Meet the Team

About Us

Our Mission
Together, we serve as advocates for supporting all students as unique individuals, preparing them for a successful transition to high school and in becoming self-directed contributors of society.

6th Grade Counselor
Mark Fitzwater

A photo of Mr. Fitzwater

Mark Fitzwater is from Delaware. After graduating with a masters degree in Secondary School Counseling, Mark decided to move west. He arrived in Colorado in 2007 to take advantage of outdoor sports like snowboarding and cycling. He worked in Eagle County School District before moving down to the Front Range to work at Drake Middle School.

Mark enjoys snowboarding and cycling in his spare time.

7th Grade Counselor
Mandy Hodson

A photo of Mrs. Hodson

Mandy Hodson has been a school counselor since 2008 and has a background in both high school and middle school counseling, as well as teaching English Language Arts. She is thrilled to be working with students at Drake Middle School. Mandy will be helping students achieve their academic and personal goals, as well as start working with students early on for career and college plans.

Mandy is originally from the East Coast and earned a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Frostburg State University in Western Maryland. After several years of teaching, Mandy decided to continue working with students in an educational setting but different capacity and pursue a master’s degree in School Counseling.

Mandy lives in Arvada with her husband, Kevin, and 3 kids: Grace, Maggie and Charlie. For fun, Mandy and her family enjoy spending time outside in the beautiful Colorado mountains!   

8th Grade Counselor
Bonnie Acree

A photo of Ms. Acree

Bonnie Acree has spent the last six years in various counseling roles, including working with children in residential treatment and as a school-based therapist. Bonnie is looking forward to continuing to work with the counseling team to help students learn about mental health, reduce barriers to learning, and reach their goals.

Bonnie grew up in Lakewood and is a graduate of Jeffco Schools. Bonnie earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Welfare from Adams State University. She then earned her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education from the University of Colorado Denver. 

Bonnie currently lives in Golden and spends her free time playing soccer, riding horses, traveling, and enjoying nature. 


Kearn Walker

Kemper Smith

Counselors at Drake help students across social/emotional, academic, and career domains. Students can request an appointment with us by filling out a counselor request form in front of the Counseling Center. Parents, please note that e-mail is the preferred method of communication!

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