Meet the Wakefield Counseling Staff

Follow us on Twitter @WakeCounselors


Stacy Morris
Director of Counseling Services

Analia Almada

Analia Almada earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, before moving to the United States. Analia went on to obtain a Post Master’s Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Tech, and later her School Counseling Certification from George Mason University.  Analia has worked at the Language Registration Center, the Arlington Career Center, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and Kenmore Middle School, before coming over to Wakefield in 2010.  Analia enjoys working with students from different backgrounds and heritages and learning about their personal experiences.

“Study hard, and keep studying! No matter what obstacles you face, they can be overcome – Education is the most important possession you can have.”

Tosin Alao


Kelly Carruthers 




Veronica Covarrubias
(703) 228-6713

Veronica Covarrubias earned her BA in Government and International Politics and her M.Ed in Counseling and Development at George Mason University (GMU). Veronica has worked at Wakefield since 2006, prior to Wakefield she was the Assistant Director at GMU/Early Identification Program. Veronica is also a proud graduate of Arlington Public Schools. Outside of Wakefield, Veronica has served on the Executive Board of Latinas Leading Tomorrow for the past few years and was a member of their advisory board.

“Believe you can and you are half way there.”     Theodore Roosevelt

John Clisham 228-6711

John Clisham earned his BA in Political Science at Penn State University. He also received his MA.Ed in School Counseling and an Honorary Degree from George Washington University. John has been working at Wakefield since 1990, first working as a substitute counselor and then taking on a full-time position. Before beginning at Wakefield John was elected Delegate to the 1984 Democratic National Convention representing former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

In the 10th grade Sister Joan Daniel, my Religion teacher, said to me: “John don’t let anyone tell you what to think or who to be, be yourself.”

Alex MercadoAlex M R

(703) 228-6746

Alex Mercado studied Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University before earning his Masters in Counseling and Development from George Mason University. Prior to joining Wakefield Counseling, Alex worked as an Instructional Assistant at Yorktown High School. During his free time, Alex enjoys traveling and visiting new places with his wife.


“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Ivan Lopez

Ivan Lopez earned both his BS in Criminal Justice and Master’s in Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University. Ivan is a proud graduate of Wakefield High School (Class of 2006) and also interned as a counselor at Wakefield. Prior to joining the Wakefield Counseling Staff, Ivan was a counselor at Yorktown High School for three years and also served as a substitute counselor at McKinley Elementary School. In his free time, Ivan enjoys working out, kickboxing, being with friends/family, and traveling.

Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this earth to be. Find that truth, be that truth and everything else will come.” –Ellen DeGeneres

Renita Mathis
(703) 228-6676

Renita Mathis earned her BS in Communications from East Carolina University and her MA in Public Administration from Troy University. After working as Wakefield’s Testing Coordinator for 12 years, Renita decided it was time for a change and received her Masters in Education and Human Development in School Counseling from George Washington University in May 2015 and started as a counselor that Fall. She is super excited to be part of the Wakefield counseling team.

“Do your best now to prevent regrets later.”

Allison Menchel

amenchel 228-6706

Allie Menchel studied Psychology at Dickinson College and later earned her Master’s in Counseling at Marymount University. Prior to earning her graduate degree, Allie worked at the Kennedy Krieger School in Rockvillle, MD and then worked at Washington-Lee High School for three years as an Instructional Assistant in the Asperger’s Program. Allie interned and subbed as a school counselor at Wakefield the year before she joined the Wakefield Counseling Staff in 2016. Outside of the school day, you can find Allie leading the Yoga Warriors Club at Wakefield. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching yoga, being active outdoors, and spending time with her friends and family.

“If you never try you’ll never know.”

Joe Spencer

(703) 228-6717

 Joe Spencer has been a counselor at Wakefield since 2004.

“Nothing ever goes perfectly, it just goes.” — Lynn Moran

Olivia Terpstra


‪(703) 228-6707

Olivia Terpstra is an APS graduate whose positive experience working with her high school counselor inspired her to become a school counselor herself. She earned her BA in Psychology and Spanish from Dickinson College and her MA in School Counseling from the George Washington University. Prior to joining Wakefield, she worked as a school counselor in Golden, CO and for many years in FCPS. She enjoys spending time with her family, chasing her son around outside, and decorating her new home. Olivia speaks fluent Spanish and is (slowly) pursuing her LPC degree. She loves dark roast coffee and has a serious sweet tooth.


