November 21, 2002 - Newsday: Former PC Director Chao honored at Alma Mater

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 11 November 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: November 21, 2002 - Newsday: Former PC Director Chao honored at Alma Mater

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, November 22, 2002 - 3:23 pm: Edit Post

Former PC Director Chao honored at Alma Mater

Read and comment on this story from Newsday on the special award former Peace Corps Director Elaine Chao will receive from Syosset High School for her many achievements at:

Labor Secretary To Be Honored By Alma Mater*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Labor Secretary To Be Honored By Alma Mater

By Carrie Mason-Draffen

November 21, 2002

The highest-ranking labor official in the Bush administration will travel to Syosset High School tomorrow to accept a local-girl-made-good award from her alma mater.

U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao, class of '71, will receive the school's first Alumni Award of Distinction plaque.

When confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 29, 2001, Chao became the first Asian-American woman to serve in a president's cabinet. Chao, 49, oversees a vast department of about 17,500 employees, whose duties include enforcing workplace and environmental laws. She also has been director of the Peace Corps and chief executive of United Way of America. Chao is married to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

"At Syosset schools, we are educating the future leaders of tomorrow," superintendent Carole G. Hankin said. "We want to recognize Secretary Chao for her many achievements."

Chao said she felt "blessed" to receive the award. "America is a great country where dreams come true," she said.

In high school, the future labor secretary played field hockey, basketball and softball; joined the theater club (behind-the-scenes work) and helped lay out the yearbook. She graduated in the top 5 percent of her class.

Chao and her family came to the United States from Taiwan when she was 8. She grew up in Queens and moved to Convent Road in Syosset when she was in the eighth grade. She holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University.

Though she's the first recipient of the award, Chao isn't Syosset's only distinguished alumnus. Former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder graduated in 1963. Actress Natalie Portman of "Star Wars" graduated in 1999.

Copyright © 2002, Newsday, Inc.

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