Calcasieu: Continued Placement of Unqualified People.

3f65e4dYou may recall the blog we posted a few weeks ago titled Three Doctors and a Karl, regarding the selection of an unqualified superintendent. Well, it appears as though disregard for required qualifications has trickled down the line.

It was brought to our attention that an employee of the Calcasieu Parish School Board, Matthew Rion, worked as a teacher in a middle school Social Studies class. At the time of his employment, Rion wasn’t certified, but was seeking certification via one of the State approved “alternative certification” programs through Louisiana College. Upon completion of the program, June 2010, Rion was issued a Level 1 teaching certficate, and at the same time earned a Master of Arts degree in “Teaching;” not a Master of Education degree. The difference may seem minimal, and by design, it really is. It is intended give an entry level teacher, from another career field, an incentive to enter the teaching field with higher pay; however, this case, it is much more important than that.

In January of 2013, just 2 1/2 years after becoming an actual certified teacher, Rion was promoted to a position in the Curriculum and Instruction department as the Human Capital Management Systems Consultant. This is the system that tracks teachers under the new COMPASS teacher evaluation system. So, there is a person with just three years under their belt as a “certified” teacher developing training opportunities for teachers and administrators for an evaluation program that they have never been evaluated under? Doesn’t this seem wrong? Well, it gets better. Rion’s direct supervisor was his mother, Johnna Rion.

Matthew Rion _ LinkedIn1Our sources tell us that in the Spring of 2015, this unusual arrangement was brought to the attention of a couple of the newly elected school board members who immediately addressed the situation and asked that Rion be moved to another department to terminate the nepotism. In July 2015, Rion was promoted to the position of administrator for the STEPS program which is the dual-enrollment program located on the campus of Sowela Technical College.

Alas, the under qualified, inexperienced consultant still does not have a Master of Education degree, and is not certified to be an administrator, but has been promoted to the position. Now, we know that there are a few folks out there who think that we make up stuff. Whenever possible, we always provide links to evidence so that you can verify it for yourself. Feel free to click on the pic shown to the right for a larger view or visit Rion’s LinkedIn profile. Be sure to note that at the bottom of his profile, he falsely indicates that he has a Masters of Education degree. You can also click here to download and view his teaching certificate.

How does one get one of these well paid positions without paying dues in the trenches? I am certain that there are many teachers in Calcasieu Parish who would like to know.