School, Parent Speak About Embezzlement Case

By: Estephany Escobar
By: Estephany Escobar

The former Ware Elementary School Parent and Teacher organization president is being investigated for embezzlement.

Staunton police arrested Donna Tinsley, 40, of Staunton for allegedly stealing money from a PAT fundraiser.

The case came to light, after Ware Elementary principal received unpaid bills from vendors who participated in the fundraiser.

Staunton school superintendent Linda Reviea said the PAT is a separate organization from the school. She said they are not responsible for their payments.

She said Ware Elementary principal talked to Tinsley, who admitted she had taken the funds.

Reviea said she is shocked and sad about this case.

"It's just very very disappointing when you have adults who portray themselves being supportive of schools, supportive of students act in this manner," she said.

Crystal Davis who has three kids in Ware Elementary said she is not surprised.

"I'd like to say I'm shocked but I'm not with the way people are in the world today," she said.

Tinsley has been released on an unsecured $10,000 bond.

Investigators are still looking for how much money she allegedly stole and for how long.

Davis said cases like this one might make parents more reluctant to help the schools.

"It's gonna make the parents think more or think twice about doing the fundraisers, which is actually gonna hurt the kids and the schools because of people like that."

Reviea said she hopes this is a chance to increase support.

"My hope is for some parents that haven't been involved will see this as an opportunity to really step up and being involved to see there are some check and balances in place," she said.

Tinsley will have a preliminary hearing. The date has not been set.

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