We have three school counselors at DSMS, Mrs. Chin, Mrs. Kirsits, and Mrs. Machbitz. They are here to help all students in a multitude of ways. Some of the services they provide include: 

  • Identifying students who are at risk through the STAT process
  • 504 Accommodation plans
  • Registration (6th, 7th, 8th and high school)
  • Peer Tutoring
  • AZ Merit Testing
  • Counseling referral sources
  • Parent and student teacher meetings
  • Academic, personal and social counseling
  • Tutoring referral sources
  • Student conflict resolution

7th Grade Counselor

Mrs. ChinMrs. Kelly Chin

Email Mrs. Chin


I am one of three counselors at Desert Shadows Middle School. This year, I am working with 8th grade students. This is my ninth year at Desert Shadows, and my 12th year as a school counselor. I am originally from Wisconsin. I attended the University of Alaska, Anchorage and earned my undergraduate degree in psychology. After that, I relocated to Arizona to pursue a masters degree in educational counseling.My husband and I have a wonderful 12-year-old son, one German shepherd and a guinea pig.

8th Grade Counselor

Mrs KirsitsMrs. Erin Kirsits

Email Mrs. Kirsits


I am proud to say I am a Sidewinder School Counselor!  This year, I am working primarily with 7th grade students. I began my career in education as a Secondary English Teacher. I transitioned into the Counseling Department at Horizon a few years ago. This is now my second year at DSMS. I love working with middle school students! I received my undergraduate degree in English Education at University of Northern Iowa and my master's degree in Educational Counseling at Ottawa University. One of my greatest joys in life is loving my family. I live with my husband, two kids, and my adorable goldendoodle!

8th Grade Counselor

L. MachbitzMrs. Leslie Machbitz

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I am so happy to be a part of the Desert Shadows Middle School counseling team. I have been at DSMS as a drama teacher for the past 5 years. In addition to counseling, I will continue to teach a few classes of drama each semester. I hold a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance and a Masters Degree in Secondary Education from Arizona State University. Before coming to Paradise Valley Unified School District, I taught high school in Deer Valley Unified School District and Scottsdale Unified School District. I am currently Adjunct Faculty at Glendale Community College and Grand Canyon University. My husband and I have 2 wonderful teenagers and a rescue dog named Lily.