Press Release


SHAPE America to Honor West Chester University’s Fran Cleland

RESTON, VA, March 23, 2016 – Fran Cleland, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at West Chester University (WCU) in Pennsylvania, will be honored with the Margie R. Hanson Elementary Physical Education Distinguished Service Award by SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators during its 131st National Convention & Expo, April 5-9 in Minneapolis. Cleland will be recognized for her outstanding contributions to children in the field of physical education at the SHAPE America Celebration of Professional Excellence Ceremony on Thursday, April 7. 

The award is named for Margie R. Hanson, a dedicated SHAPE America member for 26 years who was a pioneer in promoting physical education for children through her own teaching, advocacy and program support.   

According to SHAPE America President Stephen Jefferies, professor emeritus, Central Washington University, "this award honors an individual who exemplifies the highest standards in advocating for and providing quality physical education for all children." 

Cleland, who has been teaching at WCU for 21 years, is also the assistant chair of the Health and Physical Education Teacher Certification Program. Prior to teaching at the college level, she taught K-12 health and physical education in Indiana, Virginia and Oregon. She has received numerous state, district and national awards, including the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PSAHPERD) Elmer B. Cottrell award and the national SHAPE America Honor Award. Most recently, she was inducted into the North American Society of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport & Dance Professionals.

 From 2012-2015, Cleland served on the SHAPE America Board of Directors. She is also a past president of the former National Association for Sport and Physical Education and served on the Council of Physical Education for Children. At the state level, Cleland served as president of the PSAHPERD and has held several offices on the New Hampshire Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, PSAHPERD and EDA/AAHPERD (now SHAPE America) executive boards.

Her research has focused on implementing critical thinking in K-12 physical education. She is the lead author of the textbook, Developmental Physical Education for All Children – Theory into Practice, to be published in October, 2016.  

Cleland received her bachelor's degree in K-12 health and physical education from Purdue University, followed by her master's and P.E.D. in kinesiology – motor development, adapted physical education and child development from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

For more information about SHAPE America's National Convention & Expo, visit the website and follow hashtag #SHAPEMinneapolis.


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit