Upper School Guidance Counseling Department


Dana Al-Shakarchi
Guidance Counselor, Middle School (Grades 6 - 8)

At GAAQ, we have a dedicated Middle School Counselor overseeing Grades 6 - 8. Our counselor focuses on transitioning students from Grade 5 as they move to the Upper School as well as preparing all Middle School students for entering their High School years.  The counseling program helps bolster students’ social and emotional competencies to support them in their personal and academic progression.  In addition, the counselor works closely with all Middle School Grade Leads, providing guidance on dealing with a varying degree of student needs in this cohort.

ISCA (International School Counseling Association) Objectives Aligned with our GAAQ Core Values

Our Middle School's Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) objectives seamlessly align with GAAQ's core values of Tenacity, Purpose, Innovation, Respect, and Leadership. As students progress through middle school, these objectives not only contribute to their personal and academic growth, but also nurture the embodiment of our school's fundamental principles.

Through this curriculum, our aim is to have students gain the following competencies throughout their GAAQ Middle School journey: 

  • Social-Emotional Awareness
  • Healthy Relationship Skills
  • Decision-Making
  • Problem-Solving
  • Personal and Community Resources 

Advisory and the House System

This year, we have introduced Advisory classes for the entire Middle School with the aim of offering our students a comprehensive support system.  Our curated Advisory program will include opportunities to practice self-motivation and reading skills through DEAR days (Drop Everything and Read), to build team spirit with monthly House Challenges and to grow their Social and Emotional competencies through lessons such as ‘Digital Citizenship,’ ‘Responsible Decision Making,’ ‘Increasing Self Awareness’ and ‘Building Social Skills.’

Our Middle School Counselor offers comprehensive support services such as:

  • Individual, Personalized Support and Interventions
  • Counseling Sessions
  • Consultation and Collaboration with Students, Parents/Guardians and Teachers/Other School Personnel
  • External Collaboration to Resolve Student Issues and Support Student Wellbeing
  • School Administration Support with Child Safeguarding and Wellbeing

The Transition from Lower School to Middle School


Welcome to our exciting "Glow Up" program, where the journey from Grade 5 to Grade 6 begins with a burst of anticipation! In Semester II, we kick off a monthly series of events designed to smoothly transition our students into middle school life.

1. Q&A Session:

Get ready for an interactive "Question and Answer" session! Selected Grade 6 students make special visits to Grade 5 classrooms, sharing their experiences and answering any and all questions about the upcoming school year.

2. Elective Showcase:

Dive into the possibilities! Our "Elective Showcase" introduces Grade 5 students to an array of elective courses, from music and PE to IT, drama, entrepreneurship, and diverse language options such as Arabic, French, and Spanish. Grade 5 students explore the exciting world of middle school electives!

3. Digital Tour:

Navigate GAAQ’s digital landscape with ease! Join us for a virtual tour of our school systems - Alma and Google Classroom. Grade 5 students will get a firsthand look at the platforms that will enhance their learning journey in Grade 6.

4. Glow Up Week:

The pinnacle of our program is the much-anticipated "Glow Up Week." Grade 5 students are paired with enthusiastic Grade 6 student buddies, embarking on a day-long shadowing adventure to experience middle school life firsthand. This week concludes with a grand activity day, showcasing our upper school campus, welcoming them to the exciting world of middle school which culminates in a thrilling treasure hunt.


Dana’s role as the Middle School Counselor is to support students through counseling services, collaborate with Grade Leaders to monitor the personal as well as academic progression of each student and liaise with parents about concerns they may have for their child. She also oversees the School Wellness Program.

Dana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the American University of Beirut, a Master’s Degree in Psychology in Education from Columbia University in New York City and has earned a Certificate in International School Counseling from the Principals’ Training Center in Rome.  She was born and raised in Qatar and speaks fluent Arabic and English.  Dana is passionate about working with students in the international school setting and hopes to give back to the school as much as she gets out of it.




Engy Carniglia
Guidance Counselor, High School (Grades 9 - 12)

GEMS American Academy Qatar has a full-time counselor who oversees Grades 9 - 12. Our High School (HS) counselor places a strong emphasis in supporting students with their college/university preparation and career advice as well as guiding them through their application process.  Additionally, the HS counselor supports the students with their social-emotional and academic needs and growth.  Moreover, the High School counselor works closely with students, parents and administration to support the intervention of our students and provide the best strategies to make them thrive as a whole student. 

GEMS for Life

GEMS for Life is a one-stop solution building on GEMS Education’s world-class school services. It will offer lifelong learning, student employability, university placement plus alumni engagement and a host of extra lifestyle benefits.

The mission is to provide lifelong support to the GEMS community throughout all stages of life to give students and alumni a competitive edge over their peers. Additionally, the vision of this program is to expand our world-class support beyond education to all aspects of life for all members of the GEMS community - past, present and future. 

To learn more about GEMS for Life, please click here to visit the website.


One integral aspect of our counseling services is the utilization of Unifrog, the official university platform. This platform plays an important role in our students' journey from high school to university. Unifrog empowers students to explore their interests, delve into diverse career options, and acquire essential skills that will not only contribute to their academic success, but also facilitate a seamless transition to university life. 

College/University Visits and Fairs

GEMS American Academy welcomes college and university admissions representatives throughout the school year to speak with interested students during morning break. Approximately 205 universities from around the world visit our school each year.

These visits are limited to students only, but parents are more than welcome to contact oru office for the contact information of a visiting representative. 

Important Links

High School Profile

Transcript Requests


Engy’s role as a High School Counselor is to support students through their social/emotional concerns, to guide them through their college/university application process, to encourage them to thrive for success each day and to help them build and plan their careers to be successful - both in their personal and professional areas. Also, she has worked as a Middle School Counselor in other schools here in Doha and has had the pleasure to work with students, parents, teachers and administration to support the students in all their areas as well as help them achieve their goals.

Engy attended Rafael Urdaneta University in Maracaibo, Venezuela and received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology.  Also, she holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology.  Engy is excited and grateful to work with all the students and families from GEMS.


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