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Education Secretary to Receive Honorary Doctorate

Dr. Gerald L. Zahorchak, Pennsylvania secretary of education, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and will present remarks during Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s December undergraduate Commencement ceremony.

Zahorchak, formerly of Johnstown, received a Master of Education degree from IUP in 1988.

IUP has granted only fifty honorary degrees in its history. Others receiving this honor include U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha, Oscar Arias Sanchez, Andre Previn, James “Jimmy” Stewart, Art Rooney, Fred Rogers, former governor Richard Thornburg, and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Zahorchak was nominated by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to serve as secretary of education in October 2005 and was unanimously confirmed by the state Senate on February 7, 2006.

Before his nomination, Zahorchak served as deputy secretary for elementary and secondary education, a role in which he was responsible for the education of more than 1.8-million school children in the commonwealth. As deputy secretary, he worked on the development and implementation of support systems for public schools working to meet the demands set by Pennsylvania and No Child Left Behind targets.

Zahorchak has managed an unprecedented expenditure of educational state funding that included $200 million in accountability block grants that were used for tutoring, math and literacy coaching, the expansion of full-day kindergarten, and the creation of pre-kindergarten classes.

See the full news release.

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