Teacher of the Year Awards

SHAPE America's Teacher of the Year program recognizes outstanding teachers in the following categories:

  • Physical Education — Elementary
  • Physical Education — Middle School
  • Physical Education — High School
  • Adapted Physical Education
  • School Health Education
  • Dance Education

Individuals who are named Teacher of the Year by their state affiliate are eligible for SHAPE America's District Teacher of the Year award. District winners are eligible for the national award.

Please review all of the award instructions and criteria prior to completing the online application.

Eligibility Requirements

Educators who meet the eligibility requirements and exemplify the criteria for these awards may apply for one of the SHAPE America Teacher of the Year awards.

  • Current SHAPE America membership
  • Minimum five years of teaching experience
  • Degree and certification in teaching
  • Full time teaching at time of application submission & selection
  • Minimum of 50% of total job responsibilities is teaching in the content area you're applying for:
    - Elementary Physical Education
    - Middle School Physical Education
    - High School Physical Education
    - Adapted Physical Education
    - Dance Education
    - School Health Education
  • Certified Adapted Physical Educator (CAPE) or eligible to sit for the Certified Adapted Physical Educator exam (eligibility= 200 hrs. of practicum experience, at least 12-credit hours in APE) is desirable. For Adapted Physical Education award ONLY.
  • Two letters should be included with the application. Letters should be directly related to the awards criteria listed for each award. At least one letter for each should be included from: a fellow teacher, and an administrator/supervisor.
  • Must be state teacher of the year award recipients in order to be eligible to apply. The previous two years state recipients are eligible for the current District award (e.g. 2017 and 2018 state Teacher of the Year winners are eligible for the 2019 District Teacher of the Year award).

Please Note: Current Board of Directors members, Executive Committee members and former national Teachers of the Year are not eligible to apply for these awards.


Collect all of the required application materials listed below then complete the online application. At the conclusion of the online application, you will be asked to directly upload each of the required application materials. Completed applications will be sent to the appropriate district awards chair.

Required Application Materials

Award Criteria

When completing the award criteria please use the following format: Bold the specific criteria as a heading, then outline your qualifications in paragraph form below the bolded criteria heading (see example below). Responses to each criteria answers should be in one Word document. Please do NOT upload each criteria answer in a separate Word document.

Example format for Award Criteria:

Apply Now!

Online Application (Please have all application materials finalized before completing the online application.)

Teacher of the Year Timeline

  • September 15: State Teacher of the Year winners complete the online application (applicant should be sure they are submitting the most up-to-date materials).
  • November 2: Deadline for the District Teacher of the Years to be selected and SHAPE America notified of selections by district awards chairs.
  • November 12: District Teacher of the Year winners notified by SHAPE America.
  • December 21: Deadline for District Teacher of the Years to submit videos for National Teacher of the Year consideration due to SHAPE America.
  • SHAPE America National Convention & Expo: District Teacher of the Years are honored and National Teacher of the Years are announced at the Hall of Fame Celebration & Give Back Event.

District Awards Chairs

Eastern District: Ellen Benham

Southern District: Tecca Kilmer

Western District (formerly Southwest & Northwest Districts): Cathy Fischer

Central District: Clayton Ellis

Midwest District: Mary LaVine

Additional Award Information

Only applicants who have received the District Teacher of the Year award and are applying for the National Teacher of the Year award, must create a video with accompanying lesson plan. Details regarding this requirement will be sent to the district winners directly on November 3rd.

Past Award Recipients


If you have questions regarding a specific award, please feel free to contact us at teacheroftheyear@shapeamerica.org.

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