Middle School Counseling

The Middle School Counseling Program is specifically designed to provide academic, social and emotional support to students and parents and to support successful transitions into, through and out of middle school. 

Students and parents can arrange appointments by contacting the counselors directly. Meetings can take place before, during, or after school.

Examples of some of the services our counselors offer include the following:

  • Meeting individually with students - we help students think through their ideas to find answers to questions and solutions to challenges, and we meet at least once a year with each student related to their goals and how school is going
  • Hosting Counselor Coffees - regular parent-led, counselor-guided topical conversations; sometimes these will be about specific topics, and other times they will be book studies where we review chapters together after we have read them
  • Guiding transitional activities - new student orientation/luncheons, new family orientation, transitions to middle and high school, departing student/family activities and meetings
  • Leading Peer Ambassadors - a club for middle school students who want to support their peers through welcoming new students and leading awareness activities of interest to students
  • Providing parent support - meet with parents to address the current needs of their child at school
  • Leading student groups - need-based groups related to specific, shared topics

Meet the Counselors


Joe George
Grades 6 & 7 Counselor

Michigan State University, B.A.: Maj. History, Min. English
Michigan State University, M.A.: Curriculum and Teaching
University of Detroit-Mercy, M.A.: School Counseling

Licensed Professional Counselor

Level 3-certified Child Protection Officer

Certified Crisis Responder


Joe George has spent over 20 years in education as a middle school counselor, a high school social studies teacher, and a coach, having had the pleasure of working with diverse people from around the world. This is his eleventh year at AAS, and he is looking forward to working with you.

oe is a solution-focused, relationship-based counselor who believes that it is faster, more effective, and less painful to face challenges with support. He proactively works with all students in Grades 6 and 7, striving to nurture students’ educational, career, personal and social development. Although much of Joe’s job focuses upon common, age-appropriate issues like organization, study skills, stress management, and conflict resolution, he has experience working with issues like anxiety, depression, self-injury, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

If you (or a family member) feel that what you are doing is not getting the desired results, want to think about ways to thrive in Moscow, and/or simply need to find unknown information, please send Joe an email. 

Lauren Zimmerman     

James Villers
Grades 8 & 9 Counselor


University of California, Santa Barbara: B.A. in PsychologyUniversity of Buffalo, NY: M.Ed. in School CounselingUniversity of Buffalo, NY: Certificate of Advanced Study in School CounselingNY Dept. of Education: School Counselor Professional Certification


James Villers first came to AAS in 2016.  He has worked in international schools for more than 20 years.  After several years as an upper school teacher of English, Drama, and Humanities, he moved from the classroom into the guidance office.  He has primarily worked as a high school counselor, but has experience in K-8, as well. 

The one constant in all of Mr. Villers' experience has been his commitment to student well-being.  He deeply believes that one of the best ways to ensure this success is to create a supportive partnership between school and home.  This systemic approach is especially important during the crucial transition time from middle to high school, as students begin some of the most formative years of their lives. 

Mr. Villers looks forward to working with all AAS parents and teachers on the shared goal of helping students achieve their academic and personal best.


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