Who's Who Top Educators

Ken Pesso

Title: Adjunct Professor
Company: Mission College
Location: Santa Clara, California, United States

Ken Pesso, Adjunct Professor at Mission College, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in mental health and juvenile education.

With over 40 years of experience to his credit, Mr. Pesso has excelled as an adjunct professor at Mission College since 1998. He began his career in criminal justice in 1978 at San Mateo Probation as a probation officer and remained with the organization for 33 years.  During his tenure, he was promoted many times over, taking on the roles of director of adult supervision services, deputy chief of juvenile institutions, the juvenile hall and the boys and girls camps, and deputy chief of adult and juvenile probation. He concluded his career at same as assistant superintendent and retired in 2011. He contributed to several critical assignments during this period of work, including creating a diversion program for mentally ill offenders, and taking on the responsibilities of first line supervisor for a narcotics and gang suppression unit.

Before embarking on his professional path, Mr. Pesso pursued an education at the Los Angeles Pierce College, part of the Los Angeles Community College District, where he earned an Associate of Arts. He subsequently obtained a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from San Francisco State University in 1976. He concluded his academic efforts at San Jose State University and graduated with a Master of Science in social work in 1979.  

In addition to his primary vocation, Mr. Pesso remains affiliated with various organizations in relation to his areas of expertise. He maintained his involvement as a member of the Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council for eight years, including two years spent as council chair. He was also recruited to the San Mateo County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board from 1991 to 2001. Moreover, Mr. Pesso was appointed as the chair and vice chair at StarVista from 2021 to 2023. 

In light of his impressive undertakings, Mr. Pesso has accrued several accolades throughout his career. He was recognized as the probation officer of the year by the California Probation and Parole Association and was presented with a commendation for starting a mental health division program for the mentally ill in 1998. He attributes his success to his perseverance, his belief in himself and ability to see the potential in other people. In the immediate future, Mr. Pesso intends to continue his efforts to foster humanitarian advancements in the mental health and criminal justice systems. 

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