SPARK Is Proud to Be Named a Teacher of the Year Sponsor

RESTON, VA, January 22, 2020 — SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators announced today a three-year partnership with SPARK, Wellness Training Specialists (WellTrain), Gopher, and Goodheart-Willcox Publisher (G-W). This partnership will collaboratively serve as the SHAPE America Teacher of the Year Partner Network, beginning with the 2020 class of award recipients.

This new Network brings together leading partners in the educational publishing, equipment, curriculum, and professional development sectors. SPARK, WellTrain, Gopher, and G-W bring an unmatched passion for physical activity, physical education and health, along with a history of research, products, services, and practical experience. Together, SHAPE America and the Partner Network will collaborate to ensure that the Teacher of the Year program places teachers first and continues to grow, shape and cultivate outstanding teachers for decades to come.

District and National Teacher of the Year winners will be recognized and celebrated in a variety of ways. Recipients will be afforded even more opportunities to share their successes and journey to Teacher of the Year, serving as role models and inspiration for teachers across the country. The Partner Network will also offer Teachers of the Year an array of opportunities to publish content in their respective areas of expertise through social media, blogs, webinars, e-newsletters, podcasts and in-person trainings.

“This is a unique time in SHAPE America’s history, and one that presents an opportunity to improve, enhance and grow the Teacher of the Year program,” said SHAPE America CEO Stephanie A. Morris. “ This new Partner Network brings many exciting new opportunities for the program, including professional development, curriculum resources, equipment, a new mentor program, and a host of opportunities to celebrate and uplift these deserving educators.”

SPARK will provide a convenient online professional development platform for Teachers of the Year (current and alumni) that will house professional development resources, track Teacher of the Year personal and professional growth opportunities and support a new Teacher of the Year mentorship program. In addition, an optional National Teacher of the Year Training and Networking event is planned for summer 2020.

“SPARK is honored to be a part of this Partner Network and we are dedicated to making history together with the SHAPE America Teacher of the Year program. It’s important to SPARK to dedicate resources and support SHAPE America — our national organization,” said SPARK Executive Director Julie Frank. “We want to help share these fantastic teachers’ talents and expertise with the larger health and physical education community. We are excited to utilize our past experience and expertise working with Teachers of the Year. Some of the most passionate SPARK supporters and contributors have been former Teachers of the Year and have played a role in the development of SPARK content.”

WellTrain will offer a slate of opportunities for Teachers of the Year (current and alumni) to gain the skills and knowledge to participate and take on future leadership roles. Offerings will ensure a focus on both personal and professional growth and will be delivered through face-to-face and online channels.

“As the 2004 SHAPE Colorado Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year, I am personally excited for this opportunity to give back and help support future leaders in our health and physical education community by providing high-quality professional development and technical assistance for future Teacher of the Year recipients and alumni,” said Wellness Training Specialists President and CEO Terry Jones.

In addition to significant financial support for the Teacher of the Year program, Gopher will also provide the necessary equipment and travel assistance for teachers to make presentations at state, regional and national conferences and professional development sessions.

“Each of us has been inspired by an outstanding teacher — and the impact they have had on us is remembered for a lifetime. Gopher is proud to support a program designed to recognize educators and their tireless efforts to help their students succeed. In collaboration with SHAPE America and the other exceptional partners involved in this program, we look forward to sharing the stories and successes of these excellent educators in hopes that it inspires and impacts the entire health and physical education community,” said Gopher Vice President of Marketing Matt Ginskey.

As a leading provider of middle and high school resources that address the physical, emotional, and social dimensions of health and wellness, G-W will serve as the Health Education partner. Through their support, G-W will provide instructional materials for award recipients in the health education category, in addition to highlighting alumni and current winners through panel presentations at the SHAPE America National Convention & Expo and through G-W’s various platforms.

“Recognition of teacher excellence is a priority to Goodheart-Willcox,” says G-W Director of Marketing Maureen Brennan. “ These outstanding educators are spending countless hours on the job, sharing their talents, inspiring students, and serving as role models for the next generation. Many of our authors are SHAPE America Teacher of the Year alumni, making this partnership a natural fit.”

Since its inception in 1983, the SHAPE America Teacher of the Year program has provided the opportunity to shine a national spotlight on the dedicated and talented teachers who are ready to take their ideas and skills to a national stage, to be shared with thousands of teachers across the country. The program recognizes outstanding teachers in six categories, including physical education (elementary, middle and high school), adapted physical education, school health education, and dance education. It has proven time and time again to be a program that cultivates future leaders for SHAPE America and their 51 state affiliate organizations.

SHAPE America recently announced the 2020 District Teachers of the Year and will announce the 2020 National Teachers of the Year live at the Hall of Fame Celebration and Give Back Event on April 24 during the 2020 SHAPE America National Convention & Expo.


About SHAPE America

SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators is the national organization that serves as the voice for 200,000+ health and physical education professionals across the nation. Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our National Standards for K-12 Physical Education serve as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country. We provide programs, resources and advocacy that support an inclusive, active, kinder, and healthier school culture and champion health and physical educators at every level, from preschool to university graduate programs. Our extensive community includes members, advocates and supporters, as well as 51 state affiliate organizations (including the District of Columbia). Together we are working, in and out of schools, to prepare every child to lead a healthy, physically active life. For more information, visit


With 30 years of dedication to evidence, innovation, and impact, SPARK offers the most researched physical education and physical activity programs in the world for PreK through 12th grade, both in and out of school. Over 50 publications prove SPARK works and lasts! SPARK provides curricula that aligns with SHAPE America’s National Standards for K-12 Physical Education, staff development training, equipment, and lifetime support. SPARK’s mission is to create, implement, and evaluate programs that promote lifetime wellness. It is specifically dedicated to increasing the quantity and quality of physical education. For more information, visit

About Wellness Training Specialists

Providing 11 years of trainer development, Wellness Training Specialists (WellTrain) is the only school wellness professional development organization that is research-based. WellTrain has a long-standing belief that high-quality staff development can transform education and create change in teacher practices. WellTrain provides state of the art, standards-based in-service training and technical assistance for physical education teachers, classroom teachers, and school staff. For more information, visit

About Gopher

For over 70 years, Gopher has built a strong reputation for helping physical education, athletics, and fitness professionals achieve their goals. Their dedication to high-quality, innovative equipment and superior customer care have made them the trusted source in physical education. Gopher’s passion for the products they sell guarantees teachers and PE programs they serve will be satisfied – or their money back! With their unconditional 100% satisfaction guarantee and exceptional customer service, Gopher has become the #1 choice of teachers. For more information, visit

About Goodheart-Willcox Publisher

Established in 1921, Goodheart-Willcox publishes the highest quality content for Health Education and Career and Technical Education. G-W’s expanding focus on health education emphasizes the benefits of healthy living and its impact on student success in the classroom, in careers, and throughout life. Written by experienced teachers and industry experts, G-W health titles include a full portfolio of student and instructor materials for middle school and high school. Let’s work together to encourage healthy living. For more information, visit