Get to Know Your Counselors

Leah Berry  (C-GA)


My name is Leah Berry, counselor at Byron Nelson High School.  This is my eighth year as a counselor at Byron Nelson and my twenty-fifth year in education.  Prior to becoming a counselor I was a math teacher at Pike Middle School.  Before coming to Northwest ISD I taught math in Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD.

My upbringing was always on a farm in Eastern Iowa where I learned the basics of life and hard work.  I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa and my Master’s in School Counseling from Dallas Baptist University with honors.   Both programs taught me lessons in life, education and the pursuit of enriching the lives of our young future.

I am married to my best friend, Steve, and we have two amazing children.  Walker graduated from Northwest High School in 2014 and recently graduated from Texas Tech University this summer. GUNS UP!!!  Grace attends Medlin Middle school and is super active.  She is in love with soccer and volleyball.  Needless to say, when I am not at Byron, you can find me on a soccer field or a volleyball court throughout DFW or often on the road traveling to play something over and over again.

My number one passion is my family.  I also enjoy working out and shopping.

This is going to be a great year.  I am here to help all students become the best they can be.


Monique Chavez  (SK-Z)

I began my career as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California but after moving to Mexico City (and not being able to practice there), I became a school counselor at the American School Foundation and have never looked back!

 I am now in my 15th year as a school counselor.  After returning to the United States, I was a middle school counselor and then a high school counselor in Rio Rancho, New Mexico for 8 years.  I then spent two years exploring the East Coast while living in Ashburn, Virginia, working as a high school counselor, just 30 miles outside of Washington, DC.  Two years ago we moved to the DFW area.  I was blessed to join the Byron Nelson High School counseling staff and be a part of the Bobcat family.

 I believe the school counseling program is an integral component of the educational environment and I am excited that I get to be a member in partnership to create student achievement.  I am passionate about guiding and inspiring students toward a path of success, both in high school and beyond. My hope is that all students and families feel welcome to come to me with their concerns and challenges, and that I can help them leave with a plan and purpose.

 I am a native Californian, having grown up in the Los Angeles area but have been afforded the great blessing of experiencing and embracing many cities, states and countries.  My greatest joy comes from my husband and two daughters.   I love soccer, the outdoors, baking and simply enjoying this wonderful life!

Ryan Laney (Intervention Counselor)

 Jennifer Martinez (GE-K)

I grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and graduated from Northwest High School, Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas with a Masters in Counseling. 

I have worked for the Northwest ISD Education Foundation, taught special education at Northwest High School, was a counselor at Northwest High School, an interventionist for University Behavioral Health, a counselor at Tidwell Middle School. I now call Byron Nelson High School home.

I am married to my husband, Richard, and have a daughter, Bridget. 

Paige Smith (A-B)

I come from a long line of Louisiana educators.  I began my career in Louisiana education in 1994 as a high school math teacher and also taught at the college level.  I have degrees from LSU and Louisiana Tech and have served as a high school counselor in both Louisiana and Texas.  I moved to Texas in 2006 and have been a counselor at Byron Nelson High School since 2010.  I am blessed to live in this wonderful community with my loving family.  I would like to borrow a slogan from the US Navy advertisement to describe how I feel about working at BNHS.  ”It’s not just a job…it’s an adventure.”  I enjoy helping students “figure out life” and I look forward to many more years of counseling the students of NISD.

Christina Salcido (L-N)

I grew up in Southern Colorado and attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.   I began my educational career in Colorado Springs District 11 as a high school English teacher.  I then moved to Texas with my husband after living in Providence, Rhode Island and teaching English in the Cumberland School Department.  I also taught English and worked as a School Counselor in Keller ISD before becoming a Byron Nelson School Counselor.     

I earned my Master’s Degree at TWU in their Counseling and Development program where I worked on a dual track of Community and School Counseling.  I completed my LPC shortly after finishing my Master’s Degree and also work in private practice community counseling. 

My family loves the DFW area.  We enjoy exploring the beauty of Texas and spend time outdoors running or bike riding together.  We also like exploring the DFW food scene because my husband works as a local executive chef. 

I look forward to a great year and have loved serving our Byron Nelson High School community. 

Emily Shipman (O-SI)

I am so excited to be a part of the Byron Nelson High School counseling team! I have worked as a marketing teacher and DECA advisor in Birdville ISD for the past nine years. I received my undergraduate degree from Syracuse University (GO ORANGE!) and my Master of Education in School Counseling from Lamar University. My husband Billy is a police Lt. in Irving, and we have three children: Hallie, Josephine and Wyatt. Some of my personal favorites include the Dallas Cowboys, coffee, and staying active with my family. I am passionate about helping all students achieve academic, career, and social success. I feel honored to work with the wonderful students and staff at BNHS, and am looking forward to a great year!