The Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation is delighted to announce the 12 teams of California teachers who are recipients of the 2020 Leveraging Innovation by Growing and Honoring Teachers (LIGHT) Awards. Launched in 2014, the LIGHT Awards recognize creative and passionate teachers seeking to pursue high quality professional training. The program is designed to honor the influential role that educators play in our society, and to provide the funding and resources to help teachers thrive as professionals.

The LIGHT Awards provide a unique opportunity for teachers to choose and design the professional learning which is most appropriate for their classrooms, schools and communities. Intrepid believes that teachers will gain more from professional learning which excites, engages and inspires them. The awarded teams each receive up to $30,000 over two years to fund a chosen path of career growth. It allows teachers to enhance their skills and passion as professionals and renew their commitment to the career of teaching.

The Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation Board and advisors worked hard to select projects with an emphasis on teacher-focused learning. The 60 teachers who comprise the newest cohort will become a part of the 370-teacher LIGHT Awards network in the Greater Bay Area.

Karen Leshner, Founder of the Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation, shared “Given the uncertainty and upheaval in our worlds over the last few weeks, it gives me and the Intrepid team hope for the future to imagine how these innovative projects will provide support and inspiration to educators in the months ahead. Now, more than ever, I feel it’s essential to grow and honor teachers as they tackle the new realities of their work”

Projects selected in 2020 include:

  • High school PE teachers across San Francisco will learn how to best support Special Needs students to foster meaningful inclusion in their schools.
  • Middle school and high school teachers will level up their existing Literacy Inquiry Group by attending literacy and English Learners (EL) trainings and partnering with experts.
  • Elementary teachers in Hayward will increase their knowledge and leadership skills with Arts Integration and Culturally Responsive Teaching and will provide learning opportunities to teachers throughout their district.

The 2020-2022 LIGHT Awards cohort consists of teachers from the following 24 schools:

  • Achieve Academy, Oakland
  • Arise High School, Oakland
  • Berkeley High School, Berkeley
  • Burlingame High School, Burlingame
  • Burton High School, San Francisco
  • Cherryland Elementary School, Hayward
  • East Avenue Elementary School,Hayward
  • Eden Gardens Elementary School, Hayward
  • Harder Elementary School, Hayward
  • Impact Academy of Arts and Technology, Hayward
  • International School of Monterey, Seaside
  • Kipp King Collegiate High School, San Lorenzo


  • Korematsu Discovery Academy, Oakland
  • Korematsu Middle School, El Cerrito
  • Lighthouse Community Charter High School, Oakland
  • Lincoln High School, San Francisco
  • Live Oak High School, Morgan Hill
  • Lodi High School, Lodi
  • Lowell High School, San Francisco
  • Milpitas High School, Milpitas
  • Mission High School, San Francisco
  • Richmond High School, Richmond
  • RuusElementary School, Hayward
  • Tokay High School, Lodi
For more information about the Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation, please visit