The Presidential Award is the fulfillment of my American dream. My family and I arrived in the US as Laotian refugees with one dollar in our pockets and the hope that our new country would provide for a better life. Through hard work and the support of many, I have been able to reach the highest levels of my profession as an educator. I hope that my story inspires my students and others to strive towards greatness in their passions. I share this honor with my students, school, and community.

Khamphet Pease San Diego, CA | K-6, Mathematics, 2020

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Khamphet "Phet" Pease has spent her entire 15 years of teaching at Woodrow Wilson Middle School and has taught numerous grade levels and subjects. Currently, she teaches STEM elective courses including Intro to Coding, Gateway to Technology: Design & Modeling, Automation & Robotics, and Computer Science for Innovators and Makers. Phet works tirelessly to increase access to STEM education for underrepresented students including BIPOC, females, and those from lower socioeconomic families. She focuses on project-based learning such as developing apps, games, and products to address authentic community problems. Her students have won many awards at the local and national levels. Phet was a 2013-2018 San Diego State University (SDSU) Noyce Master Teacher Fellow in mathematics and has received multiple recognitions including 2015 San Diego County Teacher of the Year; 2019 National Center for Women & Information Technology Educator Award; and 2021 San Diego County Engineering Council's Outstanding K-12 Engineering Educator. She is a San Diego Rotary Club 33 STEM Advisory Committee board member and a Chibitronics ambassador. Her most recent accomplishment is a spotlight feature on the second season of CBS's "Mission Unstoppable with Miranda Cosgrove" in partnership with Infosys Foundation USA. Phet earned a B.S. in general biology with a minor in psychology from University of California, San Diego; a multiple subject credential with supplemental authorizations in mathematics and science from SDSU; and an M.Ed. in curriculum design and teaching from University of San Diego. She is certified to teach Gifted and Talented Education, has a supplementary authorization in computer concepts and applications, and a Career Technical Education credential in engineering and architecture.

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