“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”-Maya Angelou

Alvin Truesdale

Alvin Truesdale received his MA in School Counseling and Human Development from George Washington University. He has been working at Wakefield since 2008. Alvin is also a fan of roller coasters.

“Learn from those who came before us and start a new path for those who will come after us.”

Student Services Staff

Timothy Cotman
Equity & Excellence

Timothy Cotman earned his BA in English and his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction at George Mason University.  Prior to working at Wakefield, he served as Minority Achievement Coordinator at Thomas Jefferson Middle School for over 20 years.  Outside of work, he enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X

Charlene Giles             

School Social Worker

Charlene Giles earned her BS in Special Education from Virginia State University and her MSW at Howard University.  She has worked as a School Social worker at Wakefield since 2005.  Charlene recently earned her M.Ed. in Education Leadership from George Mason University.  In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her family.

“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

Flor Gonzalez                

School Social Worker

Amy Cannava

Amy Cannava (she/her) is excited to return to Virginia and join Wakefield High School. Born and raised in NOVA, she moved to Orlando as a film and theatre major before switching to psychology four semesters before graduation!  A veteran school psychologist who graduated from JMU with her M.A. and Ed.S., Amy specializes in working with LGBTQ youth. In addition to consultation and assessment, she has a passion for counseling and professional development. In her free time she can be found studying for licensure, enjoying a good BBQ and bonfire, walking her therapy dog, binging on Netflix, and dreaming about being able to travel again and get back on the water.

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Les Mis

Greg Myers

Greg Myers earned his MA in School Psychology from George Mason University after earning his BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia.  Greg has been loving Wakefield since starting here in 2016. Before coming to Wakefield, he spent 10 years working in Fairfax County as a school psychologist at all levels (elementary, middle, and high).  In his spare time, Greg loves traveling, rolling on the floor with his super cute kids, doing anything outdoors, and failing happily at golf.

“Work hard and be nice to people.”

 Steffan Barahona

Steffan B (2)

Communities in School Coordinator


Steffan Barahona is the Re-engagement coordinator for Communities in schools. Steffan earned his BA in Experimental Psychology from Washington College in Chestertown, MD. Steffan was born and raised in Arlington VA, graduating from WHS in 2017. Steffan was also in the Communities In School program during his time at Wakefield which assisted him in reaching his goal of going to college. Being a recent graduate, Steffan finds joy in assisting students with problems that he may have faced in high school. “I remember struggling in my courses or in my personal life, however, the staff at Wakefield always made me feel supported, so I hope that I can do the same.  During his free time Steffan likes to talk about music history and production, looking at cool cars, and spending time in the great outdoors.
Laurie Artman-McIntosh
Testing          703-228-2386

Laurie Artman-McIntosh earned B.As in Elementary Education and Psychology from Christopher Newport College and an M.Ed. in School Counseling from the College of William & Mary.  In her over 20 years as an Educator, Laurie has served as an Elementary Classroom Teacher, High School Counselor, Middle School Counselor and College and Career Readiness Coordinator.  She is excited by her continuing role as Testing Coordinator for Wakefield.  A few of Laurie’s favorite pastimes are traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends, including her two feisty (but sweet) Chihuahuas.

“If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right!” – Henry Ford

Shaheed Patterson
School Attendance Specialist  703-228-2388

After receiving his BA in Communications from Marymount University and his Masters in Social Work from Howard University, Shaheed started as a Social Work intern at Wakefield High School in 2007. The following year Shaheed attained the position of Attendance Specialist and has been working at Wakefield ever since. Although Shaheed was born and bred in New England, he is a Dallas Cowboys fan and roots for both the New York Knicks and the Boston Red Sox.

I would advise high school students to think of the questions: “How do I want to live when I’m an adult? What do I want to be when I’m an adult?”

Edgardo Santos
Substance Abuse

Edgardo Santos earned his ME.d in Health Education at the University of Arizona. He then went on to work as both a Health Therapist and Substance Abuse Counselor at St. Elizabeth Hospital before coming to work in Arlington Public Schools as a Substance Abuse Counselor in 1993.

