Press Release


Plant City Physical Education Teacher Nationally Recognized for Educating Students on Heart Disease

RESTON, VA, March 2, 2018 — Tecca Kilmer, a physical education teacher at Turkey Creek Middle School in Plant City, FL will be nationally recognized among her colleagues for her commitment to educating students and families in the greater Plant City area on the importance of heart health. Kilmer is receiving a Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart (JRFH/HFH) Recognition Award from SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators. JRFH/HFH are educational fund development programs co-sponsored by SHAPE America and the American Heart Association.

The national award is given to a SHAPE America member who is a HFH coordinator and demonstrates commitment, leadership, and creative involvement to the programs and to the national nonprofit membership association. The funds raised go toward cardiovascular disease and stroke research and health education. The programs promote physical education and are shining examples of 50 Million Strong by 2029, SHAPE America’s national commitment to empower all children to lead healthy and active lives through effective health and physical education programs.

The organization will honor Kilmer on March 22 during the Professional Excellence Ceremony during its National Convention & Expo in Nashville, March 20-24. The award-winning educator will host her 24th annual Hoops For Heart event on March 29.

The program directly speaks to the heart of Kilmer’s educational philosophy. “I teach kids how to live. Everything I do in physical education is centered around helping students learn what they need to do in order to live a healthy lifestyle.”

In addition to fundraising, Kilmer infuses year-around lessons on heart-disease prevention and cardio respiratory activities. Like her students, Kilmer personally knows students, parents and co-workers who suffer with heart conditions or passed away from heart disease. “Through the HFH program, I’m able to share their stories, keep their memories alive and educate students on how to help save someone’s life.”

When she’s not teaching PE, she is working to help recruit new schools to host the program, presenting at state and district conferences to promote JRFH/HFH and how it complements an effective health and physical education program.

Executive Director of SHAPE Florida Hollie Newnam says of her 20-year colleague, “Tecca’s passion for this program is showcased by her ability to raise at least $2,000 each year for the American Heart Association. She is a highly effective physical educator whose enthusiasm and passion for teaching students how to lead a physically active lifestyle is contagious.”

A member of both SHAPE America and SHAPE Florida, Kilmer’s honors include SHAPE Florida and SHAPE America Southern District Hoops for Heart Coordinator of the Year as well as Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year, and Hillsborough County Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

Kilmer received her bachelor’s degree in physical education K-12 and health education 5-12 from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in adapted physical education from the University of South Florida.

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


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators is the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. 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 to support health and physical educators at every level, from preschool to university graduate programs.

SHAPE America has 50 state affiliates and is a founding partner of national initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Active Schools (formerly Let’s Move! Active Schools) and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs. “50 Million Strong by 2029” is our commitment to put all children on the path to health and physical literacy through effective health and physical education programs. For more information, visit

Press Information

Contact SHAPE America at:
(800) 213-7193