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Principal Sells Shoes to Help School

| March 25, 2011
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Principal Michele Miller stands with her 375 pairs of shoes.

Principal Michele Miller stands with her 375 pairs of shoes.

Budget cuts in one California school district prompted a principal to consider her wardrobe as a funding solution.

Michele Miller, the principal of Jackson Elementary in El Dorado Hills east of Sacramento, is offering up for sale 285 pairs of shoes from her collection. She hopes the sale will help close the district’s budget gap estimated at a minimum of $1.4 million.

To help balance the budget the more than a dozen teachers, health aides, librarians and bus drivers have all been handed pink slips over the last several months.

Miller said her daily duties as principal have changed in recent months as well.

“Right now, I’m teaching math and reading groups and running the computer lab — things I hadn’t done in the past because of our limited resources.”

Miller built up her shoe collection over 15 years and said that although she has some great memories wearing them, she doesn’t mind parting ways with the majority of her shoes.

“A child’s education is far more important than any material item I could ever own,” she said. “Education is something you can give to someone that can never be taken from them, so it was a small sacrifice.”

Miller had the idea on her way home after school board members announced the newest round of budget cuts. With the support of parents and school staff, Miller has started an educational fund and website. There, people can adopt her shoes at $1,000 a piece.

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