Counseling

Deb Rivera

Guidance Counselor- Deb Rivera

Welcome to our WGA family! I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with our students to help support learning and the achievement of their life-long goals and success. I hold a Master's degree in School Counseling and Educational Administration, and have 20 years teaching experience at the elementary school level. Walnut Glen has been the recipient of the CREST Award (Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students) for the last four consecutive years. We are proud to be a "Leader in Me" school that offers students an exceptional leadership program to promote academic, social and emotional learning. 

Vision Statement


Lead each student to excellence and lifelong learning

Our Mission Statement

At Walnut Glen Academy, we will provide the students an exceptional education that develops leadership, citizenship, academic and social skills in order to maximize each student's success and prepare them for future career choices and life experiences.

Our School Climate and Safety     

The school counselor facilitates the delivery of guidance, character education and personal safety curriculum. Anti-Bullying Week is recognized in the fall and serves to remind students to “Help Everyone Respect Others” with daily activities addressing bullying issues. “Just Say No” drug education is presented during Red Ribbon Week with daily school wide themes to increase awareness and prevention. The WHO (We Help Ourselves) program teaches personal safety with Stranger Danger and self-care topics. In addition, Cyber Safety Week instructs both students and parents on their roles and responsibilities for online safety. The “YOU MATTER” campaign serves to bring student awareness to mental health issues and personal care.  Our character education program teaches character traits and promotes The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, founded by Stephen Covey, throughout the year. The Leader in Me program is an integral part of our school goal to develop character and leadership in all our students and help build positive habits for academic and personal success.

Student Success

The counselor also assists parents with their children’s academic and college/career planning by providing test scores and interpretation, student records, information about applications for our magnet programs and the Duke TIP Program; course scheduling for 5th graders; and providing parents and students with upcoming test and campus guidance event information.

Parent education is offered through conferences, information on our campus website, parent newsletters available on our district website, and informational brochures sent home during the year about college resources, drug awareness and prevention, bullying topics, and character education.

Information regarding the counseling and guidance program are communicated via our Walnut Glen Academy website, the Garland ISD site, and notifications from the counselor in our Thursday parent communication folder. We ask our parents to join us as partners in our school community educating and empowering our students to become our future’s great leaders!

What can my counselor do for me?

Counselors will help you by:

  • providing study skills and academic 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!

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.

No bully zone

Our school is a NO BULLY ZONE! Help stop bullying! Whether bullying is physical or verbal, if it's not stopped it can lead to more aggressive antisocial behavior and interfere with a child's success in school and the ability to form and sustain friendships. If you have any questions, or need help with bullying please call the school and set up an appointment with the counselor.

Bullying and cybersafety

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

Visit the district website for more information and resources related to bullying and cybersafety.

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.