3 students win AAA awards for traffic safety poster design

June 12, 1994|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Sun Staff Writer

Three Howard County students have earned top awards in the national American Automobile Association's 50th anniversary poster contest.

Peng Wu, 14, of Mount Hebron High School, and Felice Sun, 17, and James Hsu, 14, both of Centennial High School, last month won U.S. Savings Bonds, collectively worth $275, and certificates for their posters depicting traffic safety tips. All are students of Ellicott City art teacher May-Fong Tsay.

Four other students of Ms. Tsay's won honorable mention


The total of seven winners from Ms. Tsay's art studio was the most from a single institution in Maryland, according to poster contest officials.

Catholic High School in Towson and James Bennett High School in Salisbury each had two students win honorable mention citations.

"I'm proud of them," Ms. Tsay said of her students. "I try to bring them up to do their best."

Although Ms. Tsay's studio produced a large number of winners, such a situation is not uncommon, poster contest officials said.

"We have some wonderful instructors who win every year," said Victoria Powers, manager of education programs for the American Automobile Association.

Ms. Tsay's students competed against more than 70,000 kindergartners through 12th-graders. Peng, Felice and James won awards for their grade division that included 10 states and Washington, D.C.

James, a 10th-grader, placed second for his poster urging drivers to observe road signs.

Peng, also a 10th-grader, placed third for his poster encouraging motorists to stop for school buses.

Felice, a recent graduate, earned a judge's award of merit for her poster slogan, "Think Bright, Drive Slowly At Night."

Felice said she came up with the catchy phrase after receiving her driver's license last year.

"Driving at night is harder," she said. "You have to be sure you're seen."

A judge's award is given to one of five posters that merit recognition but did not receive a first-, second- or third-place award.

Ms. Tsay said she encourages her students to enter art contests because it forces them "to use their head to draw."

"I didn't expect to win," said Peng, who has studied art under Ms. Tsay for six months.

James has taken lessons from Ms. Tsay since winter. He said he has noticed improvement in his art.

"She made my art become more alive," said James, who is interested in art as a hobby.

Ms. Tsay's students have also won awards in poster contests sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Howard County Library.

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