A.P.G. Counseling

Mission & Vision

Mission: The A.P. Giannini Counseling Department guides students to develop and sustain a positive sense of self towards their academic and social/emotional lives, to see themselves as unique and worthy, with an emphasis on learning to respect others and their different cultural perspectives. We help to instill a sense of belonging and connection in the school community and empower students to become self-advocates and lifelong learners.

Vision: The A.P. Giannini Counseling Department envisions a future where students develop each year and are prepared for their next grade level. As they leave Giannini after 8th grade, Giannini students are prepared academically, socially, and emotionally for the changes they will encounter in high school and beyond. Giannini students contribute to their school and communities with their skills and dedication.

Counseling Team

School Counselor's Role

The counselor works in collaboration with school staff, administrators, teachers, parents, and community members to be an advocate for students in order to maximize student potential and academic achievement, so that students may be healthy and productive members of society. The school counselor assumes a leadership role in the development of an appropriate program of guidance for the school site. Services offered include:

  • Collaboration and consultation with students, teachers, families, and other providers to identify strategies to help student(s) in areas of academics, behavior, and social-emotional well-being.
  • Serves as a resource in the area of student intervention using researched and evidence-based practices.
  • Provides personal counseling on 1:1 basis
  • Collaborate with Restorative Practices team for peer conflict
  • Provides targeted small group counseling 
  • Provides crisis support with school team
  • Promote high school, college & career readiness 
  • Assists students in scheduling matters

Our counselors cycle through with our students until they promote to high school.


Meet Our Team!

Ms LauClass of 2021 Counselor: Mrs. Allyson Lau 

Incoming Class of 2024 Counselor 

BA: S.F. State University, Child & Adolescent Development 
MA: University of San Francisco, Counseling Psychology
Hometown: San Francisco, CA 

Mr. McDaniel Class of 2022 Counselor: Mr. Steven McDaniel

 BA: University of California San Diego
 MA: Brandman University, School Counseling
 Hometown: Indio, CA
 E-mail: mcdaniels@sfusd.edu
 Class 2022 Google Classroom code: 7uqhrjf

Mr. JangClass of 2023 Counselor: Mr. Joaquin Jang

BA: The George Washington University
MA: University of San Francisco, Counseling Psychology
Hometown: Bodega, CA 

Mr. BackstromDean: Mr. Jonah Backstrom

BS: University of Massachusetts 
MS: San Francisco State University, Counseling 
Hometown: Boston, MA


2020-2021 School Counseling Interns

Mei Yan Chiu supervised by Mrs. Lau

Carrianne Mei supervised by Mr. Jang

Zoë Tomasello supervised by Mr. Jang

Shirley Tsang supervised by Mrs. Lau

Contact Us

During the COVID 19 pandemic while we are away from school, the best way to reach the counselors/Counseling Office is by email. Please see above for email addresses.

All of the information below applies only when we are back on campus.

Counseling Office Hours

  • 8:10 am - 11:30 am
  • 12:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Please go to Main Office for help if Counseling is closed

Counseling Phone Number and Extensions 

  • 415.759.2773
  • Attendance/Counseling Secretary: Stephanie Ruffin x3130
  • (If you are having trouble getting in touch with our Counseling Secretary, please contact the Main Office at x2770)
  • Dean: Jonah Backstrom x3137
  • Joaquin Jang: x3127
  • Allyson Lau: x3131
  • Steven McDaniel: x3331

How Do I See My Counselor?

  • Find us during lunch or passing period
  • Get a pass from your teacher first
  • Set an appointment
  • Email us!