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McCarthy is nominated for national title

Meadowview Elementary School physical education teacher Joe McCarthy seems to be developing quite a reputation these days. He's been nominated for the NFL Network's Phy Ed Teacher of the Year.

McCarthy was nominated for the honor by four different people - none of whom are from the Farmington School District. In fact, a couple of them are not even from Minnesota. They're all people he's encountered at various speaking engagements and conferences, where he has shared some of the programs he's implementing in Farmington. One nomination came from a phy ed teacher in Edina, another from a teacher in South Dakota. He was also nominated by a representative of the Sanford Hospitals, and someone from the American Heart Association.

"That makes me feel really good about what I'm doing in trying to create healthy lifestyles for our children," McCarthy said.

In the notification email, Shannon Smith of the NFL Network said the Phy Ed Teacher of the Year award is designed to recognize the role of educators who work to increase in-school physical activity and teach skills students need to develop healthy lifestyles.

"NFL Network believes that every student should have the opportunity to participate in quality physical education," Smith wrote. "We're looking for the most inspiring, motivating and dedicated PE teacher in the country."

McCarthy was a little surprised when he received Smith's email late last week.

"I was shocked. Shocked and amazed. It's a huge award," McCarthy said. "It means a lot to me."

The award isn't his yet. He'll have to fill out an application form and send it in for consideration. That deadline is Feb. 8. His application will be judged against teachers from around the United States, and the winner will be notified in March. The NFL Network's Teacher of the Year will receive a $5,000 grant for his or her school, and a $10,000 personal stipend.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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