Plano Student to Be President's Guest for State of the Union

Sixteen-year-old Amy Chyao is learning her way around the White House.

President Barack Obama invited the Plano East junior and second-chair cello player to be his guest at the White House for the State of the Union.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I appreciate the gesture he made in inviting me," Chyao said.

The president invited her to sit in a box with the first lady while he delivers his address Tuesday night.

"I'm just hoping that ill remember my name and stuff," she said.

Chyao met the president in the fall when she won an international science and engineering fair. She presented her design for a cancer-treating photosensitizer to Obama himself.

"I was actually pretty nervous until I started talking to him -- that's when it just got normal," she said.

Chyao's teachers and classmates speculate that Obama could reference her in his speech.

"We're hoping. We're hoping," said Betsy Thomas, director of orchestras at Plano East Senior High. "I know she will be a wonderful representative of Plano East, and we are very proud of her."

Tuesday night's homework assignment for the Plano East orchestra: "We have to be at home and watch Channel 5 and watch the State of the Union," Thomas said.

Chyao leaves early Tuesday for Washington, D.C. Her father will be making the trip with her.

She bought a new suit and a pair of heels for the State of the Union. But Chyao said she decided to play it safe and wear flats after hearing horror stories about slippery floors at the Capitol.

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