Mental Health poster

How are you feeling? Great! Pretty Good! Doing Okay. Could be better. Really Struggling. I need support! Your counselor is here to help with your feelings. 

Get to know our counselor

Marka Phillips

Mrs. Phillips

Hello Mighty Eagles! My name is Marka Phillips and I am your Hillside Academy Counselor. I am a graduate of Lakeview Centennial High School. I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Prairie View A & M University (The Hill).  This is my 29th  year as an educator, 27 of those years in Garland ISD.  I am excited about being your child’s counselor and an EAGLE!  In my spare time I love spending time with my family, playing basketball, watching movies, crafting, and enjoying the outdoors. 


Phone: 972-926-2550 Ext. # 42507

Our vision is to create a future where every student is empowered to achieve their highest academic potential, transforming into not only skilled professionals in the global workforce but also embodying the values of respect and responsibility, making a positive impact on the world around them.

At Hillside Academy for Excellence, our counseling program strives to create a holistic and supportive environment for all students. Our mission is to address their academic, social, and emotional needs comprehensively and proactively. Through promoting advocacy, leadership, character development, and collaboration, we are committed to nurturing personal growth, fostering social responsibility, and encouraging academic excellence among our students.

Programs and activities


Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.

At Hillside Academy students engage in the 3 Signatures Practices: Welcoming Activities, Engaging Activities, and Optimistic Closure.  We also have positive affirmations daily.

College, Career, Military & Readiness (CCMR)

College and career readiness for elementary students is an essential concept that involves preparing your child to succeed academically and professionally in the future. It lays the foundation for their future educational pursuits and eventual entry into the workforce. As parents, you play a crucial role in supporting and fostering this readiness in your child.

Remember that college and career readiness is a journey that extends throughout your child's educational years. By providing them with a solid foundation and supporting their growth, you're equipping them with the skills and mindset needed to thrive academically and professionally in the years to come.

Classroom Lessons

What will my child learn from the guidance counselor? 

Individual counseling

Teachers or students may request a referral to see the counselor. Students first make the request to their teacher. Teachers then make the contact with the counselor. Parents may also make a request directly to the counselor.

Helpful parent resources

Counseling Institute of Texas - Counseling Institute of Texas, Inc. -Affordable local counseling agency that provides in person counseling services for students and families at two convenient locations in Garland (Student Services Building & 3200 Southern Dr.) M-Th 10am-8pm & Fri-Sat. 9am-4 pm. 972-271-4300 or 



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.