Mrs. Valerie Denny
School(s): Middle School, Primary School
Department(s): American Faculty, Specialist Teacher
Title(s): English Math Teacher (G7-G8); Science Teacher (G2-G8)

For more than 30 years, Valerie A.S. Denny has called teaching her life’s work. She has been with the French International School since 1997 as a science and mathematics teacher and has taught algebra, earth science, general science, human development, astronomy, biology, computers in the sciences, chemistry, meteorology, and physics.

Mrs. Denny earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s in secondary school science (MSSS), both from Villanova University with concentrations in chemistry, geology and astronomy. She continued her education with post graduate credits from the University of Pennsylvania and doctoral credits from Bryn Mawr College, both in education and child psychology. She also received a certificate in nanotechnology from Immaculata University.

As a mother of five, Mrs. Denny understands the demands on parents and students to balance school work, extracurricular activities and family commitments. She strives to make learning interesting and manageable by breaking problems or terms down into their simple forms. A former Girl Scout and leader she has acquired a love of the outdoors and strives to instill in her students that science doesn’t just happen in the classroom.

Mrs. Denny has won many awards in her career, most recently a visiting lecturer position at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom presenting ‘Cambridge Rocks! The geology of Cambridge’ and ‘Architectural Stability Dependence on Geology.’  In addition, she received an Excellence in Teaching Award from Delaware County Community College Education Foundation.

In addition to teaching, Mrs. Denny regularly volunteers her time and talents. She has served as a host for Women in STEM’s engineering day open house and a faculty mentor for first year adjunct faculty. Mrs. Denny also has contributed lab experimental designs to the DCCC Earth Science Lab Manual and has reviewed texts for the new natural hazards approach to earth science.

When asked what makes the French International School of Philadelphia unique, Mrs. Denny said, “From a science teacher's point of view, the combination of the curricula benchmarks from the French Ministry and the Pennsylvania Department of Education affords the student so many more experiences to enrich their knowledge-base.  What a student may have missed in their educational experience, they will be able to meet and build upon each year as we move through the spectrum of the physical (chemistry, physics), biological (zoology, botany) and earth sciences (astronomy, geology, meteorology, oceanography).”