“Experimentation is very risky; the first time can be the last time.”

Counseling Support

Michelle Hess

Administrative Assistant


 Ms. Hess attended the University of Cincinnati where she majored in English and also holds a degree in Fashion
Marketing from the Parsons School of Design in NYC. Michelle is also the proud mom
of Hudson, and in her spare time enjoys all things fashion, style, and whatever
show is best for binge watching. This school year, Michelle will be pursuing her Master’s degree in                              Developmental Psychology In addition, you can catch Michelle teaching spin class as an AFAA Certified
Cycling Instructor at a gym near you.
Maria Aguilar
RegistrarMaria P
 Maria Aguilar earned her bilingual secretary degree in El Salvador. Her first job in Virginia
was an interpreter in Fairfax Hospital, where she worked with children who were about to
have surgery. Since 1995 Maria has been a part of Arlington Public School. She has been at Wakefield
since 2001 and three of her children are Wakefield Warriors.  When Maria is not working
at Wakefield she is taking care of her children and grandchildren. In her free time,
she enjoys: reading and learning Latin. “Life is short, enjoy each day”


Administrative Assistant




JoAnn Weiss

Assistant Registrar

JWeiss for website3

JoAnn earned her Bachelors of Science from George Washington University, and in 2014
earned her Master of Education Counseling and Development from George Mason University. She has                                 been in Arlington Public Schools since 2007 and at Wakefield since 2009, but prior to that served as vice president at an association management company. Over the years JoAnn has been an avid traveler and has visited all 50 U.S. states!
Travel while you’re young. Don’t worry about the money, Just go! When you are older,
it’s not as easy to travel. People put off experiencing adventures, but there’s no guarantee
you’ll be able to do things later.”

Bilingual Family Liaisons

Eddy Guerrero



I was born in Quito, Ecuador and I am married to Yanira who was born in
El Salvador. I enjoy spending time with my beloved wife in volunteer work
on weekends in the community of Springfield where we live. Today, thanks to
APS I have the privilege and satisfaction of working in this amazing school
where the dedication and spirit of helping students and families is perceived.“The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter”  Anonymous

Martha Heredia

Martha's Picture 2017 (002)

Martha Heredia is one of the three Bilingual Family Resource Assistants in Wakefield High School. She earned her Bachelors in Visual Arts from the college Escuela Superior Para Maestros Simón Bolívar in La Paz, Bolivia.  After graduation, Mrs. Heredia worked in the high schools throughout La Paz as an Art & History Teacher for three years. Martha joined APS in 2007 working as a Bilingual Family Resource Assistant at Oakridge Elementary School.  Before joining the APS system, Mrs. Heredia worked in the FLES Program in Fairfax County as a Spanish teacher. Martha loves being part of Wakefield community. She values and respects the opportunities that high schools in this country offer to the students. When she’s not spending time with her husband and children, she likes to plant herbs and uses them when she cooks.  She admires Mr. Jaime Escalante, a highly regarded and inspiring Bolivian educator, and tries to follow his example

Ganas =desire + determination + discipline and that’s all we need to learn!”As always, she wishes you …

“¡Tenga un bonito día!”  (have a beautiful day!)

Carlos Murillo


Carlos G. Murillo, was born in Arequipa, Peru in 1978.  At the age of three he moved to

Jalizco, Mexico,where he lived for eight years. 

At the age of eleven, his family decided to move to the United States. 

They have lived in Arlington, VA ever since.   He attended Patrick Henry Elementary,

Thomas Jefferson Middle School and is a 1997 graduate of Wakefield High School.

He was happy to return.   He always wanted to be an architect since he was very young.

His dad is an architect; He grew up learning to appreciate architecture,

buildings and how architecture influences our culture. In addition to Wakefield,

he has worked at McKinley Elementary School as a Bilingual Parent Liaison for the past

14 years. He has extensive experience working with the Latino community.

He also worked in the Extended Day Program for 17 years,

where he realized that he has a gift to work with children,

He loves working with and having a positive influence on the lives of children

and being a positive role model. This makes him feel good both spiritually and mentally.