HPS Educators Earn National Certification

HPS Educators Earn National Certification
Posted on 03/01/2020
national board
Two educators with Hickory Public Schools, Dena Nigrelli and Casey Campbell Roberson, recently earned the status as a National Board Certified Teacher. Barely three percent of the nation’s teachers are National Board Certified—as the certification process demonstrates a rigorous commitment to excellence that expands beyond the regular classroom duties.

Nigrelli, a counselor at Grandview Middle School, and Roberson, a resource teacher at Oakwood Elementary School, were both recognized by the HPS Board of Education for their professional achievement. Acquiring the certification takes time and funding—taken on by the individual teacher. But in the end, the benefits outweigh the challenges, according to Nigrelli and Roberson. 

The board certification allows teachers to hone their practice, showcase their talent in the classroom and demonstrate their dedication to their students and their profession. Additionally, the certification provides NC teachers with a 12 percent increase in salary.

With a total of 26 years as a counselor, Nigrelli has served 14 years as a counselor in public education, all with Hickory Public Schools. Prior to joining Grandview, she also served the children at Oakwood Elementary. “I enjoy working with so many students and teaching them how to make healthy decisions in their lives,” said Nigrelli.  

A graduate of Western Michigan University with an undergraduate degree in social work, Nigrelli also holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from Michigan State University. 

Nigrelli and her husband are the parents of two sons. When not busy with her counseling career, Nigrelli enjoys reading, cooking, and gardening—in addition to running during her after-school hours.

Roberson, who has served in education for a total of eleven years, with the past four years at Hickory Public Schools, loves working with her students.  “Earlier in my life, I had the opportunity to volunteer during the summer months with adults with disabilities—which opened my heart to pursuing special education. I enjoy the relationships that I have built with the students during each school year,” said Roberson, who hopes to continue her education with graduate studies in literacy.

A graduate of Western Carolina University with an undergraduate degree in special education, Roberson and her husband are the parents of one daughter. For relaxation away from the classroom, Roberson enjoys family time traveling to new places and also spending time with Lucy, her mixed beagle.

During the recognition by the Board of Education, Nigrelli and Roberson received a certificate and a pin representing their national achievement, with an additional $500 included in their monthly paycheck. 

The recognition event also included the mention of two HPS educators who recently renewed their National Board Certification: Jeanne Turner-Simms of Hickory High and David Wortman of Northview Middle.

Congratulations to all!


Photo ID: (L-R in center) Dena Nigrelli and Casey Campbell Roberson—were recognized by the HPS Board of Education for earning National Board Certification.

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