About the First Lady
Sandy Parnell became the First Lady of Alaska on July 26, 2009 when her husband, Sean Parnell, was sworn in as Alaska’s 10th governor.
Originally from Albuquerque, NM, the First Lady came to Alaska in 1987 when she married Sean Parnell. The First Lady and Governor met while pursuing their bachelor degrees in business at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington. The couple have two daughters and a son-in-law.
The First Lady is an advocate for educational opportunities for Alaskans. To prepare young Alaskans for achieving their educational goals, the First Lady focuses on literacy and the love of learning among elementary students. Partnering with Scholastic Books Reading Ambassadors program, the First Lady shares the joy of reading by personally distributing books to schools and reading to students. The First Lady is also a strong supporter of Governor Parnell’s Choose Respect initiative to end the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault in Alaska. She has participated in the annual marches and visited shelters to meet with victims and survivors.
In 2008, the First Lady enrolled in several American Sign Language classes through the University of Alaska. Since then, she has been an advocate for the needs of the deaf community, calling for early detection and support for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, especially in Alaska’s remote communities.
Governor Sean and First Lady Sandy Parnell currently reside in Juneau with their yellow labrador, Annie.