February 14, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 7

Petersburg student runner-up in poster contest

Governor Sean Parnell announced the winner of the 2013 Choose Respect Poster Contest last week – and although a group of Anchorage middle school students took home the top prize, a Petersburg student came close with a runner-up entry.

Petersburg High School senior, Noppanun Saensuk created a colorful cartoon concept with the direction of her teacher Ashley DuRoss as an entry that took the No. 2 spot in the competition.

This year’s theme was “iRespect.” The runner-up poster was selected for younger audiences with images of children enjoying fun activities in a safe environment.

The winning team of Mears Middle School students Justin Parker, Christopher Young, and McRussell Lazaro created an inspirational and illustrative photo highlighting what Parnell called “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,” 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 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.

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