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Short for "paraprofessionals", with the prefix "para-" carrying a meaning similar to "meta-", used like "paramilitary". Don't make the mistake of thinking these are real, live, actual professionals who blaze into closed hallways on parachutes1, or that they're suits carrying FN M249 PARA machine guns2.

At Northbrook's Glenbrook North, these were people retired from "real jobs" earning a few extra bucks, or teachers or sports coaches waiting for a full-time teaching gig to open up. Some were cool, and some were the darkest evil.

I would pay money to see the old woman we called "Wombat" parachute onto the campus.

1 "Don't try this at home, I am a professional"
2 Though if events like the ones in Santee, CA, Littleton, CO, and Springfield, OR continue, we may come to that.