Loop, swoop and pull… or the Bragg Shoe Sheriff will come after you!

Loop, swoop and pull… or the Bragg Shoe Sheriff will come after you!

It may not be Mayberry, but ‘ Sheriff Taylor’ is on the job


Penny Dauksch was having trouble keeping up with making sure that all of the shoes on the students in her kindergarten class at Bragg Elementary School stayed tied all day.

When she mentioned the problem in passing, another teacher gave her a great idea.

Her advice was to appoint a shoe sheriff.

“I got the idea from one of our other teachers, Joy Jackson,” Dauksch said. “I was talking about all of the shoes that were untied, and how dangerous it was, and how I couldn’t keep them all tied during the day. She had taught kindergarten and she said ‘well, we had a shoe sheriff.’ So that’s where it developed.”

One day in class, Dauksch asked her pupils which one of them knew how to tie shoes. So she picked a student and made them the shoe sheriff.

The shoe sheriff’s job is to make sure that everyone’s shoes are tied so that nobody trips and falls.

When that student got overworked, Dauksch decided to pick a new shoe sheriff each week on a rotating basis.

Dauksch mentioned it to her friend Sheriff Mike Allen that she had a shoe sheriff, and asked if he had a badge she could have to give to the kids.

Allen was tickled by the idea and dug out an old deputy sheriff’s badge for the class.

“I thought it was a pretty neat idea that she had a shoe sheriff,” Allen said.

“She thought I might have a plastic badge or something. We used to have a bunch of them, but I couldn’t find any. But we had some old different type of badges that we weren’t using any more and were just laying around. So I thought yeah, I can give here one on loan and she can use it for that.’” Allen was even more ex- cited

though about the idea of sending one of his deputies down to the school to present the class with the badge in person.

He called Deputy Sean Voudren down to his office and explained about the shoe sheriff, and asked him to go out to the school to give them the badge and to spend some time talking to the class about his job.

Voudren, a former Marine, was terrified at the thought of having to speak to a class of kindergartners.

“Driving down there I got nervous,” Voudren said.

“I’m a Marine and I can usually talk to anybody.

But nothing makes you more nervous like going in to a classroom full of kids.

I think it’s because we know the kids look up to us and we want to make a good impression. Kids aren’t like adults. They don’t have a filter. If they don’t like you or if you say something wrong, they are going to call you on it.”

Dauksch too, was worried that the kids would overwhelm the deputy.

“I have 22 and they can be a handful,” Dauksch said.

But their eyes just lit up wide when Voudren asked who the shoe sheriff was and handed them that shiny badge.

“They were great,” Voudren said. “They were so excited to see us. I asked them who can explain to me about the shoe sheriff.

Then I asked them if they knew what I do. They said ‘you’re a police man.’ I said ‘no, I’m a sheriff’s deputy. I work for Sheriff Mike Allen.’ All of them knew who Mister Mike is.”

Voudren pinned the badge on that week’s shoe sheriff, Jeremy Taylor, then after explaining his job and answering a few questions, took a video with the class, who thanked Allen for the badge.

The class also gave Voudren hugs and got to see the inside of his patrol car.

They even asked him to come back for career day.

“We had a lot of fun,” Voudren said. “I’m sure if I wanted to stay all day they would have let me.”

By Mark Randall