Meet your counselor

Oliva Tarkington, MS, NCC, LPC

Hi, I'm Oliva Tarkington (Ms. Oliva), Counselor here at Centerville Elementary. I love, Love, LOVE my job!  There are many different aspects to being Centerville’s Counselor.  My favorite part of my job is talking to students, parents, and teachers about "very important things." This happens through consultation, Classroom Guidance, individual counseling, and small group counseling. If I can be of any help to you or your family, please call me between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Friday at 972-926-2510, text me at 469-723-9124, message me through Class Dojo, or email me anytime at

Social emotional learning

Social and emotional learning focuses on the development of important soft skills including understanding and managing emotions, setting and achieving positive goals, feeling and showing empathy for others, establishing and maintaining positive relationships and making responsible decisions. SEL is a priority as this support will help our students manage themselves throughout their lives and will help to foster a sense of community within the classroom and school environment. 

Centerville Elementary is proud to utilize the three signature practices of SEL each day.  Our day begins with our “temperature check” where each person finds their Zone of Regulation and then we do one of our mindfulness strategies to help us get to or stay in the “green” zone.  Throughout the day teachers do brain breaks and AVID cheers to help keep students engaged and feel part of our school family.  Our days end with our optimistic closure.  Teachers say, “OK Cheetahs, our day is done.” Then students reply with, “See you tomorrow for another one!”  This helps our student end the day on a positive note and give them hope for the next day. 

Additionally, I teach a weekly SEL lesson to each grade level.  These lessons are scheduled during a time slot chosen by each teacher. Lessons range from study skills, to friendship skills, to social skills, to character education. This is my FAVORITE part of my job.  I love seeing all our wonderful students and hearing them “Tell me something good!”  I like to begin our time together on a positive note.  I share something good happening in my life and then give a few students the opportunity to share something good happening in their lives.

Centerville Elementary School Counseling Mission Statement

The mission of the Centerville Elementary School Counseling Program is to assist all students as they grow to become productive citizens and responsible, lifelong learners as they navigate their academic development, personal, social and emotional growth and career exploration.

Centerville Elementary School Counseling Vision Statement

The School Counselor will help provide an atmosphere of encouragement, warmth, and security as Centerville students work to reach their fullest educational potential in the areas of academic, career, and personal development. The School Counselor will strive to establish a solid foundation as Centerville students successfully manage their lives as healthy, responsible and productive citizens who respect themselves and others.

Centerville Elementary School Counseling Belief Statements

  1. I believe that ALL students can learn and achieve academic greatness when encouraged and nurtured in a respectful environment.
  2. I believe that nurturing ALL students social and emotional well-being will encourage academic development and future success.
  3. I believe the school counselor’s role is to provide a data driven, developmental counseling program to meet the needs of ALL students through a guidance curriculum, individual student planning, responsive services, and system support.
  4. The school counseling program will promote the following: an understanding of and respect of self and others; problem solving and decision-making; emotional-management skills; skills for learning; and the influence of academic habits on career success.

What can my counselor do for me?

Counselors will help you by:

  • providing study skills and academic information

  • help 5th grade students with middle school registration

  • helping in teacher/student relationships

  • helping cope with family issues

  • listening to concerns about friends, etc.

  • giving you information about life and decision-making skills

  • referring you to people or places outside of school for help if necessary

  • being your advocate – counselors are here for you!

Counselors for each campus are certified by the state of Texas in School Counseling, have a Master’s Degree, and previous teaching experience. Each elementary school has a guidance counselor to help ensure that adequate support for helping students to succeed and meet their goals is available.

Visit the district website for more information about the GISD Guidance & Counseling programs


Bullying Policy

In our effort to prevent bullying, throughout the year, Centerville Elementary participates in multiple opportunities to educate students about bullying, including:

  • Be a HERO (Helpful, Encouraging, Respectful, On-Task)
  • Friendship Card Game
  • Character Education
  • Guidance Lessons
  • Super Hero Bingo

What is bullying?

The district defines bullying as "Written or verbal expression or physical conduct that (1) has the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property; or (2) is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student. 

Bullying may involve, but is not limited to, any of the following actions that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment:

  • Repeated teasing or name calling

  • Cyberbullying*

  • Sexual, religious, or racial harassment

  • Public humiliation

  • Social exclusion

  • Spreading rumors  

*Cyberbullying is willful harassment and/or intimidation of a person through the use of digital technologies.

Please reference the Garland ISD Student Code of Conduct and Handbook on the Policies page for more information on Garland ISD and bullying.


No student should be subjected to bullying or harassment that interferes with their ability to learn or their safety.

Visit the Bullying Prevention and Investigation page on the district website for more information and resources.

Anonymous Alerts®

You can use the Anonymous Alerts® webform or mobile app to quickly, easily and anonymously report bullying, cyberbullying and other sensitive topics to school officials.

Anonymous Alerts® is monitored by GISD Security 24-hours daily and should only be used for serious and urgent matters. In the event of an emergency or life-threatening event, always call 911.

Submit an Anonymous Alert®

Download the app

To place a report from a mobile device, first download the free Anonymous Alerts® app from the Apple App Store or Google Play store. Then open the app and enter activation code garlandisd.