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TJMS Student Services Staff

Helps-Me-SucceedThomas Jefferson Student Services is made up of our Director of Counseling Services, grade level School Counselors, School Psychologist, School Social Worker, and Registrar.  Additional support is provided by our Substance Abuse Counselor and Bilingual Family Liaison.  We work collaboratively with students, families and staff through the personal, social-emotional and academic needs of our student body.

TJMS School Counselors rotate each year with their assigned grade levels to ensure not only a strong relationship with each and every student, but to provide a comprehensive counseling program. Our School Psychologist, Social Worker, Substance Abuse Counselor and Bilingual Family Liaison have the pleasure of working with all students grades 6th to 8th.

Should you find that you or your child are in need of assistance in addressing academic challenges, social-emotional conflicts, or if you have questions about graduation requirements your School Counselor is the first place to start.


Director of Counseling Services

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Dante Hicks

Hello! I am excited to begin my ninth year in APS and my fourth here at Jefferson Middle School. As a former school counselor, minority achievement coordinator, and assistant principal, I am thrilled to use my experience in education to create a comprehensive school counseling program. I look forward to working with the student services team to ensure that we meet the needs of the whole child. Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, going to the movies, and playing board games!

Grade Level School Counselors

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Joe Spencer

6th Grade School Counselor


Hi there! After spending the last 19 years at Wakefield HS, I am super excited to begin my 20th year in Arlington Public Schools here in Yellowjacket Nation at Thomas Jefferson Middle School! A proud graduate of the University of Oregon (GO DUCKS!!!) I began my career in education in my home state of Oregon as a media specialist before I moved to Virginia to attend The George Washington University to study school counseling. In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, watching college sports and exploring the many historical sights in and around the DC area.

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Amelia Black

7th Grade School Counselor


Hi! My name is Amelia Black, and I am very excited to be a counselor here at Jefferson, go Yellowjackets! I grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and am a proud graduate of UNC at Chapel Hill (A.K.A The University of National Champions). I taught Reading for two years in Dallas, Texas before moving to Arlington to study school counseling at Marymount University. I am a lover of reading, watching movies, fishing, and helping students reach their full potential. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if there is any way I can help!

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Susan Russo

8th Grade School Counselor


I am excited to be here in Arlington Public Schools where my own children continue to have amazing school experiences. I’ve also been a counselor in my home state of Wisconsin and in Alexandria City for several years. I love to read, hike, bike, and spend time with friends and family. I am always up for a bad knock-knock joke, a vicious game of ping-pong, or sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a sappy movie. I’m excited to support our students and families this year through social-emotional and school success programming.

English Learner, Program School and Intervention Counselors

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Ana Rodriguez

EL School Counselor


Hello! I am Ana Rodriguez and a proud member of the Jefferson EL and Counseling Teams. I grew up in Northern Virginia, and Beni, Bolivia. I studied Sociology and International Relations at Virginia Commonwealth University, before earning my Masters in Education from George Washington University. Most of my career has been in the Education and Social Service fields. In my free time, I love to go for walks and paint with my daughter, cook with family, and spend time with friends.

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Jasmine Burton

Programs School Counselor


Welcome to the beehive, yellow jackets! I am Jasmine Burton and I am so thrilled to be a part of the Thomas Jefferson family. I’ve completed my Bachelors in Exercise and Health Science at Kennesaw State University and my Masters and Education Specialist in School Counseling at Georgia State University, the real GSU. I love to travel, eat, music and college football, WAR EAGLE! Let’s have an awesome school year!

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Maya Lidell

Intervention Counselor


Hello! I am excited to be a part of the Jefferson Counseling Team! I look forward to getting to know students and families throughout the school year! I grew up in New York City and am a proud graduate of George Washington University and University of Virginia! I love trying new foods, watching movies, reading, and funny jokes! Reach out anytime for support!

School Social Worker and Psychologist and Substance Abuse Counselor

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Margarita Zwisler

School Social Worker


Hi there! I am Margarita Zwisler and I am so excited to join TJMS as your school social worker. I provide counseling to students and help support them to succeed in school. I support families by connecting them resources in the Arlington county. Please feel free to reach out about resources for food, rental assistance, clothing, and any other questions about resources available.

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Dr. Moncrieffe-Heath

School Psychologist


It is my main goal to advocate for students and their families around: equitable access to resources, academic success, positive behavior, prosocial skills and positive relationship building, and overall mental health. I will endeavor to ensure that all students be provided an academic experience that meets each of their individual abilities and addresses their strengths as well as their unique learning abilities and needs. I am delighted to be your school psychologist this year and to work with students, teachers, administrators, parents/guardians, and related service providers to provide each student with an amazing educational experience.

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Takecia Taylor

Substance Abuse Counselor


Hello! My name is, Takecia Taylor, as a new counselor at Thomas Jefferson I was welcomed with open arms. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/ Criminal Justice, as well as my M.Ed. in Community Counseling at Norfolk State University. I went on to work as both a juvenile probation officer and a qualified mental health counselor for 10 years. I then decided to further my education and began studying Substance Abuse Counseling. I am so excited to have the opportunity to join this team and work with children again to help provide an education to student and parents here at Thomas Jefferson. In my spare time I love to travel and NFL!