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Governor Parnell Announces Choose Respect Poster Winners


February 8, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced the winner of the 2013 Choose Respect Poster Contest. Mears Middle School students Justin Parker, Christopher Young, and Mcrussell Lazaro created an inspirational and illustrative photo highlighting the need for all students and Alaskans to get involved when disrespectful or harmful actions are occurring around them, and to not turn away. The winning poster’s message is: “Silence leads to more violence. Speak Up!”

“The message of Choose Respect is for everyone, but when young students are involved, it is particularly powerful,” Governor Parnell said. “Peers can have a significant and positive influence on other youth. The story being told through this poster is especially compelling and speaks to how youth can lead change.”

Governor Parnell notified the winning students, along with Principal Michael Perkins and teacher Matthew Bohannan, at Mears Middle School in Anchorage via Skype from his Juneau office. The poster contest winners and their classmates will be treated to an ice cream party provided by Tastee Freez of Anchorage. The winning posters will be displayed in numerous locations across the state, including airports, schools, clinics, and the State Capitol.

The Governor’s Office received more than 180 poster entries from Alaska students. This year’s theme was “iRespect.” A runner-up poster was also selected for younger audiences with images of children enjoying fun activities in a safe environment. Petersburg High School senior, Noppanun Saensuk created the colorful cartoon concept with the direction of her teacher Ashley DuRoss. 

The winning poster and runner-up poster are available at:


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