On Feeling Bad For Students In The Helena School System

by Travis Mateer

I used to feel bad for kids in the Helena school system because of a teacher and partisan hack by the name of Don Pogreba. This hack, who once lived and taught in Helena, operated a blog titled Intelligent Discontent–named after a quote from Eugene Debs–before he rebranded as the Montana Post.

It’s been almost exactly 2 years since Don “Pogie” Pogreba threw in the towel to embrace hypocrisy by taking a job at a PRIVATE school in Hawaii, something I documented in a good-riddance post at the time. So why am I mentioning Pogreba in THIS post? Well, because one of his pals in the Helena school system, Ryan P. Cooney, has some lovely opinions on the abuse survivor and celebrity brand, Paris Hilton. Here’s my initial Twitter exchange with Cooney:

I’m surprised Ryan Cooney has as much time to engage people on Twitter as he seems to have, since he’s an award-winning teacher in the Helena schools system. Also, he has AMAZING hair!

From the link (emphasis mine):

Ryan Cooney a teacher in Helena and son of former Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney won the Global Educator of the Year over the weekend. 

The award issuer is the World Affairs Councils of America is the largest nonprofit grassroots organization in the US dedicated to educating and engaging the public on global issues.

Via twitter Cooney said, “Unbelievably honored. I love what I do and feel so fortunate to work with the best people, everyday. Thanks to the Montana World Affairs Council for the recognition and everything you do to support teachers and students. See you in Missoula soon!”

Why would Cooney be coming to Missoula? The article doesn’t specify a reason, so I’m assuming it’s just to receive the award or something. I’m hoping it’s NOT to start indoctrinating Missoula school kids the way I suspect Cooney’s pal, Don Pogreba, did during those long evenings teaching debate.

Here’s Cooney proudly claiming to know the partisan hack, Pogie. I have yet to receive an answer on whether or not Cooney has partied with Melissa Romano’s husband.

Since Ryan Cooney knows Don Pogreba so well, maybe he can tell me why I can’t seem to find any CURRENT evidence that Pogreba is still teaching at the Parker school. I found this about new faculty in the 2020-2021 school year, but the latest iteration of the directory no longer features Pogreba. What happened, Don?

If you can’t read the small print introducing Pogreba as new faculty, here it is:

Mr. Pogreba joined the Parker School ‘Ohana in 2020 after teaching for more than 20 years in Montana high schools. He holds two bachelor of arts degrees, one in English and another in secondary education/English-history from Carroll College in Montana. Mr. Pogreba has been named PLATO Philosophy Teacher of the Year, Montana Speech and Debate Coach of the Year, as well as a Distinguished Educator by Students in his previous district 15 times. Originally from Montana, Mr. Pogreba enjoys traveling and writing. He loves to see a new city for the first time and wander aimlessly for hours. Mr. Pogreba shares, “We have an almost infinite capacity to see what we can’t do; the role of a teacher must be to strip away those limits students impose upon themselves. I am deeply committed to rigor in the classroom, in writing, thinking, and discussing, because it is only when students accomplish things they never thought they could that they see truly what their possibilities are.”

With the rumors that Pogreba left behind in Montana, I’d think maybe he’d be more careful about talking about the things he wants to STRIP AWAY from students.

Oddly enough, it’s not Pogreba’s role as a debate coach I’ve suddenly become interested in. Instead it’s the hall-of-fame cowboy and Deputy County Attorney of Mineral County, Wally Congdon, who I’m curious about, since he was a debate coach at Hellgate in Missoula many years ago.

You might be wondering, how do I know this? I know this because a recent article about Wally’s Highlander cows clued me in to the fact a girl Wally used to teach is now all grown up and helping old Congdon with that Highlander herd. From the link (emphasis mine):

The manager of the ranch is Tracie McMillan who has been there for eight years. She has known the owner of the ranch, Wally Congdon, since 1977 when he was her debate coach at Hellgate High School in Missoula.

Since yesterday’s post was about the predation of private reform schools in the remote areas of Montana and Idaho, and since it was Cooney’s callous reaction to Paris Hilton’s written testimony submitted to Montana’s legislature about these types of schools that inspired THIS post today, I find it ironic to be so quickly pivoting to who is doing the teaching in PUBLIC schools in Montana.

If there’s a lesson here, kids, it’s the unfortunate reality that figurative wolves are EVERYWHERE, so be careful. And stay tuned, because when it comes to cowboy attorneys who love their cows, there is DEFINITELY more to come.

If you appreciate this content, please consider making a monetary donation at my about page.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to On Feeling Bad For Students In The Helena School System

  1. Eric says:

    At least Pogie doesn’t have to deal with snow 🙂

    Love him or hate him I always had to give him respect for tenacity. He spent many years promoting and trying to defend far left ideas and policies, and he never wavered no matter how many times I mopped up the canvas with him on the blogs.

Leave a Reply