Freeman counselor's corner
Get to know your counselor
My name is Andrew Petras and I will be your counselor this year at Freeman Elementary School! I look forward to working with you all!
Here is some information about me: I was born near Milwaukee, WI, USA. Other cities in or near which I have lived include Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Austin, TX; and Dallas, TX. I am a graduate of Colleyville Heritage High School (Grapevine-Colleyville ISD), the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), and the University of North Texas (UNT). At UT Austin, I obtained a bachelor’s degree in bilingual elementary education (Spanish and English) in 2013 and began my work career in the Austin, TX area as a bilingual teacher from 2013-2018. While teaching, I worked on coursework for my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction for bilingual/bicultural education and graduated in 2018. From 2019-2022, I completed a second master’s degree in school counseling at UNT while teaching in Garland ISD as an intervention teacher at Heather Glen Elementary and a bilingual teacher at Walnut Glen Academy. When I am not working, I spend time with my parents, siblings, wife, dog, friends and relatives.
It is an honor to be a part of the Freeman community. Please reach out. I am here to help.
The school counselor will respond to the needs of stakeholders at Freeman Elementary to help students realize their fullest academic and personal potential and to empower them to rise to the modern challenges that this world presents. Through passionately providing ethical, professional, evidence-based, consistent, and effective counseling services, the counselor will promote all-around growth and development. As a result, students will be motivated to master knowledge standards; foster open-mindedness and respect; and attain college, career, and military readiness (CCMR).
As a result of Freeman Elementary’s counseling program, students will develop and foster a sense of belonging with a voice to express their individuality and achieve success.
What can my counselor do for me?
Your counselor is someone who you will want to get to know because they can assist you as you progress through elementary school and beyond. Make an appointment to see your counselor.
Counselors will help you by:
Counselors for each campus are certified by the State of Texas and have a master's degree in school counseling as well as at least two years of previous teaching experience. Each elementary school has a counselor to help ensure that students receive adequate support to succeed and meet their goals.
- reviewing your choice of subject during the registration period (February - April)
- providing study skills and academic information
- providing career and college information
- 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!
Programs and activities
Throughout the year, lessons and activities are provided focusing on academic achievement and personal / social emotional growth. The lessons include a variety of topics such as:
- College and Career Awareness
- Character Education
- Bully Prevention
- Social and Emotional Skill Development
- Drug and Violence Awareness
- Personal Safety
- Respect and Responsibility
Cyber Safety Week
At our school we realize that safety on the Internet is very important. Shortly after the school year begins, teachers and staff engage students in cybersafety awareness lessons to promote technology security. Please encourage your students to be mindful of their online activities.
Mental health awareness week
We aim at Freeman to reduce the stigma around seeking mental health assistance. Every year we raise awareness around options to seek mental help if needed. A major component of this endeavor is to promote acceptance of those struggling with mental issues and offer kind and encouraging support.
Red Ribbon Week
Freeman celebrates Red Ribbon Week the last week in October. The purpose of the week is to show your commitment towards helping to make our nation drug free. Along with wearing red ribbons, we will have a theme for each day. Everyone is encouraged to participate.
College awareness for elementary
Elementary school is not too early for kids to think about what they want to be when they grow up. At elementary age, it's easy to help lead your child on the road to success. A parent's role at this age is to support and encourage their learning as much as possible. Our district website has more ideas on college and career readiness. Listed below are some things kids and parents can do to make learning fun. We want every child to be prepared, regardless of their path.
- Do your best in school
- Read a lot
- Have fun learning
- Read out loud to your child so they can develop an interest in reading
- Check your child's homework, look at report cards, and attend teacher conferences
- Start saving now for their education, whether it is a university, trade school or junior college
Visit the district website for more information about the GISD Guidance & Counseling programs.
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.
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.
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.