Panther Valley School District students are demonstrating academic excellence.

The school board on Thursday congratulated the district's three participants in the Pennsylvania Citizen Bee, held May 3 at the Carbon County courthouse, Jim Thorpe.

High school juniors Judy Lin, Stephen Hajcak and first-place winner Jake Tokosh demonstrated in-depth knowledge of local and state history, current events and geography in the contest, sponsored by the TIMES NEWS.

They were introduced by high school Principal Joe Gunnels.

"This is the second year in a row that Panther Valley has won the Citizen Bee, and there's some pretty stiff competition," he said. "We want to recognize these kids for a great job. We're very proud of you."

Gunnels also announced that high school students Jacob Gulla and William Digiglio were among the 35 students in the state who scored perfect 100 percent scores in the 2012 National Financial Capabilities Challenge. The national average was 69 percent.

Gunnels congratulated the students who participated in the Challenge, which is administered by the federal Department of the Treasury and the Department of Education. The students participated with the guidance and encouragement of business teacher Susan Solt.

"This year, 80,024 students took the test and, as usual, Pennsylvania students and schools were standouts," he said. "Pennsylvania had the highest number of participating schools and educators, as well as the highest number of students who scored in the top 20th percentile in the nation. Pennsylvania is also the fourth highest state with students who scored a perfect 100."

Students Katelyn Evans, Deanna Focht, Tyler J. Heffelfinger, Josh J. Jacobs, Jordan Kulp, Lisa Lin, Ryan M. Mesh, Ryan A. Miller, Shannon Phillips, Gage Rohlfing, Justin M. Schuch, Richard D. Smith, Tyler R. Smith, and Samantha Snyder all scored in the top 20th percentile, Gunnels said.

He also congratulated this year's Study Island award winners: Jordan Kulp, Joselyn Zedalis, Jacob Tokosh, Melody Dilee, Amanda Stocker, Anastasia Santiago, Sarah-Mary Tucker, Roxanne Person and Jordan Duke.

Also, Gunnels said that students' art will be displayed at the Art Ways Gallery, at the Allentown Art Museum, 31 N. 5th St., on Saturday, June 16, from 1-3 p.m. The students worked under the guidance of artist-in-residence Victor Stabin.

The exhibit is entitled Daedal Doodle: An Extraordinary Journey Through the Alphabet. Students will read their narratives as they stand beside their works. Admission is free of charge.