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Volunteers Again Enabling School Projects; Student Achievers

Also, solar panel projects either moving ahead or still under consideration.

The amount of volunteer efforts this past year to go into providing local school improvements or programs has been astounding, whether it was the $420,000-plus raised to next year or the at the Liberty Corner School.

Last weekend, the Cedar Hill Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization combined a night on the town with fundraising for a proposed $100,000 overhaul and update of the elementary school's media Center.

, held on Saturday, March 19, at the Basking Ridge Country Club,  was attended by more than 300 people who sure looked like they were having a good time in our photo story,

Although they were not dressed for a night out, there were still smiles on the faces of teachers, parents, other school officials and students who pitched in to create a garden and more in an unused courtyard at the William Annin Middle School.

Middle school teacher and project organizer Nick Beykirch provided photos of l designed to be used by a number of classes.

And what happens to the students who benefit from these projects? This past week gave a glimpse of a Ridge High grad and a current student who are putting their education and talents to good use.

Jessica Mintz, a 2008 graduate of Ridge High School and a junior at Philadelphia's Drexel University, has many irons in the fire for her fashion career.  But happening right now, she is a finalist in the She'll find out if her design is chosen this Thursday.

And this week's Whiz Kid, Ridge High School junior Bianca Pichamuthu talked about how her photography is on display at several venues, including the Bernards Township Library, in

Meanwhile, discussions, contracts and the final phase of solar panels continued for projects on township and school-owned property. Township officials are , from a county installation still in the talking stage to awarding a contract for leasing land to a solar vendor at Pill Hill landfill. Meanwhile, work is almost done on the sewerage authority's in-house installation of panels at the municipal sewerage treatment facility.

And, although the story ran almost two weeks ago, comments continued to come in on the last public presentation on the 2011-12 school budget,

Stay tuned. The Board of Education is scheduled to hold a final public hearing on the proposed 2011-12 school budget at 7 p.m. on Monday at

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