Meet the Counseling Department

It’s National School Counseling Week and we are recognizing the tremendous impact our school counselors have in helping Garfield students achieve academic success, social-emotional health, and college and career readiness.


Kandace Alston (Grade 9, Last Names A-Z): This is my 12th year at the Doghouse and my 7th year as the 9th grade Counselor and I absolutely LOVE IT! I am like a bridge between Middle School and High School–someone who offers support and advocates for student needs during their first year. I have one daughter, the light of my life; she’s 3 years old.  I love music and spending time with family!

Daniel Lee (Grades 10, 11, 12, Last Names A-Go): This is my 10th year at Garfield! I’m passionate about advocating for students and helping them find their way and navigate life during this crucial developmental stage. I love to collect and listen to vinyl records and attend concerts. I have 2 kids, aged 9 and 7, and one day, I hope they will also be Bulldogs!

Jessica Allen (Grades: 10, 11, 12, Last Names Gr-Ng): I was born and raised in Long Island, New York. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and I’ll be graduating from Seattle University in June with a Master’s degree in Counseling. I have two pet bunnies at my home in Beacon Hill. I spend my free time going to concerts, hiking, spending time outside, reading, and dancing.

Ken Courtney (Grades: 10, 11, 12, Last Names Ni-Z): I’ve been a counselor in Seattle Public Schools since 1986 and have been at Garfield since 2006.  I enjoy helping students and families on their educational journey.  I’m a bit of a foodie and love gardening.

Missy Chow (Registrar): I’ve been with Garfield’s Office of the Registrar for 7 years. I am a 4th generation Seattle/Central District/Capitol Hill denizen, and before Garfield, I worked with Seattle Central College. It is an honor to work with our 1650 Garfield students, 100+ staff, our families and community. Let me know how I can help: Room 104

Effie Iannacito (Counseling Secretary): I just started as the new Counseling Secretary at Garfield in January.  I am enjoying working with all of the counseling staff and meeting the students. I have lived in Seattle for 30+ years, mostly on Capitol Hill and the Central District. I have worked in many fields over the years but mostly in admin. I love music, movies, and baking/cooking. I have a son who is in 8th grade at TOPS and will be here as a Bulldog next year!

Garfield’s Counseling Department is committed to ensuring that ALL students are equitably supported in their academic, social-emotional, and college and career development. The Counseling Department provides the following services:

  • Academics
    • Consulting and advice on what classes to take
    • Graduation requirement guidance and tracking
    • Student/teacher liaison to support student success
    • Schedule changes & course registration support
  • College and Career Readiness
    • Use Naviance as a tool for researching and planning post high school options
    • Advising students on the college application process / filling out counselor reports during senior year
    • Partnering with various college & career organizations to connect students with resources and opportunities (i.e. Running Start, Seattle Promise, apprenticeships, scholarships, etc.)
  • Social & Emotional Learning & Development
    • Providing mental health curriculum via classroom visits
    • Crisis intervention and response
    • Individual counseling and connection to resources
    • Partnering with community orgs such as Seattle Children’s, Atlantic Street Counseling, DSHS, Coleman Family Services, etc. to provide critical services to our most vulnerable students

The Registrar’s office works with:

  • Monthly State audits
  • Student enrollment and withdrawal
  • Transcript assessments and updates
  • Grades
  • Student academic records
  • Master class schedule for the following year
  • Student class registration
  • Graduation
  • Student and teacher schedules

Thank you for all that you do!