Student Services Staff

  • Our program is comprehensive and designed to promote the academic, social & emotional, and career development of all students.
  • We support students in making choices which will pave the way to success in high school and beyond.
  • Students are assigned to their school counselors based on grade.
  • Please see the list below for school counselor and student services staff assignments and contact information.

Director of Counseling

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Janae Ferguson

Director of Counseling, 703-228-2919

This is my 25th year in Education with 24 of those years at the middle school level. However, my degree is in Elementary Education with a middle school endorsement in English and Social Studies. I also have my master's in counseling. I began my career in Indianapolis, IN teaching junior high 9th graders in Reading. I also taught 7th and 8th grade English in Falls Church at George Mason Middle School when I moved to Virginia. Then I got the opportunity to open Mary Ellen Middle School in a leadership role as Counseling Director. After 10 years in Falls Church City Public Schools, I moved to Arlington and became the Director of Counseling at Williamsburg Middle School. When a new middle school opened in Arlington, I was fortunate enough to be part of opening Dorothy Hamm Middle School and creating a new school community that belongs and becomes!

Grade Level Counselors

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Nick Kean

6th Grade Counselor, 703-228-2846

I'm originally from the Boston area, but I moved to D.C. then to Arlington after graduating from Wake Forest University. I did my school counseling training in Fairfax County, where I worked at West Springfield HS and Carl Sandburg MS. I have since become a member of the awesome Student Services team at DHMS, joining in January 2022. I'm thrilled to be a part of this amazing DHMS community! Outside of school, I enjoy travelling with family, coaching baseball, running, and obsessively rooting for Boston sports teams!

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Maritza Zurita

7th Grade Counselor, 703-228-2922

This is my third year as a school counselor, and my first year in APS. I got my Bachelors degree in Psychology, and my Masters in school counseling both degrees from George Mason University. I have three kids and we like to be outdoors as much as possible. I love to travel and spend as much time as I can at the beach.

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Bob Tuttle

8th Grade Counselor, 703-228-2921, Google Voice: 202-813-0663

My wife (Emily) and I live in Vienna with our eleven year old child (Colin) and our black lab puppy (Maddie). I enjoy camping with my family, sailing, biking Shenandoah, and building stuff.

English Learner, Program, Substance Abuse, and Intervention Counselors

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Christine Katcher

Intervention Counselor, 703-228-2926

I am in my 37th year of serving APS as a social worker. The past 15 years have been focused on middle school but prior to that I worked at a number of levels, ranging from preschool through high school. Like only a very few, I was actually raised in the DC area. I feel attached to this part of the world, loving what it offers in terms of hiking, camping, boating, and the many many fun "city experiences" like visiting museums, listening to local bands, and sitting with friends at coffee shops. I just celebrated my 36th wedding anniversary, and have the fun of having 3 of my 4 adult children living locally (we're working on the 4th one to rejoin the tribe (-:). I'm looking forward to a year of learning. Learning more about all of you, our staff. Learning more about how to serve our students and their families, Learning more French language. Learning pottery. Learning! So glad to be here!

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Siobhan Bowler

Substance Abuse Counselor, 703-228-2927

Ms. Siobhan Bowler is the APS Substance Abuse Counselor assigned to HB Woodlawn, Swanson MS, and Dorothy Hamm MS. She is actively involved in the Arlington Assistance and Recovery Initiative Before moving to Virginia in 2001, Ms. Bowler lived in Phoenix, Arizona, where she counseled youth and young adults. Ms. Bowler received a B.A. in English from Cedar Crest College, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and a Masters of Counseling from Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona. She maintains the following professional credentials: Licensed Pupil Services Worker for the Commonwealth of Virginia; Master Addiction Counselor, and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please visit the APS Substance Abuse Counselors Homepage at

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Sarah Abbas

Program Counselor, أنا أتحدث العربية

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Ronald Valdez

English Learners Counselor, Habla Español, 703-228-2938

School Social Worker and Psychologists

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Gabrielle Bomberg

I was born and raised in Alexandria, VA. I attended Fairfax County Public Schools throughout my K-12 education. In high school, I worked closely with a school social worker who encouraged me, supported me, and inspired me to become a school social worker myself. My concentration within social work is clinical mental health and I am deeply committed to creating inclusive spaces where individuals feel seen, validated, and respected. I joined the DHMS team in October 2023 and have loved working with the middle school population! In my free time I enjoy spending time with my twin sister, running, and playing board games with my friends and partner.

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Brooke Zeller

School Psychologist, 703-228-2925

I am originally from upstate New York, but have lived in Arlington almost half my life. I live in South Arlington with my husband and two kids. We are an active family and enjoy the many hiking and biking trails around the area. Some of my favorite things to do in my free time are read, run, and cook. This 2023-24 school year will be my 8th year as a school psychologist. Prior to working in APS, I worked in private practice with clinical psychologists. I love working in schools and being surrounded by the energy of our students.

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Celes Smith

Interlude Therapist, 703-228-2854

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Aimee Puschkin

Student Support Coordinator (SST), 703-228-2945 (Tuesday-Friday)

I am originally from New York and lived in Philadelphia where I became a teacher. I moved to Arlington 9 years ago and began to build an extensive book collection (I have enough to build my own library!). My two cats, Bo & Fozzy, and I absolutely love Arlington!

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Henry Cardenas

Bilingual Family Liaison

I grew up in Arlington but also lived in Ecuador. I graduated from Siena Heights University in Michigan. I am passionate about international soccer, but my true love is spending time with my wife, two kids and our pug Cosmo.

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Carla Bran

Registrar, Habla Español, 703-228-2923