first aid and the impact of trauma on learning, and she assisted schools in developing their crisis teams. She also worked extensively with wellness centers and assisted in the opening of two wellness centers within LAUSD.
Working closely with administrators, support staff, teachers and parents—for example, leading parent trainings and groups to foster positive parenting and leadership skills—she formed collaborative partnerships with stakeholders including school site and district administrators, health clinics and wellness centers. From 2012 through 2015, she served as a field instructor for various universities in southern California, helping to coordinate and train interns both at the school sites and in clinic programs.
Ohio State University: M.S.W. 1991
Arizona State University: B.S.W. 1989
University of Southern California: Pupil Personnel Services and Child Welfare and Attendance 2000
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