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Woerther Elementary Teacher Earns National Award from the American Heart Association

Woerther Elementary physical education teacher Cory Hoots accepts an award from the American Heart Association.Woerther Elementary physical education teacher Cory Hoots has been recognized as a National Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge Winner.

Kary Bachert, youth market director for the American Heart Association (AHA), made the surprise announcement at the conclusion of a Woerther staff meeting on Sept. 21.

“We appreciate Mr. Hoots and the Woerther school community for doing an amazing job to help build healthier lives free from heart disease,” Bachert said.

Bachert said when schools participate in the Kids Heart Challenge, they become lifesavers by learning information on how to keep their hearts healthy, the steps for hands-only CPR and the signs of a stroke.

“With more than 35 million volunteers around the world, I feel very honored to have won an award, along with the Woerther Elementary community exemplifying our commitment to saving lives,” Hoots said. “This award means a lot to me because we are not only saving lives with the Kids Heart Challenge fundraiser but teaching our students the importance of living a healthy, active life.”

Woerther Elementary teacher Cory Hoots poses for a photo with a group of fourth-grade students in the gym.Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, and it hits close to home for many individuals, including Hoots.

“My father and my grandfather both passed away from cardiac arrests,” Hoots shared. “My father, a former elementary physical education teacher for more than 30 years, was instrumental in the partnership between the AHA and his school. I vividly remember back in the 1980s when my father got me involved with the Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser at his school with the AHA. Memories of my father with the fundraising program at the time and both his and my grandfather’s passing and the countless lives that we as a Woerther community are saving is why we do what we do for the cause.”

Woerther has been a partner of the AHA fundraising efforts since the 2008-2009 school year. To put it into perspective, Woerther has raised almost $150,000 since they started participating, and the school community raised more than $26,000 last school year.

“I couldn't be prouder of the Woerther school community,” Hoots said. “Year after year, our community rallies together to help the AHA move one step closer to realizing their vision of a world where no one else dies from cardiac arrest.”