Paula Bridgewater and Taylor Hastings, eighth graders at

Log College Middle School

in Warminster, have placed second and third, respectively, in a national poster contest sponsored by AAA, the automobile association.

Bridgewater and Hastings won the recognition for their participation in the organization's 64th annual Traffic Safety Poster Contest. Their posters were two of 794 entries in a contest that aimed to reduce traffic and pedestrian crashes.

Abigail Brazina, a social studies teacher at

William Penn Middle School

in Lower Makefield, will be a guest of the Japanese government this summer as part of the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program.

Brazina was one of 160 teachers in the nation selected from a pool of more than 1,700 to travel to Japan for a three-week trip. The teacher program is designed to promote intercultural understanding between Japan and the United States.

For more on the program, visit

.

Katharine Vavilov, a sixth grader at

Neshaminy Middle School

in Middletown, is one of 20 national runners-up in the "Listen to a Life" Legacy Project Essay Contest sponsored by author and educator Susan V. Bosak.

For the contest, Vavilov and other students in teacher Theresa Johnson's class interviewed an older adult and submitted an essay about the interview. Vavilov interviewed her 102-year-old grandmother, Roza Poleeva in an essay called "The Beauty of Roza."

Vavilov won an iPod and $400 in software. To read the essay, visit

.

In other Neshaminy School District news, Denise Ianni, a fifth-grade teacher at

Joseph Ferderbar Elementary School

in Feasterville, has been named teacher of the year by the Feasterville Rotary. Ianni, of Holland, will receive her award at the annual Rotary dinner June 3.

Stephanie Brick of New Hope has won first place in

Pennsylvania State University

's annual Thorp Collaborative Design Competition.

Brick's entry - co-created by partner Anil Ocal - redesigned the Nittany Mall in State College from a shopping mall to a lifestyle center. Elements of Brick and Ocal's design will be used when the mall undergoes a major renovation.

Brick is a third-year architecture student at Penn State, and a 2005 graduate of

New Hope-Solebury High School

. She plans to spend her fourth year of college studying architecture in Rome.

Sixteen Bucks County students have been honored for their performances in the Pennsylvania SkillsUSA Competition, held last month in Hershey.

SkillsUSA is a national organization that prepares students for careers in business and industry. First-place winners in the state competition will go on to compete in the national contest June 23-28 in Kansas City, Mo.

The honored students were John Fowler, Nick Perrone, Nick Siegman, Jason Doran and Brian Knecht of

Bucks County Technical High School

in Bristol Township; Jeffrey Kramer, Justin Vallone, Ethan Krasney, Philip Drenkhahn, Matthew Harding, Kyle Keeley and Jose Roman of

Upper Bucks County Area Vocational Technical School

in Bedminster; and Tyler Frederick, Agnetta Krechner, Rich Curtis and Kyle Garvey of

Middle Bucks Institute of Technology

in Warwick.

Doran, Krechner and Knecht finished first in their divisions to qualify for the national contest.

"The Road to Freedom," a play with music about the Underground Railroad, will be performed at 7 p.m. Wednesday at

Benjamin Rush Elementary School

in Bensalem.

The evening will include an opportunity for audience members to walk through the stations of an Underground Railroad exhibit. The play, written by Sharon Steward, a teacher at Rush, will be performed by sixth graders who will portray characters including Harriet Tubman.

Other sixth graders designed quilts and helped with set decoration, lobby displays, invitations and programs.

Admission is free. The school is at 3400 Hulmeville Rd. For more information, call 215-750-2800, Ext. 1400.

Students from the PM Tech Academy at

Pennridge High School

in East Rockhill placed flags on the graves of veterans and firefighters at two cemeteries in Perkasie on Thursday in observance of Memorial Day.

Flags were placed on the graves of 170 military veterans and 75 firefighters buried at the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery and St. Stephen's United Church of Christ Cemetery.

More than 70 students participated in the observance. The PM Tech Academy is a program designed to help students in a technical school program feel connected to their home school.

- Kristin E. Holmes