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Lesson in Cents

A prudent couple will often save their pennies before embarking on a life of wedded bliss because sometimes those pennies come in handy. That's usually not the case when it comes to wedding expenses.

But teachers Chuck and Sara Holley found they needed a little extra cash to cover their wedding expenses when they were charged $50 for using a school auditorium for their ceremony.

Mr. Holley has taught for the Lawrence, Kan., public schools for more than 20 years, and his wife has taught there for three years.

So it probably seemed natural to tie the knot late last year in the auditorium of Central Junior High School, where they both teach. Of course, such a story couldn't help but become news.

But when Craig Fiegel, an assistant superintendent for the district, saw the story in a local newspaper, he decided that the Holleys should have to pay to use the public facility.

The Holleys were not pleased about the $50 fee. But they eventually paid--under duress and in pennies.

With the help of donations from colleagues, Mr. Holley accumulated $50 in 1-cent coins, which he presented to the district in a grocery bag.

Making his Mark

Last spring, David M. Morris, a senior at Newton North High School near Boston, was hoping to inspire other students by offering them coupon books in exchange for making the honor roll. (See Education Week, March 8, 1995.)

Now he says the idea was so successful, he's looking to expand.

Mr. Morris traces the seeds of his business acumen to 2nd grade, when he passed out free pretzels to boost sales at his lemonade stand.

Now, the media-savvy student uses computers and slick promotional material to market his student-incentive program, which he says helped boost the senior honor roll 37 percent in one year. The coupon book is worth $300 in discounts and products from local merchants.

He hopes to expand locally and perhaps go nationwide.

A $10,000 scholarship fund also was set up with donations from merchants, many of whom initially told Mr. Morris that they did not work with high schools.

"I'd show up and stand by their door till they let me in," said Mr. Morris, who will study business in the fall at the University of Pennsylvania. "I wanted to make my mark on the school and raise scholarships."

--Peter West & Robert C. Johnston

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