Dr. Phala Chea is an educator and an administrator at the Lowell Public Schools where she has worked since 1995. Phala’s teaching, leadership, community involvement, and advocacy in PreK to 12 with English language learners, families and communities have been her ongoing endeavor and passion. Phala served many years as Chair of the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association and as Treasurer of the Southeast Asian Water Festival. She holds a B.A., Ed.M., and Ed.D. from University of Massachusetts-Lowell.
She has returned to Cambodia, her birth country, six times to work with the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-CAM) on the Genocide Education Project. In 2009, she co-wrote the Teacher’s Guidebook for the History of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979)—a textbook that is being used in high schools across Cambodia. In addition, she has organized and trained more than 500 Cambodian educators on the usage of the Teacher’s Guidebook and on the teaching of Khmer Rouge history. In July 2010, she helped lead a Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad Project in Cambodia with fourteen educators from the Lowell Public Schools and Middlesex Community College.