6709 Pence Road
Charlotte, NC 28215
Courier #: 410
P: 980-343-6464  |  F: 980-343-6517 
Principal: Matthew Bower
LC: Central 1
Bell Schedule: 9:15 AM - 4:15 PM
Grades: PreK-5
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Leadership Team

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Matt Bower

Principal


On behalf of our entire staff, I would like to welcome you to the 2019-2020 school year! It is my honor to serve the Hickory Grove students, staff, families and surrounding community.  As the parent of two elementary students within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system, I recognize the great responsibility that I assume as the leader of this amazing school.

Personal Life

I am originally from upstate New York and now reside in Davidson, North Carolina with my wife Katie and our two children, Grace and Anna.  Katie is the Academic Facilitator at Davidson Elementary. Grace and Anna are in the fifth and second grades respectively this school year. In addition to spending time with family and friends, I am an avid sports fan and proud supporter of our Carolina Panthers and Duke Blue Devils!

Educational Background   

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Lynchburg College and a Masters in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  This year marks my 18th in public education. Prior to being announced as the Principal of Hickory Grove, I served in the capacity of classroom teacher, Dean of Instruction, Assistant Principal and Interim Principal at two elementary schools within CMS.     

My Commitment to ALL stakeholders

The safety and well-being of every child will remain my number one priority.  I believe that a safe, respectful and caring learning environment is paramount to unlocking the true potential of every student. My experiences have shown me that as individuals, young and old, we most often rise and fall to the level of expectation presented. Therefore, I am committed to maintaining high standards for all stakeholders while maintaining my core belief that with the proper supports EVERY child can experience success. Every decision I make as the leader of this school will be made with the best interest of our children in mind.






Monica Pitt

Assistant Principal



Personal Life

I am originally from Norfolk, Virginia and currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina with my husband, our youngest daughter (of six children), and our three year old grandson. While my husband’s favorite pastime is watching sports and working out, my favorite pastime is reading a good book or watching a movie on my patio.

Educational Background   

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Norfolk State University and then went on to Old Dominion University to earn my teaching certification through the Darden School of Education. Ultimately, I attained my master’s degree and then my license in School Administration from Queens University of Charlotte. Over a span of thirteen years, I have served as a substitute teacher, an elementary school teacher, a middle school science teacher, a Dean of Students, and now as an Assistant Principal.

My Commitment

As I believe that all children can learn and will learn if provided a structured environment that facilitates active and positive engagement, I am committed to demonstrating this belief and supporting all staff and students to ensure success is experienced by all.






Towanda Smith

Dean of Instruction


Personal Life

I am originally from Rockingham, NC and been a part of the Charlotte community since 2013.  I am happily married to my husband of 1.5 years (newlyweds). I enjoy watching sports and am an avid fan of the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, and UNC Tarheels! If either of those teams are playing, you can catch me cheering my teams on.  


Educational Background   

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC. I later decided that I wanted to move into School Administration and was accepted into the School Executive Leadership Academy (SELA) at Queens University where I obtained my license in School Administration. This is my 16th year in Education and have been so fortunate to teach many grades.  I was an Exceptional teacher at all three levels (high, middle, and elementary) I ended my teaching career in 5th grade where I taught Reading and Science. I can truly say that all of my experience has further developed my love for teaching and learning.

My Commitment

To create a safe and loving environment where all stakeholders will work together and share the responsibility of educating our students through effective means of communication and engagement with a unified focus on student success.






Lauren Berlin

Academic Facilitator


Personal Life

I am originally from upstate New York but have lived in Charlotte for the past 17 years.  I have a 14 year old son who attends a CMS high school. I enjoy spending time outdoors during the warm months and curled up reading during the cold months.


Educational Background  

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Niagara University.  I am a newly renewed National Boards Certified teacher. I started my career in education teaching Pre - K in New York.  I have since been with HGES for the past 17 years teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. I currently support 2nd grade and third grade reading as a facilitator.  


My Commitment

I am committed to supporting the students and teachers of Hickory Grove by providing opportunities and resources that will foster growth socially, emotionally, and academically.    












Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website ( www.cms.k12.nc.us ) is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115 . In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education...