Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Teacher sells shoes to save jobs

A head teacher from the US is selling her shoe collection to fill the budget gap faced by her school
A head teacher from the US is selling her shoe collection to fill the budget gap faced by her school

Worried about possible job losses, the head teacher of a school in the US has spotted a potential solution in her own home.

Michele Miller, the head teacher of Jackson Elementary in El Dorado Hills, California, has decided to part with most of her shoe collection gathered over the past 15 years.

She is selling 285 pairs - which fill a room in her home - to help close an education budget gap of up to 2.2 million US dollars (£1.4 million). She is asking for a donation of 1,000 US dollars (£622) a pair to help save the jobs of 17 teachers, three deputy head teachers, library technicians and other members of staff.

The teacher said she felt the urge to act after leaving a late-night school board meeting when she learned the district faces a budget deficit of no less than 1.4 million US dollars (£870,500), and possibly much higher.

"I came out of that meeting in a state of shock," she said. "I kept thinking, 'What do I have that I can sell?'"

Volunteers have uploaded photos of the size 7 high-tops, cowboy boots, leopard-print rain boots, sandals, platforms and high heels to a website, www.shoestotherescue.com, which went live earlier this week. For some of the shoes, Ms Miller will post stories on her website about the memories she attaches to them.

The site also contains two videos in which she appeals to viewers to "adopt" her shoes.

"They're my art form, but they're functional art," she said.

She described her shoes to The Sacramento Bee as gently used and relatively inexpensive. "They're not Jimmy Choos or Prada or Gucci or something like that," she said.

Ms Miller said she has not received any orders for her shoes yet but is taking donations from those who want to help but do not need additional footwear.

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