GMS Counseling Staff


Picture  Contact Information  Bio
Bruce, K Dr. Kevon Bruce
Director of Counseling

Hi everyone! My name is Dr. Bruce, and I am so excited to become a Gunston Hornet. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and has lived all over the world before finding my way to the wonderful Arlington community. A surprise fact is that I have an acting degree from a conservatory. I also have a master’s in school counseling, a doctorate in counselor education & supervision and currently working on my M.B.A. I love to listen to music, travel and spend time with my loved ones.

Favorite quote: “The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for all, in common, will take you into eternity.” – Marcus Garvey

Carr, L Lindsay Carr
6th Grade Counselor

Hello!  I joined the Counseling Department at Gunston Middle School in 2018 after teaching 7/8th grade English here for one year.  Prior to moving to VA, I was a middle school and high school English teacher in Pittsburgh, PA for 13 years and a middle school teacher in Brooklyn, NY for 3 years.  I currently live in DC, so I enjoy taking long walks to explore different neighborhoods and to browse local small businesses.   I adore animals and have two cats (Franklin and Eleanor) and a dog (Susie).  I also love to read, so it’s rare to see me without a book in my hand!

Favorite Quote:  “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”  Maya Angelou




Fehema Stokes                  7th Grade Counselor


My name is Fehema Stokes. I am excited to join the Gunston Middle School team. I was born and raised in Washington, D.C. I have lived in Prince George’s County, Maryland and currently reside in Charles County, Maryland. I have a bachelors degree in Human Relations and a masters degree in School Counseling Urban Youth from Trinity Washington University. I am also a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor in the state of Maryland, pursuing full clinical licensure. All in all, I am an advocate for mental health and school counseling. I find great purpose and joy in helping others. I enjoy traveling, coffee, fashion, and spending time with friends and family.
Gibbs, J Jaelin Gibbs
8th Grade Counselor

Hi everyone! I am so excited to become a Gunston Hornet. I grew up in Fort Washington, MD and moved to Arlington in middle school. After graduating from Washington-Liberty HS in 2014, I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. This past June, I graduated with my Master’s in School Counseling from Capella University. My favorite foods are pizza and pasta. I love to listen to music, advocate for students, and have fun with my two-year-old son.

Favorite quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Kolody, S Sharon Kolody
Immersion Counselor

Hello!  I’m a proud member of the Gunston Counseling Department and have been for 23 years. I grew up in southern Maryland where I also attended the University of Maryland at College Park. Go Terps!  Then, I earned my Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Trinity University of Washington and have spent most of my career in APS both as a teacher and school counselor.  In my free time, I love to watch classic comedies or HGTV, ride in my husband’s antique car in parades, go to concerts or Paint Nites, and spend time with family and friends.

Favorite Quote:  “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”     Maya Angelou

Cordero, M Marlene Cordero
English Learners Counselor

My name is Marlene Cordero, I am a school counselor for the English Learners at Gunston Middle School. I am originally from Bolivia; I completed my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Mayor de San Simon University. I received my master’s degree in School Counseling from George Washington University. As a school counselor I am encouraged to support students to strive for their personal best, supporting them in their academic, personal, and socioemotional needs, career exploration and more. When I am not at Gunston, I like to spend time with my family, and friends, travel and listen to music.

Mi nombre es Marlene Cordero, soy consejera escolar para los estudiantes que están aprendiendo inglés en la Escuela Intermedia Gunston. Soy originaria de Bolivia; Completé mi licenciatura en Ciencias de la Computación en la Universidad Mayor de San Simón. Recibí mi maestría en Consejería Escolar de la Universidad George Washington. Como consejera escolar, estoy animada en apoyar a los estudiantes para que se esfuercen por dar lo mejor de sí mismos, apoyándolos en lo académico, personal, socioemocional y con su orientación vocacional. Cuando no estoy en Gunston, me gusta estar en compañía de mi familia y amigos, viajar y escuchar música.

