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Jayme Johnson named 2008 Cherry Blossom Princess for Alaska

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WASHINGTON - Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and his wife, Catherine, recently announced their selection of Jayme Johnson to be the 2008 Cherry Blossom Princess for Alaska.

Johnson is an Alaska Native and 2005 honors graduate of West High School in Anchorage. She is currently in her third year at the University of Alaska - Anchorage, where she is pursuing a degree in business management.

Outside of the classroom, Johnson works for the Chugach Alaska Native Corporation and enjoys fine arts, soccer and Alaska Native studies.

Johnson is part Alutiiq and part Athabascan. Her mother, Elenore, is from Nondalton on Six Mile Lake and her father, John, is originally from Nuchek in Prince William Sound. In high school, Johnson was a member of the National Honor Society, placed first in Alaska and 11th nationally in the We The People competition, and was selected as a YWCA Young Woman of Achievement.

;'Alaskans have another smart, strong and beautiful young woman to be proud of as their representative to the National Cherry Blossom Festival this year,'' Stevens said. ''Jayme will continue the tradition of great Alaska princesses, which includes Sen. Lisa Murkowski and, more recently, my daughter, Lily.''

Since 1948, each state and territory has been represented during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which is in its 96th year. Participants are selected by state and territorial societies for achievement in academics, leadership and extracurricular activities.

Throughout the two-week festival, the princesses will represent their constituency at festival events, meetings with members of Congress, and round-table discussions about current affairs and women's issues.