Counseling & Social Work

The DJHS counseling and social work team.

What do we do in the Counseling Office?


Our goal in the DJHS School Counseling office is to address the academic, career and social emotional development of all students. We want to ensure that all students are prepared with and have access to the knowledge and skills to contribute at the highest level.

We know that students can face a lot of challenges that impact their learning. We want to be here to make sure students, and their families, feel supported at every level to help them succeed.



Who Are We?

Shani Hernandez

Mrs. Hernandez is our counseling office administrative assistant and our registrar. She handles records for Dalton Junior High School. She also handles bus information, work permits, and certificates of enrollment.


Michaela Burke

Ms. Burke earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a bachelor's degree in Biblical Theology from Johnson University, followed by a master's degree in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health. She began her career at Brookwood High School outside of Atlanta and quickly transitioned to DJHS to start her second year as a school counselor. She is also working as the assistant coach for TDA girls basketball. She works with students with the last names that start with A through G.


Haley Manney

Ms. Manney grew up in Athens, Tennessee before moving to Chattanooga to pursue her undergraduate degree. She earned both her bachelor’s in criminal justice and her master’s in school counseling at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She will see students with the last names Hernandez through Patel.


Lauren Watkins

Ms. Watkins was born and raised in Dalton, Ga, and went through Dalton Public Schools herself! She earned her bachelor’s in social work from the University of Georgia and her master’s in school counseling from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Ms. Watkins is also the REACH scholar academic advisor for DJHS. She works with students with the last names Patino through Z.


Stephanie Cervantes

Mrs. Cervantes is the social worker for DJHS. She earned her bachelor's degree in social work at Dalton State College adn master's degree in social work at Southern Adventist University. She began her school social work career at Westwood Elementary and Brookwood Elementary for Dalton Public Schools. She is excited to provide support and resourses to our students and families at DJHS.