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Denise McCarthy

Denise McCarthy (ND '97)


Grade(s): 9

At the time of the Award, Denise McCarthy was:

Ben Franklin Middle School
Fargo, ND

Subject(s) taught: Physical Science
Grade(s): 9

Biographical Information

A 36-year veteran of teaching science, Denise McCarthy currently teaches physical science at North High School in Fargo, where she has been since 2006. Previously, McCarthy taught a combination of life science, earth science and physical science at Ben Franklin Junior High School, also in Fargo, for nearly 20 years. There, McCarthy implemented Chemistry and Physics Corps (CAP Corps), a program through which ninth-grade physical science students facilitated hands-on science activities for upper elementary school students in a junior high school environment. Always enthused about "this great subject," McCarthy says she continues her own formal education regularly because "it renews my perspective of what it's like to be on the other side of the desk, and to appreciate what my students may be experiencing." Her many awards include the 1996 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science from the National Science Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association, and the Award for Excellence from Fargo Public Schools.

Personal Message

I retired in 2008 after 36 years of full time science teaching. However, teaching students science is so much fun and rewarding that I just could not completely walk away from something that I loved so much. Therefore, I continued to be a science sub in Fargo, ND until 2011. Following my husband's retirement in 2011, we moved to Milwaukee, WI to get closer to grandchildren. I applied for and was granted a Wisconsin Professional Educators License. I am now in my 9th year of science substitute teaching focusing on middle school students in some of the private schools in Milwaukee.

Additional Information


1966 Pennsylvania State University, B.S., 1967 Pennsylvania State University, M.Ed.

Academics, Community Service, Cooperative Learning, Mentoring, Peer Programs, Science, Team Teaching