Originally created 12/06/01

System investigated teacher

Linda Gail Cannon wanted to end up in a Richmond County classroom. Instead, she ended up in jail.

A substitute teacher at T.W. Josey High School, Ms. Cannon had applied for a full-time special education teaching position. School system officials discovered she wasn't who she claimed to be.

"We conducted an internal investigation and discovered what was going on," Richmond County school Superintendent Charles Larke said Wednesday. "We then contacted the Richmond County Sheriff's Office."

Ms. Cannon was arrested Monday on charges she falsified her resume and college transcript. The problem was discovered when she applied for a full-time position. She had worked at Josey High School since the beginning of the school year.

Dr. Larke said Ms. Cannon was allowed to work as a substitute teacher after she passed a criminal background check earlier this year. He needed the verification of her credentials to hire her as a Richmond County teacher.

"We were waiting on an official transcript from her university to send to Atlanta. and it never arrived, so we began looking in to it," Dr. Larke said.

When employees apply for teaching positions, they must have an official copy of their college transcript, complete with the institution's seal, sent to the local Board of Education. That information is then sent to the Professional Standards Commission in Atlanta, which reviews it before issuing a Georgia teaching certificate.

After the certificate is issued, an applicant can be hired as a full-time teacher.

Richmond County sheriff's investigators say Ms. Cannon used the transcript of a woman with the same maiden name, after altering the date of birth and Social Security number to reflect her own.

Investigators have obtained records indicating she did attend Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, S.C., although it is unclear whether she received a degree.

Staff Writer Greg Rickabaugh contributed to this article.

Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 823-3552.


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