BRATTLEBORO >> 1993 Brattleboro Union High School graduate Denise Brown was voted "Most Likely To Succeed" by her BUHS classmates.
We had never seen her fail.
Brown went on to earn a degree at the University of Vermont, traded in her softball jersey for a lab coat, got married, and now has two daughters — Logan, 10 and Reese, 4.
"I've spent almost 16 years here in Arizona working to push forward different frontiers of science; first spending many years in optimal health, preventive medicine and aging research, and now exploring alternative resources, specifically the potential of microalgae," said Brown.
You may remember her as a talented catcher, who helped the Colonels to four consecutive Division 1 softball finals and a couple of state championships.
"Watching coach Mary Beth Birsky's shoulders and head drop when the last out was made my freshman year in the softball state championship game," Brown responded, when asked about her high school sports memories. "Seeing her disappointment made a strong impression and it became a driver for working hard to get that opportunity back again."
She also remembers the time field hockey teammate Jennifer Strong got a laugh over the PA system during a bus ride by mocking the key chains given to each playoff participant following a postseason loss. And she won't forget the difference between her long, dark drive home to Dover after night basketball practices and the same trip with the windows down following softball practices in the spring.
"I was lucky to play alongside some very talented high school athletes and during my four years at BUHS we had some great successes in all three sports," stated Brown, whose varsity basketball teammates during her senior season were Jill Williams, Amy Veenema, Jennifer Hamilton, Melissa Clark, Liz Tortolani, Tracey Einig, Sarah Toney, Jennifer Smith, Courtney Christmas, Kristen Manix, Becky Nelson, and Strong.
While studying Medical Laboratory Science at UVM, she played catcher and then outfielder for the Catamounts softball team. She finished her college career with 74 hits, 45 runs scored and 31 RBI's.
These days, her weekends are usually spent seeing Logan cheer at football games or watching Reese play soccer. She also enjoys doing things with her family such as hiking, biking, swimming and getting up to the mountains of Arizona.
"I like to run and my recent new hobby is trying to learn how to play golf," Brown said. "So far I've not been very successful, but I'm determined to figure it out."