Press Release


Minnesota SHAPE Executive Director to be Honored with National Award

RESTON, VA, March 10, 2017 — Nancy Christensen, executive director of Minnesota SHAPE, will be honored with the SHAPE America Honor Award for meritorious service by SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators. The award, which recognizes recipients for their personal integrity, devoted service to the profession, and noteworthy contributions to the advancement of health and physical education, will be presented at the Professional Excellence Awards Ceremony on Thursday, March 16, during the SHAPE America National Convention & Expo in Boston. 

"Nancy Christensen is a person of high integrity who has contributed positively to our profession for 43 years," says SHAPE America President Jackie Lund of Georgia State University. "She has served in many capacities of leadership at the state, district, and national levels, and in each leadership role, she has held the highest esteem of her colleagues due to her caring and "can-do" attitude."  

Over her career Christensen has served as a board/leadership council member, committee chair, convention manager, leadership summit coordinator, and state executive director. In each case, she was consistently organized, on-schedule, thoughtful, and innovative. Her opinions and contributions were highly regarded. She always put others before herself. 

The perfect role model for volunteerism, she has devoted much time and energy to Special Olympics, her state associations (North Dakota and Minnesota), the Minnesota Department of Public Instruction, the North Dakota President's Physical Fitness Council, to name a few. She is a frontrunner, having been the first person to obtain athletic scholarships for women in the state of North Dakota. Due to her home being in North Dakota and her teaching positions both in Minnesota and North Dakota, Christensen has had great impact in both states. 

With her expertise in sports, physical education, health, and leadership, she has been a much sought-after presenter at a multitude of conventions and conferences. As a state Executive Director in SHAPE America Central District, she has helped new state executive directors in their development in that capacity, as well as contributed as a presenter at the Scherrer Leadership Summit, sharing her leadership skills with all those in attendance. 

At the state and local levels, Christensen has been recognized for her service and contributions to the profession. A Teacher of the Year, as well as Coach of the Year, she has received various citizenship and volunteer awards, including being inducted into the North Dakota Special Olympics Hall of Fame. 

Christensen received her Bachelor of Science in physical education/business education, from Minot State University, North Dakota, and her Master of Education in physical education/administration, from the University of Idaho, Moscow.


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

Press Information

Contact SHAPE America at:
(800) 213-7193