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Tom Brady, Pinellas Schools team up for healthy kids

Mark Parker



From left: Stacy Baier, CEO of the Pinellas Education Foundation; Tom Brady; Lisa Borges, executive director of the TB12 Foundation; and Ben Wieder, president of Level 6 and Pinellas Education Foundation board member. Photos provided.

While the 2022 NFL season is still 10 days away, Tampa Bay Buccaneer Tom Brady is already helping local students score inside the classroom.

Pinellas County Schools (PCS) and the Pinellas Education Foundation (PEF) announced an innovative partnership Thursday with TB12 and the TB12 Foundation to quarterback a health and wellness curriculum redesign.

TB12 is a Brady-led health and wellness company co-founded by longtime trainer and friend Alex Guerrero, and inspired by the renowned training methods of the seven-time Super Bowl Champion and five-time Super Bowl MVP. Following the announcement, Stacy Baier, CEO of the Pinellas Education Foundation, told the Catalyst that she is most excited about how the future Hall of Famer’s name recognition will help draw kids into the program.

“It’s like working with the Babe Ruth of my generation – that’s who he is to these kids,” said Baier. “Everyone wants to be like Tom Brady, and they can actually be a part of a program that was so life-changing for him.”


Baier noted that Brady frequently credits following the principles outlined in the TB12 curriculum for transforming him from an above-average athlete – famously chosen after six other quarterbacks in the 2000 NFL Draft – to one of the world’s best, even as he progresses through middle age. Despite beginning the 2022 season at 45 years old, his peers recently named the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback as the top player in the league.

The TB12 Foundation’s focus is on helping underserved athletes reach performance and life goals by providing free access to health and wellness resources. Baier said the new curriculum would directly implement what Brady believes has enabled him to sustain a high level of success and durability while enduring the grind and physical punishment of 22 NFL seasons.

“There are lots of things going on in education all the time,” explained Baier. “There’s not always such a notable figure as someone who is not just speaking about it but has lived it. He’s very authentic.”

Conversations about the partnerships and curriculum redesign, said Baier, began in earnest earlier this year. PCS will first implement the program as a pilot in six middle and four high schools this fall. These include Bay Point, Tyrone, Pinellas Park, Osceola, Madeira Beach and Tarpon Springs Middle Schools, and Lakewood, Hollins, Osceola and Tarpon Springs High School.

According to a release, the first-in-the-nation PCS curriculum includes TB12 resource materials and hands-on, inclusive activities encompassing the program’s five pillars – pliability, movement, nutrition, hydration and mental fitness. The pilot starts this fall, and the district plans to deploy the revised curriculum to every middle and high school in the county by the 2023-24 school year.

Certified TB12 body coaches are collaborating on the course curriculum and will personally train PCS physical education instructors, athletic coaches and administrators on program fundamentals.

Ashley Grimes, PCS Health and Physical Education Specialist, will oversee the program. A TB12 coach looks on. Photo courtesy of PCS.

“This will be a student experience like no other,” said Pinellas County School Superintendent Kevin Hendricks in the release. “We are grateful to the TB12 Foundation for launching this program right here in Pinellas County Schools and to the Pinellas Education Foundation for bringing another first-of-its-kind partnership to our district.”

TB12 did not respond to a request for comment, and Hendricks was unavailable for an interview as of press time.

However, in the release, Guerrero said that “joining forces with Pinellas County to teach students and young athletes how to live a healthy lifestyle and perform at their best is what the TB12 Foundation is all about.”

Baier said that while not every student will adopt every element of the curriculum, even gaining small insights in their youth could enhance their approach to health and wellness as they move into adulthood.

PCS high school students are required to take a year-long Health Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE) course and Baier relayed the TB12 program would integrate into that class.

“Which is great because it’s mandatory,” she said. “It’s going to touch all students going through that program.”


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