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PRESS RELEASE: Barrett Teachers Receive California Educator LIGHT Award


CONTACT: Kimberly Beare, 408-201-6024

A team of six teachers from Barrett Elementary has received the Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation California Educator Leveraging Innovation by Growing and Honoring Teachers (LIGHT) Award. The Barrett team which includes Dawn Petty, Teresa Colbert, Jen Myers, Diane Wilson, Heather Oliver and Janet Lammers will receive $30,000 over two years to fund Teacher Learning Labs.  

The team aims to change the way they teach math using the new National Council of Teachers of Mathematics effective teaching practices, and ultimately, to teach math in a more student-centered way. The team will attend their chosen professional development opportunities/classes, and use time to collaborate and develop lessons with activities. Over the course of two years, team members will build math units and try them out with their students. They will design lessons where students learn to construct knowledge instead of relying on the teacher to model one way to find solutions.

“This award is going to allow us to jump-start a program of math instruction that we believe will be super engaging and empowering to the students,” said Barrett Principal Mary Alice Callahan of the award. “We are super excited and every teacher engaged in the grant is looking forward to beginning this summer as we meet and study together. It will be a lot of work, but we think it will also be a wonderful experience for the teachers, the students and our families here at Barrett.”

Barrett teachers will work in collaboration with their grade level teams so that all teachers can try out aspects of the learning that the six teachers share. The grant allows Barrett to develop a two-year professional development agenda and builds in dedicated time for teachers to learn, to plan, to observe each other, to refine, to teach others and to engage deeply in a what some would call a cycle of inquiry for re-imagining what the best mathematical teaching and learning practices could be.

The Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation 11 teams of California teachers for this award. The LIGHT Awards program is designed to honor the significant and influential role that educators play in our society. It allows teachers to enhance their skills and passion as professionals and renew their commitment to the career of teaching.