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The primary mission of the Marion County Hospital District (MCHD) is to improve the health of Marion County’s citizens.

As such, we developed Fitness and Nutrition in Schools (FANS)… an innovative chronic disease prevention program that incorporates increased physical fitness opportunities, improved nutrition and healthy lifestyle education for children in our school system. The goal is to reduce childhood obesity and to provide a healthy roadmap for children, parents and employees in the Marion County Public Schools.

MCPS is partnering with the MCHD through FANS by providing obesity prevention for the children of Marion County. FANS will provide supports and interventions for elementary PE programs to further increase student engagement and movement by educating students regarding the significance of being physically active and eating healthier. We implement FANS with fidelity by enhancing nutrition components, creating vigorous physical activity lessons, and campaigning for healthier snacking.

Vanguard FANSWorking in collaboration with key personnel at Marion County Public Schools a three year plan was developed to build crop-producing state of the art greenhouses and gardens at all seven high schools, learning landscapes at the middle schools and raised beds at the elementary level. At each level children will be exposed to healthier lifestyle choices through hands on learning, taste tests, and social media campaigns.

MCHD will also assist with the development of FANS Clubs, comprised of students from each participating middle and high school with a mission to promote innovative health activities and to help disseminate information about student crops and healthy menu options. FANS clubs will also engage and educate residents about the initiative at local community events.

Participating Schools

High Schools

Vanguard High School


Michelle Shaw- Club Sponsor

Jeremy Rhoden- Horticulture Teacher

Chris Carlisle- Principal

Belleview High School

Andy Edwards- Horticulture Teacher

Virginia Campbell – Club Sponsor

Heather Guest- Principal

Trinity Catholic

Grace Daley – FANS Club Sponsor

Dr. Erika Wikstrom- Principal

Blessed Trinity Catholic School

Veronica Chancery – Club Sponsor

Megan Losito- Principal

Middle Schools

Ft. King Middle

Nicole Casuso- Sponsor – AgriScience teacher

Gary Smallridge -Principal

Belleview Middle

Molly Rowe- Agriscience teacher

Jill Cerny – Club Sponsor

Dr. Dion Gary- Principal

Osceola Middle

Chris Roy- Agricience teacher

Susan Mitchell – Club Sponsor

Matt Koff- Principal

Elementary Schools

East Marion

Kendra Hamby -Principal

Fort McCoy

Jennifer Fisher- Principal


Ashley Kemp- Principal

Belleview Santos

Kim White -Principal


Dr. Stacy Varner- Principal

South Ocala

Stephanie Callaway- Principal


Gay Street -Principal


Heather Lipira- Principal


Cynthia Brodie- Principal

Hammett Bowen

Traci Crawford -Principal

Marion Oaks

Lisa Dreher- Principal

Emerald Shores

Stacy Houston- Principal

Oakcrest Elementary


Harbour View

Robert Hensel- Principal


Suzette Parker- Principal

Meet The Team

GO Eagles

Heather Wyman

MCHD Project Director FANS

Heather holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology, with an emphasis on Biomechanics from Georgia State University in 1998. She also holds a certificate in cervical and spinal rehabilitation from the University of Florida’s Med Ex program and is a certified Nutrition Specialist with the American Academy of Sports Dietitians and Nutritionists. She has been working in the wellness and prevention field, specifically childhood obesity prevention for over 10 years.

Cheri Potter

FANS Coordinator with MCPS

Cheri holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education/Sport Management with a minor in Business from Florida State University.  Her Master’s degree is in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. Cheri has been an educator for MCPS since 2008 and has worked in various capacities as a teacher, dean, athletic director, and fitness instructor. Her previous work experiences were with the Orlando Magic, Florida State Athletics, and Florida Sports Foundation.

Contact Us

    Additional Information


    How does my school get involved?

    An administrator should contact Heather Wyman (MCHD) 352-622-3662 or Suzanne McGuire (MCPS) 352-671-6847 to set up a meeting to discuss the FANS project.


    How do I join a FANS club?

    Currently Vanguard High School is the only school to host a FANS club. By Jan 2018 we hope to have one in every high school. If you are interested in starting a FANS club please contact Heather Wyman @ 352-622-3662 or

    Stake Holders

    Marion County Public Schools:

    Dr. Heidi Maier Superintendent

    Dr. Craig Ham Deputy Superintendent

    Dr. Grantham Deputy Superintendent


    Feed the Need Gardens

    Rachelle Roper

    Statewide Best Practices

    Sarasota County 
    Alachua County 
    Edible Peace Patch- ST Petersburg
    National Farm to School Network
    USDA farm to School
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