“No matter where you are from your dreams are valid.”  Lupita Nyong’o

dmccoy DeAndre McCoy        Substance Abuse Counselor

My name is DeAndre McCoy and I am one of this year’s new Substance Abuse Counselors with Arlington County Public Schools. I am originally from North Carolina where I obtained my Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University in 2008. I later obtained my first Master’s of Science Degree in Human Services Counseling in 2013 and a second Master’s of Science Degree in Addiction and Recovery in 2018 both from Liberty University. Over the years, I have worked several jobs in the mental health and substance abuse field — from being a foster parent for 10 years to working in private practice with both teens and adults. In 2018, I obtain my clinical licenses as a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist in North Carolina and continued my work as a licensed substance abuse therapy. In 2022, I moved to Alexandria, Virginia and later obtained my certification as a Certified Substance Abuse Counselors in 2023. When I am not working and spending time with my (4) God sons, I enjoy listening to music, singing, traveling, and cooking. This 2023-24 school year, I will be the Substance Abuse Counselor for Arlington Community High School and Gunston Middle School and will provide support to Arlington Career Center. If there is any way that I can support you and your student in their educational growth or if you are concerned about the possibility of your student using, please reach out to me. I can be reached via my office line at (703)-228-6927 or via my mobile device at (703)-718-6575.

Substance Abuse Counseling Website 

Dean, T Tessa Dean
School Psychologist

Hello! My name is Tessa Dean and I am Gunston’s school psychologist. I grew up in Fairfax County and attended Virginia Tech for undergrad where I majored in Psychology and Philosophy. I then ventured up to the Boston area to complete my graduate training at Tufts University where I received my M.A. and Ed.S. in school psychology. I completed my graduate internship in APS and am excited to be back after spending a year in Fairfax County. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling to new places and spending time with my friends, family and my 5 year old bulldog, Tugg.

Favorite quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

Shimizu, M Michelle Shimizu
Social Worker

Hello I’m Michelle Shimizu. This is my second year with APS as a school social worker. Prior to joining APS, I was a school social worker for the City of Alexandria for three years. I earned my MSW from VCU in 2018. I am most proud of being a mother of two amazing and strong willed children, Liani age 11 and David age 9. I’ve been married to my husband, David, for 14 years. I spend all of my free time with my family. We love the outdoors. WE spend our time exploring, traveling, and eating.

Favorite quote: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” — Angela Davis

Romero, M Maria Romero
Bilingual Family Specialist

Mi nombre es María Romero, soy la especialista en familias bilingües en Gunston. Crecí en Quito, Ecuador. Estudié Arquitectura en la Universidad de las Américas en Quito. Hace seis años mi familia y yo nos mudamos a vivir aquí en Arlington. Cuando llegamos aquí no entendíamos el sistema educativo, con la ayuda de algunos profesores de Gunston, porque fue la primera escuela de mi hija mayor, me convertí en una madre líder aquí. Ahora, puedo ayudar a muchas familias a entender y navegar por el sistema educativo. He sido líder de padres durante 5 años y tengo un año trabajando como especialista en familias bilingües.Es una gran satisfacción para mí poder empoderar a las familias para que ayuden a sus hijos a tener éxito y alcanzar sus sueños.En mi tiempo libre me gusta escuchar música y ver películas con mi familia. Mi comida favorita es el marisco.

My name is Maria Romero, I am the Bilingual Family Specialist at Gunston. I grew up in Quito, Ecuador. I studied Architecture at the Universidad de las Americas in Quito. Six years ago my family and I moved to live here in Arlington. When we arrived here we did not understand the educational system, with the help of some teachers from Gunston, because it was my oldest daughter’s first school, I became a parent leader here. Now, I can help many families to understand and navigate the educational system. I was a parent leader for 5 years and I have one year working as a Bilingual Family Specialist.It is a great satisfaction for me to be able to empower families help their children be successful and achieve their dreams. In my free time I like to listen to music and watch movies with my family. My favorite food is seafood.

Ford, S Shanna Ford

Hello! My name is Shanna Ford and I joined the Gunston family in January of 2020. I took over as the SPED secretary and most recently became the registrar in August of 2022. I am a native of Washington, DC, but came to the Arlington area in middle school. In my spare time I like to spend time with my daughter, family, and friends. I also like to listen to music, watch tv, and relax.

Favorite Quote: “ Focus on the journey. Not the destination.” Anderson

naghmehpic Interlude Therapist Naghmeh Merck

Hello! I am the Interlude Therapist here at Gunston. I received my Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from VCU and have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the past 23 years.  I have worked in Arlington County DHS and later went on to work at Marymount University’s Counseling Center and served as the clinical director at George Washington University’s Counseling Center. I have been with APS for the past 8 years as a school social worker.  This year I transitioned to being an Interlude Therapist and I am excited to return to Gunston after having been a school-based mental health therapist here 20 years ago. I enjoy spending time with my family, being outdoors and travelling.

Favorite Quote: “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within” -Maya Angelou