As The Valley Reporter went to press on Wednesday, August 26, the Warren School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) met to finalize the creation of a paid consulting position for Warren School’s former administrative assistant, Laurie Jones, within the PTO.

Washington West Supervisory Union (WWSU) superintendent Brigid Scheffert-Nease signed off on the position last week, after developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the WWSU’s legal department that “standardized an approach to how the PTO operates within the building,” Warren resident Beth Schoellkopf explained. The MOU will apply to Jones as well as any other paid consultants that the organization hires, moving forward.

Shoellkopf first proposed the creation of the paid consulting position for Jones last July, after the community learned of the Warren School Board’s decision not to renew her employee contract. “The community values certain responsibilities and roles that the administrative assistant had,” Schoellkopf said, explaining that the new position is based on “what we think Laurie has contributed and what we feel is really needed.”

The school board said that it would look into Schoellkopf’s proposal but explained that there are limitations to residents working with students during school hours if they are not employed by the school.

As a compromise, board member Adam Greshin proposed an edited position for Jones titled PTO coordinator of events and enrichment, which includes more after-school responsibilities such as coordinating the annual harvest dinner, coaching the spelling bee team and serving as a liaison between the PTO, the school administration and the community.

If the PTO votes on Wednesday to create the paid consulting position for Jones, they will then move forward with fundraising to cover the added cost (about $20,000).